illustration by Samara Pearlstein
When I say ‘annoying’, I say it fondly. Just for the record.
As dedicated Brandon Inge fans (and that should be all of you, of course) already know, everyone’s favorite tiny third baseman had his knees sliced up this past November. He’s on the tail end of his recovery right now, and is supposed to be taking it slow in Lakeland. No real playing the field. No dives or sharp turns. All things gentle and kind to the patellar region.
Of course, this IS Brandon Inge we’re talking about…
Not long after Brandon Inge underwent surgery on his knees last fall, he asked the doctor what the record was for the fastest rehab back from that kind of procedure.
“He said, ‘Knock it off, I know what you’re trying to do,'” Inge said. “I was going to prove him wrong.”
Brandon Inge does not like sitting around when he could be playing baseball, because when he’s not actually out there playing, he has to do things like THINK and FORM/RECALL MEMORIES and USE THE BRAIN BITS, and Brandon Inge hates that stuff. Hey, he knows what his weaknesses and strengths are, and he knows how to play to the latter. That’s a useful skill!
Haters to first base.
“I can tell you he’s not going to play every game, but he said he goes bananas when he doesn’t play, and he does,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s one of those guys that you’d rather play, because you don’t want him around here when he doesn’t play. He’s a pain in the butt when he doesn’t play.”
He is still not playing the field, but he might be getting into some of these early games at DH, because his hitting has been coming along much more quickly than anyone had expected (with the exception of Brandon Inge himself). There has also been some mild noise out of ST about how much better his mechanics at the plate look now that he’s hitting without excruciating knee pain, but of course it’s early, not a real game, no real pressure, the usual.
The Detroit News’ Tom Gage sez: “On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most, the amount I’m surprised that Brandon Inge is ahead of schedule in his recovery from his knee surgeries is negative four.”
Agreed. Now, I do worry a LITTLE bit about Inge’s crazed, unyielding Need to Play, and how that might– MIGHT– cause him to come back too early and screw up his rehab in some small but at some point down the season’s line horribly significant way. And everyone will just let it happen, because we all kind of expect him to be ahead of schedule anyways. Just had to throw that little slice of RotT paranoia in there, lest you think I’m slipping.
In other news, Miguel Cabrera says that he’s sworn off all alcohol, and was never an alcoholic.
“You guys write in the paper ‘alcoholic,’ that’s not right,” Cabrera said. “I don’t know how to explain, but it’s not an alcohol problem.”
Miggy, babe, it may not have been alcoholism, but it clearly WAS ‘an alcohol problem’. There was a problem, alcohol was a major factor. Actually there were a number of problems: drunk as hell the night before/day of a huge game, staying out ’til 5 am the night/early morning before a huge game, drunken altercation with Mrs. Cabrera, thinking it’s OK to pal around with Wrong Sox, and so on. So, whatever, a rose by any other name, etc.
If he really can stay away from the booze this year, it’ll be a good thing all ’round. He doesn’t need any distractions on the field, he doesn’t need legal issues off the field, he needs to make nice with his wife. He needs to understand the inherent evil of the Wrong Sox. His resolve now sounds good; let’s hope it sticks.