illustration by Samara Pearlstein
PRAISE BE TO PAWS! The Tigers have signed Brandon Inge to a new deal!
He was going to be a free agent this winter, and I was all set to be an anxious mess about this, as is my way. But the Tigers understand. They know the full worth of Brandon Inge is not measured in batting average or on base percentage. Or home run totals. Or even specious error totals that seem unnaturally elevated as a result of his incredible range and his complete inability to see a ball heading in his general direction without hurling his body at it.
No, the true worth of Brandon Inge is measured in OVERALL DEFENSE and GRITTY McHEARTFACE and ENTRENCHMENT IN MICHIGAN and also RIDICULOUS FACIAL HAIR. Or, as Dave Dombrowski puts it:
“I think with Brandon, you have to know what you have in a player,” team president and general manager Dombrowski said at season’s end. “First of all, he’s an outstanding defensive third baseman. We all know he’s a gamer. He gives you everything he can. He represents what you want on the field. He never leaves an ounce of anything behind that’s out there.
“He gives you some offense. I don’t think you write down Brandon Inge as coming out and hitting 25 home runs and knocking in 100 runs all of a sudden. I think you have to look at the numbers he’s put up and figure that’s probably the type of hitter you have. If he gives you more, that’s great.”
Basically what I said, except I hate and never use the word ‘gamer’, and Mr. Dombrowski did not see fit to mention the facial hair (possibly he thinks it’s so well-known that he doesn’t even have to bring it up).
This is a two-year deal with an option for a third year, at which point Inge will be 36 years old. Obviously something like a 5-year deal was not going to happen, and Inge was not going to be content with a one-year deal. This is a compromise that makes everyone happy except for the grumpy fans who don’t like Brandon Inge and also hate FUN and KITTENS and SECURITY AT THIRD BASE.
The financial terms have not been made public yet, although I’m sure the amount will be high enough to make the majority of fans scream shrilly. There had been talk that Inge was not going to settle for a two-year deal, so even with the option I have to believe that they’re paying him enough to make that relatively short contract seem more palatable. Oh well. The Tigers should have some money freed up from other contracts ending this year anyways, and if they wanted to sign a different third baseman (like, say, Adrian Beltre) they probably would have ended up sinking more money into that than they did into Brandon Inge anyways. Awkward sentence. Just like Brandon Inge.
What this all boils down to is really just the fact that
and it doesn’t matter, because Brandon Inge is One with the Tigers for at least two more seasons. Barring a trade. Paws forbid. In any event I am sitting here in front of my computer, rubbing my hands together and cackling gleefully, so this is a good day, yes indeed.