Category Archives: Brandon Inge

Good things.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Dropping two to the Rangers was bad. But taking two from the Twinkies is good! We shall concentrate on the good.

–Those throwback uniforms, as depicted above. Still way into them. Stripes! Orange! Messing with the away uniform and not the home uni! Encouraging Miguel Cabrera to wear his socks up! It’s all to the good, except for the orange hat logo with the white outline. That just looks messy. Everything else is great, though.

–I assume you all saw the Brandon Inge play by now, but just in case:

He dove for, and came up with, a ball, landing hard on his shoulder in the process. As he sat up, it became clear that his shoulder was dislocated. He was holding his arm awkwardly away from his body, like he couldn’t put it down. So what does Brandon Inge do? He grabs his own arm, and freakin’ pulls his own shoulder back into the socket. At this point I would probably be vomiting from pain and terror, because Roar of the Tigers is not Brandon Inge.

So Brandon Inge has just performed a medical procedure on himself right there on the field. The trainer comes out. Brandon Inge WAVES HIM OFF.

He then went on to get a hit and an RBI, which turned out to be the game-running run. With his self-repaired shoulder. Which has now landed him on the DL, because sanity and the human body eventually had to make themselves felt. In any event, Brandon Inge is a hero.

And yes, he is of course an Athletic now. But let’s not even pretend that this blog has stopped caring about all things Brandon Inge.

–Andy Dirks is back, and is playing like he doesn’t want to be forgotten and Toledo’d again any time soon.

–Omar Infante is at second base.

–The RotT little brother was recently at a Lakewood BlueClaws game, where apparently they have little photos of their ‘alumni’. Including:

Aww, yay. Something seemed off, though…

Fixed it.

Cartoons to sigh disgustedly over.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Oakland A’s picked up Brandon Inge. I am not sure what this says about MLB– that the Tigers were so absolutely fed up with his inability to play the game of baseball that the literal decade of goodwill he’d built up was no longer enough, forcing them to release him, and he STILL gets signed by some other team– like, what does a tenure-type dude have to do to NOT have a job in baseball?– but whatever.

It’s just not right. He hasn’t even been wearing his socks up, as if he too keenly feels the inherent wrongness of this.

And then, of course…

Bzzt!

I don’t even want to get into the antisemitism aspect of the incident, because it IS still just an allegation at this point, and accusing someone of a hate crime is Serious Business. But I think it is beyond debate that Delmon was drunk as hell and got himself involved in some sort of altercation, so the cartoons stand as is for now.

DID WE LEARN NOTHING FROM MIGUEL CABRERA? OR GERALD LAIRD?

In other news, the art world has been all in a lather because a pastel version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream was just sold for $120 million, making it the most expensive piece of art ever to hit an auction. This says all sorts of terri-mazing things about the art world, commodification, wealth distribution (and lack thereof), the impact of the economy on the secondary art market (and weird lack thereof), etc… but I was unable to keep myself from repeatedly thinking of this old friend of ours:

I are srs artist.

Anyways, I expect we are all more than happy to see the back end of April now.

Brandon Inge has been released.

It seems like we just recently dealt with this, but this time it is an unconditional release. Brad Eldred will be brought up in his stead. Who the heck is Brad Eldred? Who cares.

So that’s that. Pretty final.

And yes, Inge sucks. But this also sucks. I’m sure I’ll have many more thoughts somewhere down the line, but right now I can’t give you much more than that. Sucks.

Lately, in cartoons.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

You knew, in your deepest readerly heart, that I would lead with this. You did. You knew it and you accept it, because you read Roar of the Tigers and you know that HATERS GONNA HATE, but not here. No. Here we are excited by the return of Brandon Inge.

Against all reason? Yes. Against all currently accepted baseball wisdom? Yes, mostly. Once you accept the irrationality, it becomes quite pleasant, this place where up is down, black is white, and Brandon Inge is getting real actual at-bats.

You know what else happened recently? Of course the Terrible Cartoon tells you: everyone’s favorite walking emoticon made his big league debut.

It went ok. He only lasted 4 innings, and threw 90 pitches in that time, which is kind of… you know… not so great. But he managed to only give up one run. It was a Carlos Pena home run, which is not so great and also painful as it just makes us all miss the cats out of Carlos Pena (we waited so long for you, Carlos! SO LONG!).

He did walk three Rays, which is not so good when considered in the context of the aforementioned four innings. But none of them came home, which is… you know what, let’s just forget about it. He made his debut, now he’s got that out of the way, the team rallied ’round and won the game– let’s leave it there.

(In addition, this happened. IT BEGINS.)

Someone had a birthdaaaaaay! Happy 27th, Mr. Boesch.

In order to make room for Smyly, the Tigers had to put Clete Thomas on waivers, as he was out of options. I’m not sure what they thought would happen, but what did happen was this: the Twins snatched him up, and have accepted him into their loving sticky snackcake embrace.

Also, bears.

Sunday was Jackie Robinson Day. Forty-two for all! It is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, you know.

a few snippets of spring news


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Minnesota Twins signed Joel Zumaya. That is a fact. Why did they sign Joel Zumaya? About this, we can only speculate. Their hearts were filled with optimism and hope… or maybe they find velocity mysterious and seductive… or perhaps they simply saw a small but non-zero chance to really stick it to the Tigers. Maybe they anticipate their bullpen being just that bad.

Whatever the reason, they did it, and Tigers fans everywhere sighed and shook their heads and made all sorts of “oh, you’ll see,” statements. We knew, of course. We’re a bit beyond optimism and hope where Zoom is concerned. Velocity is a lot less seductive when you’ve seen what it can do to an arm in its raw, untrammelled state.

The season has not started yet. Heck, Spring Training games haven’t even started. Zoom is already out for the year. Torn UCL. The UCL attaches at the elbow. Given the nightmare-inducing things that have happened to Zoom’s elbow in recent years, nobody can call this surprising. At this point it is merely depressing.

Word on the internet street is that Zoom is going to have Tommy John surgery. Does this point to a continued belief that he can pitch in Major League Baseball? Or does he need the Tommy John simply to return his arm to some semblance of normal civilian functionality? It’s hard to believe that the former is a possibility, but he is only 27, and baseball is pretty much all he knows how to do.

CHEERFUL, I KNOW. So here’s the ongoing second base competition, for something both less awful and actually related to the 2012 Tigers.

Can an old cat learn new tricks?


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Brandon Inge has asked for– and been granted– permission to try out for second base. Although he has played a variety of positions for the Tigers, he hasn’t played them all, and second base is one of those un-Inge-touched spots. There is only one Don Kelly, after all.

Can Inge play second? If it was a simple matter of athleticism, even with the years decreasing his range, agility, ability to make sharp cuts, etc, I would say that he’d be fine. Provided he doesn’t have any acute injuries, even an aged Brandon Inge is a more capable infielder than a great many other cats in the majors right now.

Alas, it is not so simple a matter. For one thing, he has had a variety of acute injuries in recent times, and we will see more and more of that sort of thing the longer he stays in the league. For another, he’ll still have to hit. The Tigers have done that ‘there are so many big sluggers on this team, we can afford to carry some dead bats near the bottom of the lineup!’ thing before. It always seems to be a good idea, like trading away young pitchers you don’t think you’ll end up needing because your rotation is firmly set, or marching on ahead with only Alex Avila catching because backup catchers are for chumps. Thing is… it doesn’t work.

Miggy strains his oblique, or Avila goes into a slump, or Magglio’s entire body liquefies and will take weeks and huge amounts of cornstarch to resolidify, or whatever– something ALWAYS happens to bring those unfortunate sub-.250 BAs into the stark, hideous light of day. And then everyone says things about winning and losing as a team and the pitchers grit their teeth and say they don’t blame anyone and some quad-A type gets a shot because why not, and we all rend our hair and gnash our teeth and say very mean things that the little people in our TVs totally do not deserve.

Now, it’s not as though the Tigers are firmly set at second, and Inge knows this. Sure, Jim Leyland has some sort of weird yet pure love for Ryan Raburn, but few others are so devoted. Inge could see the way the wind was blowing and decided his best shot at staying with the big cats was to go down the depth chart and see which infield position was the weakest and most unsettled. When he saw it was second base he started wondering what he would have to do to get in on that action. Apparently what he had to do to get in on that action was call up Dave Dombrowski, and also have 11 seasons in Detroit making it necessary to treat him with a certain level of respect.

People will see this as either a brave move by a player who knows when he’s outclassed at his preferred position and will do anything to stay with the Tigers, or a desperate grasp at relevancy and continued employment from a player whose options in those arenas are rapidly dwindling down to nothingness– depending on how they feel about Inge in general.

I also find it hard to believe that Miggy will be playing at third all the time. There is no Victor in 2012. Surely that will mean Prince or Miggy at DH a fair amount… right? As difficult as it may be to imagine, the Tigers no longer have an ancient outfield, which means those cats can actually PLAY, instead of having to be stashed at DH. No more Magglio. No more Guillen. So who DHs? Brennan Boesch, if he’s in one of his hot streaks? Delmon Young when he’s not in the outfield for whatever reason? Andy Dirks? Paws preserve us.

I know Don Kelly can slide in there if there’s an open base. But I think it would be a positive thing to keep Inge around. You all know how I feel on the matter, and maybe I’m letting that influence my opinion a wee bit too much, but this scenario is far from the worst idea in the world.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again here:

Brandon Inge is back, baby.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

First at-bat: BOOM. Home run.

Brandon Inge.

That is all.