Friday, April 27, 2012
The Detroit Tigers Released Brandon Inge Yesterday
He unabashedly loved the city and people of Detroit. He loved playing for the Tigers. In interviews, he was charming and articulate. He always hustled his ass off. Last year, when they sent him, a veteran, to the minors in the late summer to work out his shit, his first comment was, in essence, "I hope I can work my shit out so I can come back and help the Tigers". And there he was in last year's post season, appearing in 6 or 7 games (in a limited role, to be fair), and contributing a batting average of over .300 (with a few walks), a couple of doubles, a couple of RBI, and scoring six runs.
Yesterday, after his release, more of the same class when he said (again, in essence), "No hard feelings, I wasn't producing. I will always be a Tiger, this is my home. I hope they win it all this year."
And, finally, this - a few years ago in New York I saw a random interview with Brandon on some sports network (possibly during a rain delay), and he spoke about the work he did with children with cancer, visiting them in the hospital, playing catch and like that (an easy gig, no doubt). So, as these things happen (and I can't remember if the kids initiated this, but I'm pretty sure they did), on two occasions he promised a child that he would hit a home run for them that evening. And the man who hit 140 homers in 12 seasons delivered both times. He could barely speak as he tried to describe how important this was to him.
I will miss seeing his name in the Detroit box score, and watching him glide into second (in the home whites, of course), after doubling in two.