Inge designated, will accept assignment to Hens

The longest-tenured Tiger is about to become the newest Mud Hen. At least partly, it was his decision.

Dave Dombrowski announced after Wednesday’s loss to Oakland that Detroit will designate Inge’s contract for assignment to make room for Wilson Betemit on the 25-man roster once Betemit joins the team Thursday in Minnesota. Inge, in turn, decided that he’ll accept an assignment to Triple-A Toledo if he clears waivers in the next few days.

Inge’s contract through next season all but guarantees he won’t be claimed. That gave him two choices — go to the Hens, or force the Tigers to release him. He would’ve been a free agent then, with a chance to sign with any team. It’s possible he could’ve found a spot right away — he said he had multiple possibilities — but it was also possible he’d have to start out at Triple-A anyway. This gives him a chance to work his way back with the only team he has known in his Major League career, while also commuting from his Michigan home.

Compared with the previous few weeks, when Inge talked at times about feeling good at the plate and not getting results to show for it, he sounded Wednesday like somebody who needed to get right with what he was doing and wasn’t arguing the decision.

“I’m not contributing, and I don’t want to be responsible for holding the team down, either,” Inge said. “So I need to fix it. That’s the way I look at it. I mean, the unselfish point of view is to look around at the other guys. This team has a great opportunity, and I can contribute, and I can help. If I get back to, say, three-quarters of what I did in ’06 or in ’09, I’m going to help this team out tremendously down the road. So hopefully I can get down there and knock the cobwebs out of there and get rolling.”

In the same sense, he wasn’t blaming the Tigers for making the move.

“They’re looking for options,” Inge said. “They’re looking forw ays to get something done. You have to look at it like a GM sometimes. What they did, I’m not going to knock them. That’s fine. I played with Betemit in the Dominican, and he’s a great guy. Obviously in my mind, I know that I’m the best third baseman when I’m playing well. I’m just going to get ready to come back. I’m not asking for my job to just be handed to me. I’ll go down and I’ll play hard, but I just want that opportunity when I get back. This is still my team.”

Inge’s decision came after what he said was a three-hour conversations with his agent, Keith Miller at ACES. It also followed what Inge said was a message relayed to him from Tigers owner Mike Ilitch  through organizational channels.

“He wanted me to stay,” Inge said. “It wasn’t something that was disrepect to me. Obviously, this is not coming from his mouth. This is what was relayed to me, that I meant a lot to this city, state and organization. He just wanted me to go down, get myself right and come back up here.”

Inge said he has a good working relationship with Mud Hens hitting coach Bull Durham, who has been in the organization at least as long as Inge has. He also said the atmosphere in Toledo, where he spent a short rehab assignment last month, should provide a lower-pressure setting for him.

“I actually feel like I’m in a good spot right now,” Inge said. “A lot of times, when you get sent down to Toledo, you get away from all the distractions. And right now, the distractions are when you look at the scoreboard and you see .177 and you don’t concentrate on what you should be doing. A lot of times, when you go down there you realize there’s no TV cameras, there’s not as much pressure, and you get a lot more production.”

27 Comments

I would imagine Ryan Raburn is a tad uneasy what with Carlos coming back and today’s events.
I’m hoping for the best with Betemit. Hopefully he can contribute offensively. I would suspect he must be adequate in the field as he was a shortstop not too terribly long ago We’re getting another guy who doesn’t run well. Seems to be rampant in our lineup.
Fingers crossed on Benoit. The last time he got shelled he was very iffy for quite some time afterward.

I think Brandon is in dreamland. I cannot imagine him having “multiple possibilities”.
We had better get used to an increae in hits between 1st and 2nd. Carlos looks very limited to me. He sure likes to stick close to the bag.
Thought we had some life with that 2-0 count and 1st & 2nd with VMart up. He hit the ball hard but unfortunately that DP was the end of our hope for the night.

I do think Inge would have had possibilities, but he might have had to start out at Triple-A in many of those anyway. If he’s going to have to get himself right at the plate anyway, it makes sense for him to give it a shot here.

I am a bit confused here. So if Brandon gets right then what? He comes up and he send down a great utility player like Don Kelly? I know nothing about our new third baseman, but I can’t imagine we are paying to get a new third base player and if within a month Brandon is hitting lights out at Toledo they do what, bring him up and do what? I love Brandon and as many Tiger fans do, we want him to succeed. How odd would it be to be a big league player for that many years and show up at the Mud Hens not for a rehab stint?

Geez Purcey had a rough go last night.

Rosters expand Sept. 1. Inge is guaranteed to end up back with the Tigers at that point. Anytime sooner than that, I’m not sure. That could require a DL stint from somebody.

Okay, the Tiger’s have gone above and beyond any other team giving Brandon a chance to succeed. This is not Jose Reyes or Miguel Cabrera we are talking about he has had more than enough chances. Going back to 2008 they traded Pudge their best catcher (who was hitting .295 at the trade) because of their financial commitment to Inge (and of course Pudge balked at having 50% of his playing time taken away, justifiably), he whined about catching and didn’t do a very good job at it either. Guillen was pushed around the infield like a pinball, he didn’t complain. Inge is an excellent defender, the minors are filled with excellent defenders, what gets them to the majors is their offense. I hope he makes it back, but I don’t blame the Tigers at all for making this move.

Sorry but the history at the time was that Pudge asked to be traded. There was problems in the dogout for the supposed deference to Pudge by JL.
Pudge was batting 250 before having a second day of rest. He was 287 by the time of the trade . He tanked with the Y´s. He was a backup there of one of the Molina, while Posada was on DL.
They tried to trade Inge but there were no takers for him with 250,13, 89. So imagine the seller market with 178-3-13

Pudge didn’t ask to be traded until he was put in a platoon with Brandon and after a conversation with Management was told he wasn’t in their plans for the following season. While he didn’t perform at his best with the Yankees, (I watched every game he played), he didn’t tank, the Yankees did, the most half-hearted effort by a team I have ever seen. Brett Gardner, Wilson Betemit and Pudge were about the only ones who actually hustled when on the field.

Brandon is a person. He has many highlights. He played in Grand Rapids. His time as a ML ballplayer is over or almost over. Congrats to him and his family and all he does for charity. Last night, Oakland put in Sizemore for defense. We put in Purcey and he walks 3? Comes in and walks the lead off man, shame on him. He walks the second guy and we leave him in? Shame on the SOC!

I’d like to know why Phil Coke couldn’t have pitched in that game. Is there a reason for that? That’s why he’s out there, to strengthen the pen. Sitting while Purcey pitches the 7th inning of a 2-run game does no good. Does Coke have an injury? I’m looking for a reason that doesn’t involve a bonehead move by JL. Or do they see a lot more in Purcey than I do? By the time someone was warmed up to come in, the damage was done. That’s not being prepared for circumstances. This is exactly the type of thing that prevents us from being a good team. At least lose with your best. We let the worst hitting team in the league score 7 runs. And last night’s decision will cost us in the coming days too. These things have a domino effect.
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With Inge gone, fan comments will drop by 50%. If Raburn was gone, they’d drop by another 50%.

here is why coke didnt make an appearance, below furbush and purcey are all trade bate at this point and management is putting them out to see if any one bites. unfortunatly they probably wont be offered squat for an one other than furbush as purcy should get an eye exam or take a class on the location of the strike zone as he cant seem to find it and below is too raw at this point to garner any suitors for a proven vet. and the biggest problem here is we lost the game to put these guys out there, hope the season doesnt come down to a 1 game playoff again but you can almost taste the colapse.

Rich,
You don’t need a reason. It was a bonehead move. How can the defense make good plays if you don’t throw strikes?

Well, it’s time for me to put in my humble opinion. I have known Brandon Inge since he was an 18 year old playing in the Commonwealth Games and Virgina all star tournaments. He has always been a favorite of mine. I was thrilled that he was drafted by my team from VCU. I have been an adamant defender since he became a Tiger. I cannot defend his baseball skills anymore. I sincerely believe that he has never fully recovered from double knee, wrist surgery, and mono over the course of the last 2+ seasons. He has never been a superstar. But what he has been is a steady, dependable, good baseball player.

There are lots of those in the major leagues, and every team needs those types of players along with their two or three stars. I guess what bothers me more than anything is the way that Inge is “trashed” as a human being. I do not question his sincerity. I know him. Some have questioned his loyalty to the city of Detroit. Yes Leyland and others have a home in Detroit, but Detroit is Inge’s primary residence. His kids attend school there. I guess I am naive enough to believe that he loves Detroit and the team, inspite of the contract. As a matter of fact, I’m stupid enough to believe that everyone who puts on The old English D is a star. I still miss Maroth, Cornero, Bonderman. They were Tigers and I would complain about poor performance, but I hope I never trashed them.

I wish everyone on this blog knew Brandon Inge. He’s like a big, little kid, who loves baseball and people. I know that’s corny, but that’s what he is. Finally, I am more of a Tiger fan, than I am an Inge fan. Good luck Brandon.
Go Wilson!

Great post Greg. I don’t know Brandon, but what I know of him I have read of what he does, how he behaves, and I agree whole heartedly that he is a good man who feels Detroit is his home. I understand he lives here year round, and if he has a 2nd residence why wouldn’t he? If I made good money I would do the same. Regardless, I like your post to realize his skills have deteriorated, when a guys time is done it is done, and I think his body has failed him. We need to separate the guy from the player and I have never seen him be anything but sincere.

Inge needs to go. He’s holding the team down. We’ve lost a lot of games this year when we had scoring opportunities and Inge came to the plate. You can’t keep striking out and saying you’re good for the team. The only thing he had going for him, the last 5 yrs, was his defense. The last few years he hasn’t even had that. Get someone on the roster that can play the game, and forget about INGE!

With all the trade discussion it reminds me of 2006 and how everything other than the offense was clicking on all cylinders. The team this year doesn’t seem to be performing so “tightly”, with the pitching (excepting Verlander) and defense. Have been following the Nationals the last two years (to be honest, following Pudge), and have realized (read and heard) how much Pudge has been helping their young pitchers (and catchers) develop. It makes me wonder if Avila who has all the potential in the world is ready for the playoffs and the pressure it brings. Having Victor around will be helpful and it is probably the least of the Tigers worries, but could be a concern none-the-less.

Good to here from you Greg. You read my first line. I agree, the players come and go but the Tigers remain. The catcher is the quarterback. They need to be the leader. Alex now has the credentials being an All Star and his swinging of the bat, not to mention his improvement on defense. I was also sad to see Pudge go as he brought the team out of the sub .500 seasons. Also, Richie Hebner will be in GR at the Whitecaps game on Friday. The Gravedigger! Go Tigers! –Dave

I’ll back off a little. Coke threw 23 pitches Tuesday night and I mis-remembered that, I thought it was less. But with Verlander going tonight, JL could have mixed and matched the 7th instead of handing it to Purcey with no one warming up. He and Gino, who looked literally half asleep on the bench, got caught with their pants down. Old age, happens to me all the time.
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I’ll put in one good word for Brandon Inge. In the 9th (or 10th?) inning of a 4-4 tie in game 163, he came up with two out and Kelly the pinch runner at first. Brandon ripped a double into the corner and Kelly, bless him, ran like the hounds of hell were nipping at his heels to score the run as the Tiger dugout went nuts. Then came Cuddyer and Raburn. If Raburn doesn’t botch that one, Inge would have had arguably one of the biggest hits in franchise history. Brandon is probably done and, if so, I’ll hang onto that memory.

Similar to my memory of Neifi Perez remarkable play that saved Verlander’s 1st no-no. That’s how I prefer to remember him.

I hope that Brandon goes down and figures something out, I have watched to many games in the last several years when Brandon has come up with a big homerun, or a big play to give this team a win. I think this assgnment is the best thing he cand do for himself, go down and recapture sme of what he had. I have a hard time believing you can lose it that completely unless there is something wrong.
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What I do have a problem with is people attacking him as a person or his integrity. I know we all love basebal and the Tigers, but what some people forget there is more to life ad to a person.

honestly my heart goes out to Inge. He’s a good person and it’s a real shame everybody turned on him because of an awful half season -> the guy batted .247 with 70 RBI’s last year. I’m not saying we need to start him or that the tigers are doing anything wrong – I just feel bad for the guy the way things turned out.

It’s different people’s perception of Brandon. Miguel has been attacked unmercifully, as well as Carlos and Magglio. In fact, I can’t think of one player or especially coaches who haven’t been personally attacked. What about Mr. Dombrowski? I certainly have read plenty of outrageous remarks about him. Personally, I have NEVER liked Brandon’s personality. I never liked Verlander’s personality either, until this year. Since Brandon is a former catcher, maybe he’s got a coach or manager’s job in mind for his future. God help us!

Having a problem with how someone performs at their job is a whole lot different than attacking them as a person. In my opinion that is. I don’t have a problem with the demotion of Inge at this time either, but just ask the kids at the hospital who he visits all te time if he is the horrible person people make him out to be?? That’s not even counting the money he has donated. That needs to be seperated from his play on the field. That fact of the matter is that probably most of us know nothing of these players on a personal level so to have opinions on them on a personal level to me is probably a bit unfair.

BTW, it’s exactly 100 degrees in the D right now.

How was ? Nice guys always finish last. Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Satchell Paige, Juan Marichal( ask Roseboro) were not good guys. A good man like Koufax was the cause of the Roseboro incdent.

I’ll have to say I never did understand the entire Inge thing, one way or the other. I can no more understand why people love him as I can why people hate him. He’s just another dude that’s played for the Tigers. I don’t get it.

here is my understanding on inge……… here is a great guy who should have a shelf full of gold gloves. bottom line the guy played every day like brooks robinson mabye some days better, the range was incredible as his arm. i live in the bay area in california and always take in tigers a’s games for the better part of the last decade i cant say i ever saw eric chaves come within eye shot of brandons jock strap in the field defensively, it is a shame the award seems to be more of a popularity contest, inge was more than an average defensive player he has always had plate problems and this year they stand out more as he is obviously struggling. bottom line people in detroit appreciate him and it seems without ever realy having any 300 season has in general not been appreciated by the rest of the baseball world and its a shame as he is clearly on the down and out and will be missed.

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