DISCLAIMER: Yes, we know we spelled Je T'aime wrong in the title earlier...we fixed it now. We're emotional, okay?! Two out of three of us took high school French. We should know better.
So. We all know the news. We all surely have our own reactions about it. And ours was a mixture of, "It's about damn time" followed immediately by a feeling akin to the death of a lifelong pet who annoyed us often, but was loved most of the time.
Okay, that was overdramatic. But that was how we felt!
Jump with us as we walk down memory lane with Brandon...
We can honestly say that never, in our many years of loving any and all sports, ever been so emotionally conflicted about the Tiger's decision to DFA Brandon Inge. Was it the right decision? Absolutely. Brandon has been atrocious at the plate and alarmingly lackluster defensively. You might be saying to yourself, "Well, it's obvious he was going to blow at defense this year! Look at his knees, you idiots!" But the three of us honestly never thought we'd see the day where he wasn't pitching himself headfirst into stands or lunging acrobatically to grab errant grounders.
This year, that day came. And it never left. Brandon Inge's last redeeming quality on the field disappeared, as did Tigers fan's patience with him. But Brandon still has more than enough redeeming traits off the field, and his sunny disposition and clubhouse leadership will be sorely missed. Not by all fans, we know (some people we know are ecstatic about this decision), but we will alway remember the good times.
From his strange choice in facial hair to his unattractive but very sweet tattoos, it would surprise some non-Tigers fans to hear that this was the man who had so enamored Tigers Nation. But before his knees went kaflooey, he would put on highlight reel-worthy performances out at the hot corner, frequently diving into stands and making leaping, pirouetting catches. Nothing much got past him.
He also had power at the plate, consistently hitting clutch homers and having a monster season in 2009, in which he hit 21 in the first half. Then he was selected to the all-star game, his knees deteriorated, and the rest is history. But his skills on the field weren't the only reason the three of us adored him.
His impact on the Detroit community, while not as publicized or as significant as Curtis Granderson's, was still huge. Every once in a while we would always see Brandon on the TV with a sick kid's name written in Sharpie on his arm, promising said child that he would hit a home run for him. Didn't it seem like he always did? But that was Brandon, visiting cancer patients in hospitals, then playing his heart out for them everyday.
Even when it seemed, back in the dreaded 2008 season, like our Inge's time was up here in Detroit, he handled the situation with such class and aplomb that we couldn't help but admire him. It all worked out for him in the end, as he came back to play a major role in the first half of the next season, and get a spot on the All-Star Team that he really deserved.
Now it has come to this. His time really is up as a starter in Detroit. What will be will be, and Brandon Inge is handling it in his usual upbeat, positive fashion. We're sure he will want to be part of the Tigers Organization for years to come.
As melodramatic as this will sound, we're just going to go ahead and say it:
We love you, Brandon Inge, and we thank you for everything you gave to our team and our city. Good luck in everything you do, and we will miss you. But as Brandon said himself, this isn't goodbye. So, until we meet again...