By: Terry Foster
When I heard the news I didn’t believe it at first.
But it is true. The Tigers released third baseman Brandon Inge and it is the right move. It is the only move the Tigers could make.
This is best for Brandon Inge. It is best for the Tigers and it is best for Tiger fans.
There has been a cloud over this team all season and the dust was created by the Inge controversy. Is he coming back? Is going to hit? Is he playing second base? Is he going to be released?
Baseball players are pros but this story played on the mind of the ball club. Inge dominated news even when he didn’t play. He became a distraction and a subtraction. In other words the story dominated the club house and every time Inge stepped to the plate he brought the team down. Yes, he hit one home run and won a game. But too many other times he popped up and struck out.
He hasn’t been the same since being in the 2009 All-Star game. His game regressed offensive and defensively.
He is a shell and it is the right move to release him.
Now I do not want to completely dog the man. He did some good things today and ironically Miguel Cabrera finally became Comerica Park’s all-time home run leader. He passed Brandon Inge.
He is a good man in the community. He helps children and veterans and the poor. But professional sports is about what have you done on the field? It does not matter what a great guy you are. It matters how good you are on the field.
I could tell Tigers Manager Jim Leyland grew tired of Inge. You could tell last season and I am not convinced it was his decision to play him every day. Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski called him a true shoulder and I am sure he is a Tiger for life.
Now can all move on. The Tigers can move on and play good baseball. Tiger fans can move on and cheer for their team rather than fret over Inge. And the media can go back to covering baseball, rather than cover Inge.