I wanted to hear what fans were saying about Tigers utility man Brandon Inge so I left the press box for a couple of his bats and listened.
People booed. People cheered. People called for him to retire and some people called for support for Brandon Inge. I expected all of that. But here is what I didn’t expect.
Laughter. I did not expect people to laugh when he came to the plate. But when Inge swung and missed at pitches you heard traces of laughter at Comerica Park. He has officially become a side show in Detroit and a part of me feels sorry for the dude. I understand that he makes millions of dollars and a lot of this is his doing. But it cannot be fun to be ridiculed.
“We are human,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila told me.
Do you know what the speed limit is on some highways? Well, that is pretty close to Inge’s batting average. He’s hitting .056. That means he has been up to the plate 18 times and all he has to show for it is a two-run home run where he said he shut his eyes and five strike outs. It would be one thing if the Tigers were rolling over opponents. But they’ve struggled at the team lately and need all hands on deck.
I was floored when Tigers manager Jim Leyland used Inge as pinch hitter Sunday against Texas. Actually, this was a minor victory for Inge. He hit a sharp ground ball to third base and was easily thrown out. Hey, at least it was not another feeble pop up or strike out.
Inge has gotten old fast. He is the town leeper and now people are laughing at him. Nobody deserves this.
Two women tried to convince these guys that Inge need our support now. They told the women to shut the bleep up. And then they walked away and laughed.