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Monday, March 22, 2004

Things could be worse...I could be a Tigers fan... 

You know, Buck Showalter makes me angry with some of the asinine things that he does.

But then, when I think he may be making the stupidest decisions of any manager in baseball, I read something like this piece on Brandon Inge.

For those of you who don't know, Brandon Inge is a terrible player. A catcher who turns 27 in May, Inge has a career .198/.254/.314 line with the Tigers in almost 900 major league plate appearances, and a career EQA of .202. He's got a reputation for being a pretty good defensive catcher, which had kept him in the league so far, despite his sub-replacement-level hitting.

This year, however, the Tigers have signed Pudge Rodriguez to be their catcher, and selected catching prospect Chris Shelton from the Pirates in the Rule 5 draft. One would think that this would spell the end of Brandon Inge's career in Detroit, since he's out of options.

You would think wrong, however...the Tigers instead are trying Inge at 2B and SS, so that they can make this poor hitting catcher into a poor hitting utility man.

And appear to be dead serious about it.

The article is about as high on the unintentional comedy scale as anything I've read in baseball. Some highlights:

They came up with the utility plan to find a place for him on the 25-man roster.

Because, of course, one can't be without a .198 hitting catcher on the roster...

"He's on the team some way, somehow," [Alan Trammell] said. "We just have to create a spot."

But this is my favorite...

For all the questions about his hitting potential over the years, the team still believes he's a talented young catcher, a position where he'd probably stay if not for Mike DiFelice.

Mike DiFelice is a 35 year old bad catcher.

When you are being forced into a position change because of Mike DiFelice, that's a sign that maybe major league baseball isn't for you...

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