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Brandon Inge Deserves Your Final Vote

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The Final Vote for the American League All-Star team has traditionally gone to a large market team player. Three Red Sox, two White Sox, and one Yankee. This year, none of those teams have a candidate, which means the swing vote will be crucial.

Angels third baseman Chone Figgins, Blue Jays DH Adam Lind, Rays first baseman Carlos Peña, and Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge are the five players vying for votes. Obviously, as the Tigers representative on this website, it’s my civic responsibility to tell you why Inge is the clear choice. It won’t be easy, because an argument can be made that he’s not even the best third baseman on the ballot.

They talk about Figgins’ speed, versatility, defense, and hitting. They say he’s started games at six different positions (third, short, second, all three outfield positions). Inge can’t boast starting at any infield spot other than third, but he is the only guy who’s started Opening Day at catcher, third, and center field. He was also a pitcher in college.

Brandon IngeInge is the more versatile athlete; he can kick a 50-yard field goal, dunk a basketball, and may have driven a golf ball 400 yards.

But hey, Figgins is faster. So if, instead of extra innings, they have a footrace, then maybe he’s who you want on the team.

There aren’t many great defensive stats, but for an arbitrary game you need arbitrary stats. Inge leads all players in ESPN Web Gem points. Basically that means the man makes some ridiculously good plays at third base.

It also helps to know what he went through last year. When Detroit acquired Miguel Cabrera, a third baseman at the time, Inge was the ninth man out of the field, becoming the gritty, scrappy “super utilityman.” He played center when Curtis Granderson was hurt, third when Cabrera or Carlos Guillen needed a day off, and catcher when Pudge Rodgriguez was traded to the Yankees, all the while publicy admitting he did not like catching. Almost as a reward for being jerked around, he was re-stationed to third this season.

And I haven’t even touched his stats at the plate, where he leads the team in home runs (19) and RBI (54).

At last announced count Kinsler was leading the polls. His offensive numbers are frighteningly similar to Inge’s. Adam Lind has great offensive numbers, and Pena quietly leads the AL in home runs with 23. None of them, however, can rhyme with orange, something once thought impossible. Vote for Inge.

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  • I disagree. If anyone deserves to make it, it would be Chone Figgins. If you look at just stats alone, there’s no way Inge deserves to be on the All Star team over Figgins. The only statistical category that Inge has over Figgins is Homeruns. But Inge also has 80 strike outs this season which is 8th overall in the AL. Figgins is top 10 in runs (most scored), hits, triples, walks, stolen bases, OBP, and batting average. Those numbers can’t lie.

  • Mike

    “The only statistical category that Inge has over Figgins is Homeruns.”

    Really? Cause looking at the stats right now it appears Inge has twice as many RBIs as Figgins (54 to 27). Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that RBIs are a statistical category. I also believe that slugging is a category. A category that Inge leads Figgins. And I don’t think one should glance over the Homerun comparison either. Inge has put 19 balls over the fence, which is considerably higher than Figgins’ Homeruns err, wait… Homerun.

    I would even go so far as to call Inge a more dominate fielder at third base. Overall, I’m giving the nod to Inge.