Hey, the Central is the Tigers main competition. These are the teams we are matched up against the most. So it makes perfect logical sense that these are the teams that we should be most compared to. Let's face it. No matter what your impressions of Inge are, if you look comparatively around the league he isn't that bad. Try watching other teams rather than just the Tigers on a station like ESPN. Do you just assume that Inge will be the second half worn-out Inge all year and that every other third baseman in the league puts up a fielding percentage of 97% and above?
Let's face it, Inge is no iron man, but they tried to make him out to be one. His bat got slower as the year went on and defensively he was far more overworked than any other third baseman in baseball. Offensively, you could say Inge was better than Beltre. Defensively Inge was better than David Wright. He's not the best, but Inge is also far from the worst third baseman out there. Is it that people really think Inge is all that bad, or is it more of a case of the reserves aren't as good as they'd like them to be? He's a good solid player we can win with. People talk like Inge has no business starting and should be a reserve, while a case can easily be made that he is better than a large number of other third basemen around the league.
Hey, I wish we had Eric Chavez too, but I'm also glad we don't have Sean Burroughs or Garret Atkins (*coors product who can't play defense*). The Tigers have areas they need improvements in. Every team does (perhaps this team more than most others), however, I don't even put "upgrading" over Inge in the top 5 of those areas. Is it Inge's fault that Magglio and Guillen got hurt or that Pudge went a little crazy last year or that Monroe turned out to be a pretty crappy center fielder or that Infante bombed? No. He was out there practically ever game consistently getting bombed by balls hit by opposing batters off of our soft-tossing staff and trying to lead-off with no one to drive him in, and he slowly faded as the year went on. Inge is a gamer, but I think he is also a guy who needs to sit a couple of games or more out a month.
Maybe it sounds like I'm being an "apologist", but at the same time, have I said anything untrue?