Save for a stint in the minors last year and rehab starts every now and then, Brandon Inge has been in the Major Leagues since making his debut in April 2001. Over 11-plus seasons, Inge has always worn a Detroit Tigers uniform in the Majors. When he was released last week, he said his heart would 100-percent always be with the Tigers. That is, until he signed with the Oakland Athletics on Monday and started at third base for them hours later.
It's a debut that wasn't met with much fanfare around the nation. But there were some Tigers fans who had their game washed away by rain interested in seeing Inge play for another team. Even for those who were happy to see Inge go, it was strange seeing the longtime Tiger in a different MLB uniform. It might have been even stranger to see the ex-Tiger hit the ball hard in his first and third at bats, walk in his second and then single in his fourth. Yes, Inge, who was becoming the butt of all jokes in Detroit because of the toothpick he'd take to the dish and would only use to check his swing and clean his teeth, had four quality at bats in his debut with the Oakland A's.
Maybe there is such a thing as benefitting from a fresh start. After all, Inge has always been a tremendous athlete. Heh, maybe Oakland was meant to be his destination all along. Or maybe Brandon Inge will simply serve his role in replacing Brandon Inge.
For pictures and video of Inge's first game as an Athletic, head to Detroit4lyfe.