Brandon Inge overflow quotes
[To see the fans' reactions, click here.]
Inge on how Thursday started like any other getaway day: "I packed for New York. But I’m not going to New York."
Inge's general thoughts on what happened: "Umm, you know what? It’s one of those things that you can kind of see how things are going before they come. But it’s no hard feelings whatsoever. This is my family, this is where I’ve been my whole career and I’ll miss the guys. I will. But it’s my chance to maybe go play somewhere else. It may be a good thing, a good start for me personally. My heart will always been in Detroit, 100 percent. Forever. I appreciate everything that’s happened here, every opportunity I’ve been given the stuff we’ve accomplished. But, you know, it’s a business when you come down to the end of it. Like I said, I hope the team does well. I hope they go on and win it all."
Inge on whether or not he put too much pressure on himself to turn it around after a poor year last year: "Last year, not this year. I kind of understood my role. I competed in spring training for the spot, didn’t have the averages I really wanted to. I felt good at the plate, but things kind of fell where they may. Skip gave me the info, which was that I was going to be a part-time guy, and I accepted it. As long as I have the information, man-to-man, I accept responsibility for anything, and if that’s the role he wanted me to do, that’s the role I took on. I’m not saying I was very good at it. It’s not easy for me. Like I said, I’d rather be in there every day. There was nothing I could really do. Play as hard as I can. But not much you can do about that."
Inge on how hard it was in the last week to hear the boos at home: "Ah, it’s all right. I’m not worried about that. ... Detroit — this is an emotional city. This is a city that will back you, and you know they want their team to win, want their teams to do well, and when they’re not, they’ll let you know. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That just shows that they’re fans, one way or the other. Doesn’t matter. A fan that dislikes someone or likes someone — they’re still a fan. I respect them all, I really do.And there’s nothing that anyone could ever do that changed my opinion of Detroit, this organization. It’s been a class act, through and through. I’ve actually been very, very proud to be a part of it."
Inge on whether it's been hard walking around with the fans' disapproval: "Nothing that Detroit fans could ever do that would bother me. I know better. I’ve been here long enough to know how it is, and how it isn’t in this whole state. I never get the horror stories that everyone talks about."
Inge on how he thought the experiment at second base went: "I think it went fine. I had just about every test that could be, and I enjoyed it, I really did enjoy it. It’s something that I do understand — that second is a lot more difficult than people know. And it’s something that I was starting to feel comfortable there, so it was a matter of getting in there every single day. Like I said, it’s not easy getting in the game, then sitting for two or three, then getting another game, then sitting for two or three. That’s been more of a hard adjustment for me than second base."
Alex Avila's feelings on Thursday: "I'm sure the way we're playing had something to do with it. It's just part of the business of the game, which sucks at times. I've known Brandon for almost 10 years now. It's tough. I really don't' know what else to say about it. It's part of the game that's really hard. It happens to everybody at some point. It's tough to handle, at least for me since I've been here I haven't really had to handle losing a teammate like this. I just won't get to hang out with him as much as I normally do."
Avila on what Inge has meant to the organization, and himself: "I've known Brandon for, like I said, 10 years now. Ever since I came here, since I was just a fan, he's always been like the heart and soul of the Detroit Tigers, always doing so much for the community, kind of like a fixture. When the team was bad to kind of making the turnaround, to being competitive year in, year out. He's always been in the thick of things. Definitely a big part of this community and this organization.
"I'm going to miss seeing his ugly face every day, I really am."
Interjected response from Inge: "That is not even close. You're way uglier than I am."
Avila on what Inge had done for him over the years: "When I was a sophomore in high school and he was just getting started, kind of from the get-go he always treated me like a little brother. I remember when I got drafted and I was catching, he went back to catching, I remember coming in the clubhouse right before I had to leave to West Michigan after I got drafted, he was like, 'Hurry up and get up here so I don't have to catch anymore.' Just stuff like that. Great guy."
Avila on the reaction of the Tigers clubhouse to the news: "I think we all are a little bit (shock). Like I said, he's been here for a long time, he was kind of like that fixture in the clubhouse when the team was making the transition from being really bad for a long time to being competitive every year, kind of in the thick of things, always doing what was asked of him, doing the best he could and working his butt off. Just a good guy that you want on your team."
Ramon Santiago on how the news was received: "It was hard. A great guy, you know? I’m sorry it happened to him."
GM Dave Dombrowski: “Brandon Inge has done a tremendous job for this organization for a long time. I personally want to thank him for everything he’s done for us. He’s been a true soldier throughout the years. He’s been a Tiger. He will always be a Tiger.”
Dombrowski on how much fan reaction/sentiment played in to the decision to release Inge: "None whatsoever."
Dombrowski on the boos for Inge at the end: “I understand at times there's been some ups and downs ... how this guy’s worked, how he’s represented us off the field, you couldn’t find a finer individual. We will be forever thankful for what he has done for us.”
Manager Jim Leyland on Inge and the situation at second base: "He's been a true soldier for a long time, even long before I was here. He's been with me here six-plus years now and like I say, a true solider. I think the big issue really, and Dave touched on it. We've just got a logjam there (2B) and if we're gonna find out if somebody can play or not, you've just got to put somebody in there and let them play a while and see what happens. We're struggling offensively. Santi one day, Raburn one day, Ingey one day, that's probably just not really the best way to go about it. So I think the decision was made, we talked long and hard about it. This is what we came up with. Like I said, he's been a true soldier with a lot of great memories here. It's not my happiest day obviously. But that's the way it is. You have to make tough decisions and I think at the end of the day, it's one we felt we had to make."