Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hopefully Brandon Was Just Saving It For When It Counted

This is gonna be a REALLY short post. I just got home and the All-Star Game starts very shortly (supposedly…realistically, there’ll probably be an hour or so of FOX pregame hoopla before any meaningful pitches are actually thrown). I did watch the entire Home Run Derby last night even though Inge made a real early exit. Hey, he’s not the first to have been shut out, and it certainly didn’t seem to put a damper on his enthusiasm. Also, Chris Berman came up with a horrible nickname for him and then sounded more and more like a chicken as the night went on. By the way, they really should do one of those “This is Sportscenter” commercials with Inge. He’s such a goof that he’d be up to almost anything. But they won’t do it. Trust me.

Okay, now the fun begins with the All-Star Game. Roy Halladay against Tim Lincecum. Hopefully this thing doesn’t drag on too long, because I do have to get up early. Remember, back in my season preview I predicted the National League would win, but I’ll be rooting very hard for the AL. And I’ll be rooting very hard for the Tiger representatives to come up big. According to Danny Knobler, Edwin Jackson is scheduled to pitch fourth for the AL (after Halladay, Buerhle, and Greinke). Verlander, along with Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield, will only be used in extra innings (presumably because Verlander and Beckett both pitched on Sunday and using Wakefield would raise the issue of who would catch him). I’d imagine we’d see Granderson at some point, though Joe Maddon says it could be in any of the outfield spots. Brandon Inge? Well, like Carlos Guillen last year, his versatility could hurt his chances of making it into the game (the only reason Guillen played last year is because the game went deep into extra innings). There’s also a chance he could catch, which I’m sure none of us want. We all want to see him at the hot corner. However, Evan Longoria has had to pull out with an infected ring finger, so Michael Young will be starting at third base. Chone Figgins is taking Longoria’s place on the AL roster. You would think that since Inge won a fan vote and Figgins was just an injury replacement, that Brandon would have “seniority” to relieve Michael Young at third, but you don’t know (But hey, Figgins can also play the outfield and second base, so why not make him the “just in case” bench player? He’d make a hell of a pinch-runner as well). I do have Mood Music for you tonight. I was all set to use the most obvious choice (Smashmouth’s “All-Star”), but another song came up on my iPod this morning and it immediately made me think of Brandon Inge. He’s not my favorite Tiger (more like 4th or 5th), but knowing all that he has gone through in his career, his boyish excitement at being an All-Star is nothing short of infectious, if not touching. So Brandon, this is for you, buddy.

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