In my last post I wrote about the incredible push that Tigers and Phillies fans took part in to drive Brandon Inge into the All-Star Game. Inge happened to return the favor to Tigers fans in the final game against Cleveland with an incredible 2 HR performance. Now that #15 has made the team, the question will be what his role, if any will look like on Tuesday night. First though, Brandon will be the latest Tiger to participate in MLB’s Home Run Derby.
The home run derby is what it is – an exhibition that likely draws more sustained interest than the Tuesday night game. The baseballs are clearly juiced, as shown by the record for most HR by a winning player came at Comerica Park in 2005 (Bobby Abreu, 41).
Mickey Tettleton was the first Tiger to participate in 1989, when he hit an amazing one solitary homer. Cecil Fielder, Damion Easley, Ivan Rodriguez and most recently, Magglio Ordonez in 2007 have all represented the Tigers in this event – with none winning.
While I don’t expect Inge to be the first Tigers’ champ this time around, there is no reason that he can’t be in the mix in the later rounds. As Tigers fans will hope all Detroit ballplayers get through the week without any injuries, there will be extra willing that Inge will take his successes from the Sunday Cleveland game and turn it into sustained results well beyond this week.