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Grand Rapids Loves Brandon Inge

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If you haven't done so, check out Tom Gage's piece in today's Detroit News about Brandon Inge's promotional appearance at last night's Grand Rapids Griffins hockey game.

More than 1,000 people waited in line - some more than two hours - to get a chance to meet Inge. Maybe some of them were saying goodbye, while others were just expressing their enjoyment of Inge's career with the Tigers. Whatever the reason, it's pretty clear what Inge means to most of the Detroit Tigers' fanbase.

If there was a bitter note to last night's appearance, it's that Inge didn't speak with the media last night. David Mayo criticizes him for that in today's Grand Rapids Press, and was far too harsh about it, if you ask me. I'm not really sure what he was expecting.

What could Inge really have said? We already know what his preferences are. He wants to be a starting third baseman in the major leagues. Would it have been nice if he talked about possibly playing a super-sub role or maybe even moving back to catcher? Sure. But what if he hasn't even worked that out in his own mind yet?

Last night's appearance wasn't a press conference. It was a meet-and-greet with fans for autographs and photos. And from all accounts, Inge made time for everyone who wanted to meet him.

There will be a time for Inge to face the media, likely down in Lakeland when Spring Training begins. Perhaps Mayo should ask his editor to spring for a plane ticket, so he can get the answers that he supposedly wants so badly that he drove all the way over to Van Andel Arena last night in hopes of getting some face time with Inge.

One more Inge note: Jason Beck compares his situation to that of Joe Crede's with the White Sox. Have these two third basemen seen their careers move to a parallel path?