Sunday, September 02, 2012



I didn't bring my long telephoto to the game last night because it was a twilight/night game, and I wasn't planning on buying a ticket close to the field. Just wanted to hang out and watch some smokin' hot A's kick some Boston ass (and they did) and relax a bit.

Brandon Inge had been on the disabled list, and this was the day he was coming back after rehab. Started at 3rd. After an early inning, can't remember which, he walked off the field very slowly. I mentally noted it, and continued my walk around the Coliseum. Stopped to watch the A's bat some time later; I knew I was shooting at the net and that doesn't make for the greatest pictures, but I didn't much care. Just firing away.

Little did I know that I would capture what would be Brandon's last hit for 2012 - he had dislocated his shoulder. And he hit a two-run double.

He knew he was probably done for the year. He stayed in the game anyway. Knowing his season was likely over, Brandon Inge stepped to the plate one last time in the the third inning of Saturday's 7-1 win over the Red Sox and cracked a two-run double off the right field wall. The term "gamer" is often thrown around loosely, not in this case.

What Inge did was downright legendary.

"I can be at peace with myself, literally knowing I gave everything I have to offer to this team," Inge said after discussing his future with A's manager Bob Melvin. "I wanted to make sure that in a year like this I didn't leave anything on the table."

Inge was only batting .226 (and that's after picking it up from .200) - but he was third on the team in RBI's. Clutch. His presence in the clubhouse has been essential to this team's surprising success, and he plans to keep it that way.

"I was telling him when I get the surgery I want to come back right away, dress with the team, travel with the team," Inge said. "Because I feel in this clubhouse I can still make an impact."

He even hopes he can stick around and maybe serve some purposes for the team as a pinch hitter or DH before going under the knife, a wish he understands may not be granted.

I was always neutral on Inge when he was with the Tigers. Low average was balanced out by spectacular D and clutch hitting for me. But since he has been out here with the A's, I've really grown fond of him. Going to miss him on the field.

Will he be back next year? Will I? Hard to tell right now, so let's enjoy whatever season we have left.