Posted by Bob Biscigliano
Inge is safe! Gets touched in the wee-wee and signs extension Bonderman bursts Inge's bubble, blows his own & signs better extension
I never thought anything would surpass the feeling of gathering with family members and sharing embarassing stories about eachother while enjoying roasted chestnuts and spiked egg nog. That was until the feeling I got after I made romantic explosion on Dave Dembrowski's stomach after the Detroit Tigers gave contract extensions to Brandon Inge and Jeremy Bonderman. Their extensions, and the love affair with Dombrowski, (not to mention the Sheffield trade!) have fulfilled the upper half of this year's Christmas list. (The other half of the list consists of tickets to a Dancing with the Stars episode and the rental of bodyguard Steve from Jerry Springer to protect me from World anger and poop mouths.)
The significance of the contract extensions goes beyond satisfying Tigers' faithfuls' holiday dreams and locking those players up for the long haul. More importantly, it allows the Notorious I-N-G-E and Bonderful to direct their focus on the upcoming 2007 World Series run. Because I know exactly how hard it is from my experiences with video game franchises, going into a season in the last year of a contract can be pretty distracting. BInge and Bondermania would definately have their fair share of disturbances. In addition to the constant reminder that stats affect how much money would be offered during the off season, Inge would have been worrying about if he went to a team that would make him shave his flavor saver and if he did go to a different team, who would replace Vance Wilson on road trips? Inge would be a disaster if he had to worry about that during the season. Bonderman would have to worry about learning to read, since a lot of words and contract offers would be thrown his way after the season. He shouldn't have to worry about learning to read during the already stressful 162 game season. So their extensions are a huge relief.
Now that the two major contract extensions have been taken care of, the Tigers still have some holes to fill. And not the hole in the ground Jose Mesa may fill if he peels over during the middle of the year. Due to the loss of Jamie Walker, acquiring a left handed reliever becomes the focus during the off season. Unfortunately, Matt Croswell and John Eshelman retired early to pursue their golfing careers or else they would have been simple and reasonable solutions. Instead, Dombrowski must scout amongst the sparsed lefties still lingering around the free agent market. If he comes up empty he will probably just turn to what he already has in the bullpen, Mike Maroth, Wilfredo Ledezma or the food market and transform a pumpkin into a legitimate lefty set-up guy. I have faith that Dombrowski can and will do whatever it takes. Up to this point, he has turned a team that lost 119 losses just 3 seasons ago around into a silver medal winning World Series team. And now the trade for Sheffield, signing of Mesa, extensions to Inge and Bonderman, and me burning Zumaya's game room down so he can never get a hurt wrist from playing guitar hero again, the Tigers look to have a year very similar to last season. Hopefully though, at the end we will be smoking stogies, planning trips to the zoo with the World Series trophy, and Sean Casey will standing safely on first base.