"Marcus Thames is one of the key components on this team," Leyland said, acknowledging that Thames obviously would like to play more. "I think he's been very professional about it. He's handled it like a pro. Hopefully, he's happy here.
"He can play on my team anytime -- anytime. I think he's a very valuable guy."
A little back-handed slap at Inge? I think so. Given the attitudes that Thames and Raburn have shown, I'd have to say it's becoming more and more likely that Brandon Inge becomes a sunk cost. He's worried so much about himself and starting at third base that he should realize he's merely the third-best right-handed option off the bench this year, and should be doing everything in his power to earn a spot on the team with his performance, not his contract. If Inge doesn't shape up, I'm thinking it may be best for the Tigers to just let him go. Stuff like this can just bring down the clubhouse, and a broken clubhouse is bound to make this potentially great team struggle. So long as a quality team can be fielded without him, the only loss is the $19 million owed. If Mike Illitch wants to win a title, I trust he'll know that cost is sunk.