Monday, May 9, 2011

The Unspeakable Perils of Being a Tiger Wife

The puff piece is sports writing at its worst.

I hate puff pieces. Some of you may enjoy them. If so, I suggest moving along. They are ridiculous to me. Unnecessary. They make my head hurt and the crazy voices start. Rick Reilly has made a ton of cash off of them since selling his soul to the devil.

And I found this one at the Detroit News site. It was Mother’s Day on Sunday, and to all the moms out there, I hope you had a wonderful day. Your job is a difficult and extremely important one that goes underappreciated in our society. But this article…good gawd. News writer Rod Beard should be kicked in the throat over this junk.

For Shani Inge, Mother's Day is like many other summer holidays — she spends them without her husband, Brandon, the Tigers third baseman.

The poor thing. But I’m pretty sure that the $5.5 million Brandon will make this and next year each guaranteed and the $29+ million Brandon has made up to this point to hit .220 (or lower) can SOMEHOW soften the blow of not having him around on fucking Memorial Day.

Jeebus…after next year the Tigers will have paid Brandon Inge over $40 million over his career. Think about that and try not to slice your wrists.

The same scenario has played out for Brandon's 10 seasons in the major leagues. This time, he is in Toronto, in the midst of a seven-game road trip.

He can quit and go home, you know. Any day. Today, if he wants. I’ll help the guy pack. I’m sure many of you might be willing to chip in on a U-Haul, too.

Throughout Brandon's career, Shani has come to accept his erratic schedule, but also has struck a balance between enduring the rigors of being a full-time mother, a one-woman support system and having interests of her own.

Shani Inge is a hero. Not like those slutty single moms out there supporting their kids and working multiple jobs by themselves. Not like the countless families out there with both parents struggling to find work full-time to keep a roof over the family’s head in today’s sad economic times. Not like those whiny women who have loved ones oversees being shot at on a daily basis.

Shani’s husband has to go places like CANADA! And play a GAME for a living! The horror!

It's not an easy life,


but Shani — like many of the Tigers' wives — takes her role seriously, whether it's caring for her sons, 6-year-old Tyler and 3-year-old Chase, or volunteering in the community.

$40 million. I’m weeping right now as I type this.

With a baseball season that lasts from March to October, there isn't a lot of time for a typical family structure to coincide with the season.

Meanwhile, from October to February, Daddy is home every day. With $40 million. Those poor people. HOW DO THEY GET BY? Will someone PLEASE think of the children?

Many families choose to take advantage of the four-month offseason to take long vacations or spend quality time; others use the down time to relax and make up for the time away.

Shani said that she and Brandon went to the Bahamas and on a Disney Cruise to try to have some quality time with their boys.
It’s a hard knock life…for us. It’s a hard knock life…FOR US!

For Carrie Kelly, 28, whose husband, Don, is a Tigers utility player, the change in lifestyle was not so drastic; in fact, she has experienced it all her life.

Now this woman…I have sympathy. Imagine every day waking up and looking in the mirror and knowing that you married Don Kelly. This woman is a hero, folks. Where she finds the strength, I’ll never know.

She played basketball in college at Wagner University and professionally in Ireland in 2005. Her father, Tom Walker, played six seasons in the major leagues — including with the Tigers in 1975. Her brother, Neil Walker, also plays professionally.

And for the record, I’m pretty sure that I’d rather see Carrie, old man Tom, or brother Neil on the Tiger roster over Don at this point.

"Before I met Donny, I knew what it was about," Carrie said. "Between the psychology of understanding what it was about and what he's physically going through, it really wasn't an adjustment.

What exactly is he physically going through sitting on the bench four days a week while striking out and making errors the other couple days? Courage, people. Courage.

"I'm just thankful and willing to make the sacrifice so he can do what he loves."

Don Kelly loves being horrid at baseball. You read it here first, kids. And we have Carrie to thank for it.

But the sacrifice also holds true for Carrie, who cares for 2-year-old son Brett and is expecting their second child in August.

My lord…Don Kelly keeps breeding. Someone stop him!

"Before the kids, we loved to travel, and we got used to it. But when we threw the kids in the mix, it got interesting," Carrie said. "But I'm immersed in motherhood now and I don't miss (playing). I'm really happy being a mom."

Like Inge, I’m pretty sure that Tiger fans everywhere will understand if Don feels the need to immediately retire and become a stay-at-home dad so Carrie can go back to Ireland and suck at basketball. Don, if you ever loved your poor wife, please do so. I’ll even babysit on Fridays so you can play softball or something. Trust Your Party Host. I’ll even show your kids how to swing a bat properly. Then they can show you! Everyone wins!

Carrie said she already got her Mother's Day gift before Don left for the road trip.

And here I thought Don leaving would be the greatest gift of all. AMIRIGHT!?!


"I got jewelry — and that's always a good Mother's Day gift," she said. "In-season holidays always take a back seat because we're so busy."

Jewelry. Don Kelly’s wife got jewelry for Mother’s Day. Thank goodness there’s a writer for the Detroit News with the COURAGE to write about these poor women.

I hope Rod Beard falls into a pit of cobras high on PCP.

Unlike the images that many reality TV shows portray of athletes' wives, it's not about popularity and living the high life. While Brandon is away, Shani not only has her hands full with the boys, but also in her community-service work.

Ahh, yes. The sick kids and whatnot. Look, I applaud the Inges and the work they do in the community. It is admirable in so many ways and I can’t imagine the number of lives they have impacted in a positive way. Bravo.

But no one is forcing Shani to do any of this. Don’t tell me how hard it all is on her. Like everyone else reading this, I have REAL PROBLEMS and don’t want to hear about this. It makes me want to start fires. Speaking of which, will the Inge family’s address be posted in this article?

/looks ahead


She has a master's degree and worked for the University of Michigan in government relations before transitioning to being a full-time mother.

Government relations? Like Clinton and Lewinsky?


Thank you. Thank you. Try the veal.

"The biggest adjustment for me was going from working full-time and having an outlet and something I could have every day to escape some of the ups and downs that come along with baseball," Shani said. "Being a full-time mother gives me an opportunity to do a lot of things with them and we've always been heavily involved in the community and doing a lot of charity work."

Again, am I supposed to be feeling bad for Shani Inge here? She is home with her children every day. Her husband is rich and beloved in the city of Detroit. What woman reading this article wouldn’t want to have her “hardships”?

But not working in an office doesn't mean that she doesn't have a full day with a myriad of responsibilities and stresses. In fact, she struggles to even make it to Tigers games at Comerica Park.

See, Jen? Marrying Magglio won’t get you to the park every day. Let the dream go.

"It's pretty well known that I don't get to very many games," Shani said. "It's a running joke with my friends because they all wish they could go to more games and I don't. It's different this year because Tyler is in kindergarten. With a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, you have to try to find balance."

This just in: toddlers are difficult. News at eleven.

Shani said she gets a greater joy out of being a mother and being able to drop the boys off at school and pick them up and to be a hands-on parent instead of hiring nannies or au pairs to do the work for them.

"Those are the kinds of luxuries that baseball has afforded us in that I get to be there for our children," Shani said. "For a lot of moms that I'm friends with and that I talk to, they have to rush and drop their kids off at school and then can't pick them up because they have to be at the office."

I bet those moms hate Shani Inge. Think they talk about her behind her back? I guarantee they do. Ha…women. Filthy backstabbing creatures. Well, except for you, dear female reader or two that I have. You’re classy dames.

Beyond the typical maternal duties, the wives must also act as their husbands' psychologists and understand all of the difficulties of their personal and professional lives.

This puff piece is going on for too long. I GET IT! Tiger wives are like all wives. Except they’re rich. Get ON with it!

For Kristina Avila, who has been married to Alex, the Tigers catcher, since December, it's working out so far.

Is Kristina really the best wife you could be talking to? I mean we’re one month into her first season as a Tiger wife. Is she supposed to be an expert?

Ya know who they should talk to? Miguel Cabrera’s wife! THAT’S the interview that I’ve been dying to read. I’d love to hear her talk about some...stuff.

And why stop with the wives? Talk to Verlander’s girlfriend. She’s almost as hot as Lauren, the Fox Sports Detroit girl. Give it up for Lauren!
I just did that to anger certain people. And cuz she’s the only Detroit personality other that Mig and JV that hasn’t been shitty this year.

"He's really good about not getting too high or too low," she said. "I get more nervous or excited (than he does), but if he gets upset, he won't say anything."

“Also, I have to completely shave his entire body three times a day. Alex thinks he’s people, but he’s more ape than man. But I love him, nonetheless.”

Kristina still is adjusting to being married, and with Alex firmly entrenched as the starting catcher, she has some stability.

"The toughest part was trying to find something for me to do. It's hard to just go to games; we all have something that we like to do," said Kristina, who worked full-time last year but now is volunteering. "It's fun to have something of your own to enjoy doing."

Sigh. The poor woman. She doesn’t know what to do with herself. Too much free time. And going to ALL the home games? THE BURDEN!

Bree Schlereth, who married relief pitcher Daniel in November and has no children, finds balance by teaching gymnastics during the season. Because her family is originally from Michigan, she has a good support system in place and can focus on herself as well as Daniel.

Phew. At least ONE of the Tiger wives has hope during these difficult summer months. I can’t believe we actually cheer when these brave souls are playing ball away from their families.

From now on, I think Dave Dombrowski should modify his “only one black guy on the team” team policy to “only one black guy and only single guys”. Then I’d feel better about all of this.

For the Inges the ups and downs are just a part of the give-and-take that baseball affords. Although the lifestyle is taxing at times,


Brandon manages to separate his professional life from his home life.

"Brandon has been amazing about never bringing his emotions and what's going on at field home with him," Shani said. "You still have that element of knowing when he's not hitting as well as he wants to be, you want to support him."

Read that again.

She has the element of knowing when Brandon isn’t hitting well. At least she's smarter than Dombrowski and Leyland.

Yup. This woman is one-of-a-kind. Thank you, Rod Beard. I hope you win awards for this piece. You should be proud of yourself.

Sigh. Again, a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there, including the Tiger wives. Just don’t tell me how hard they have it married to the Tiger players.

Ever again.


Laura said...
So many different emotions about this article. But can I just say I hate Rod Beard and "Lauren" so much??

Julian said...

You forgot to mention the benefit she gets from not having to stare at his tattoos while he's away.

I wonder if he got those inked so he wouldn't forget their names. LEFT ARM SMALL ONE RIGHT ARM BIG ONE.

Unfortunately, when he got them with Bonderman they inadvertently got each others kids' names . Oops.

Chuck Chessor said...

Puff piece? This is like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man of articles! Why were Avila and Schlereth included.....I thought this was a Mothers day article? What a piece of crap....

JacksTigers said...

Don Kelly's brother in law is Neil Walker? THE Neil Walker? The top prospect for the Pirates, Neil Walker??

h2opolopunk said...

For Shani Inge, Mother's Day is like many other summer holidays"

I could be wrong, but isn't Mother's Day a Spring holiday?

TartanElk said...

Really. He is. I think we should work out a swap of Kelly for Walker.