(It’s late. I’m busy. Deal with it.)
“The undisputed leader so far. I caught just an inning of the Tigers/Mets Spring Training game because I have other things to do (mainly, not watch a spring training game) but from what I did see, Berry stood out. He was wearing one long sleeve and one short sleeve and some sweet sunglasses with a flat-billed, but not too flat-billed that it looks like he’s trying too hard, hat.”
Those were the first things I wrote about Quintin Berry. For the most part, they hold up. Especially the the hat thing. And since then he’s added something else: an MLB resume.
The James Mungro Memorial Award presented by (sponsors, get at me) runner-up really hasn’t slowed down since that Mets spring training game that first made me take notice of his stylish ways and write the passage above.
After five hits yesterday, his average stands at .333, which would be the highest on the team if Berry qualified.* He’s stolen a team-high nine bases. And his mocha skin color confuses, makes it hard to distinguish whether he’s white, black or Hispanic. It’s all fascinating to watch.
The guy he couldn’t replace in Spring Training, that forced him to spend some time in AAA, Austin Jackson, is doing what he does when he isn’t straining his abdominal and striking out less while doing it. The performance may have been expected, but in a year that in where everything just slightly hasn’t gone as expected**
And then there’s Andy Dirks.
The guy who looks confused all the time is STILL third on the team in RBIs despite not playing in a third of the team’s games. He’s hitting .328. Well, he was hitting .328 before he got tendonitis in his Achillies tendon. I mean, tendonitis in a tendon? That’s the last place I would expect tendonitis to show up.
Dombrowski says Dirks should be back after the All-Star break. When he does come back, that’ll be three solid outfielders, two unexpected contributions and one big boost from guys that aren’t named Cabrera and Fielder.
When the season began the question was would the Tigers’ other players be able to support the two fat men? The answer thus far, has been no. Luckily, they found replacements who did.
Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can’t do themselves. But Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Andy Dirks, Quintin Berry and Austin Jackson has a shot. As much as stars can push a team to greatness, it takes a couple of no names to push the team over the top.
Take solace in the fact that the Tigers have found theirs, and they sandwich a rising star.
Together the future is bright, even if Quintin Berry’s alone probably isn’t.
*(That might not be completely fair. A player needs 3.1 plate appearances per game played. Berry has 84. The Tigers have played 66 games. That’s 204 plate appearances.)
**(By the way. The Tigers are just three games back and there’s just less than 100 games to play. I want to say I told you so, and I am. I told you so. Suck it. OK, that wasn’t very nice. I apologize, but me telling you so still stands.)