The "Q" Train: Why if the Detroit Tigers were to ride Quintin Berry every day, it would lead them nowhere
But in truth, Berry has played a minimum role in the Tigers' recent 10-game flurry, which has seen them win seven times to move within three games of the lead in the decidedly mediocre American League Central (only in this division, it seems, can a club make up make three games so quickly with such a modest "surge." Actually, the Tigers let the three losses get away late in those games; they should have a 10-game winning streak going and be tied for the division lead).
In the seven victories, Berry hasn't exactly been a run producer. He has one RBI and three runs scored. Even in the Tigers' victory Sunday, he scored one run, and didn't knock in any. He had been hitting .182 in the two weeks leading up to Sunday.
In truth, the biggest reason is the Tigers have been able to turn it around is the return of Austin Jackson, who replaced Berry in the Tigers' starting lineup.
The idea Berry is "fresh and new, a youthful infusion of energy into the Tigers lineup" is laughable. He is older than both Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch.
When Boesch had a 4-for-5 night, hitting a home run, driving in two runs and scoring two at Wrigley Field recently, there wasn't the start of "Boeschemania." Young isn't having a very good season offensively based on his career numbers, but he was 10th in AL MVP voting as recently as 2010 and did hit three home runs and have an OPS of 1.170 in a tight, five-game ALDS victory over the Yankees last fall. There is a track record there.
The criticism of manager Jim Leyland not playing Berry more is foolish. He is picking his spots where Berry can have an impact. Leyland rode Berry while he was hot, sat him when he cooled down and put him out there on Sunday against a right-hander with an ERA pushing seven and a WHIP over 1.8, Jeremy Gutherie.
All that is not meant as a knock on Berry. He was a great minor league free agent signing for the Tigers, and did a terrific job bridging the time Jackson was out. He is a tremendous story. Fans are rooting like crazy for him in this town, and they should. He certainly earned his spot on the club.
But Quintin Berry is, at best, a role player, and a relatively small piece of a much bigger puzzle.If the Tigers are forced to ride him - if Young, Boesch, Dirks, Ryan Raburn don't come through - they will be on the train to nowhere.