Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Gabby Douglas Wins Gold In Women's Gymnastics Individual All-Around
Gabby Douglas now has an individual all-around gold medal to go with the team gold she won with her U.S. teammates. Dubbed the "Flying Squirrel" for her impressive array of aerial skills, Douglas edged Russian gymnast Victoria Komova, who took silver. Bronze went to Aliya Mustafina of Russia by way of a tiebreaker after American Aly Raisman finished with an identical score of 59.566.
The 16-year-old Douglas scored 62.232 while Komova scored 61.973. The Russian star took the last turn on the floor and couldn't reach the score needed to overtake Douglas. Beaming after finishing a sterling turn on the floor, Douglas could only wait and watch. Komova needed a score of 15.36 or higher to pass Douglas for gold but only earned a 15.100 for a solid routine.
Douglas opened with a 15.966 on the vault, despite coming perilously close to stepping off the track on her landing. In first place after the first rotation, Douglas scored 15.733 on the uneven bars, 15.500 on the beam and closed with a 15.033 on the floor.
Douglas' all-around gold medal marks the fourth time that an American woman has won the event, including the two previous golds won by Nastia Luikin (2008) and Carly Patterson (2004). Mary Lou Retton was the first American woman to win the all-around title in 1984.
Having performed in all rotations during the U.S. team's gold medal effort in the team competition and captured individual all-around gold, Douglas' triumph over teammate Jordyn Wieber at the U.S. Olympic Trials no longer seems like such an upset.
Entering the London Olympics, Douglas' teammate Jordyn Wieber was the favorite to win individual all-around gold. In a surprising turn of events, Wieber didn't even qualify for the individual final, finishing behind Doulgas and Aly Raisman during qualification and missing out due to the two-per country rule.
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 14:13
Category: Breaking News Written by Politics 365
It’s not like the issue of modern voter suppression hadn’t been on the political radar until 2012. Signs of a war brewing over Voter ID laws were seen as far back as before the election of then Candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Hoosier State Indiana’s infamous Photo ID law trekked its way to the Supreme Court, barely noticed by even the most scrutinizing politicos. At the time, euphoria over the election of the first Black president caused folks to slip into a “post-racial” snooze. The African American political establishment made little fuss about it at the time, preoccupied with the recession and an evaporating Black middle class; only civil rights lawyers on the fringes were paying any real attention. In the meantime, Republican operatives were sharpening knives and constructing an electoral hit-job of redistricting schemes, shadow monies and a complex web of Voter ID laws.
There are significant problems on both sides of this debate that most won’t discuss until well after the election. That depends on the outcome. Everyone on the left will point fingers at it if the incumbent President Obama loses, since it is estimated some 5 million Democratic base voters will be impacted by the patchwork of what is described as sinister voter suppression laws in nearly 20 states, many of them key battleground states in the election. But, if he wins, the right will go about its business imploding and hobbling together a list of likelies for 2016 while the left will merely wipe its forehead with “dodged-that-bullet” relief.
Comically, Politico’s Emily Schultheis recently described the pattern of voter suppression efforts an “unprecedented flurry of new laws.” That attitude is what’s making the counter-effort too little, too late.
First: voter suppression is built into the American political fabric, a practice as familiar as fireworks, baseball games and hot dog stands. Let’s not act new on this as if, suddenly, American politics woke up one morning with a sinister grin on its face. This is something that has hampered voters of color for quite some time – in fact, since the writing of the Constitution. To call it “unprecedented” assumes it really is when it’s not.
Secondly: the sudden mass crying-foul movement of loosely affiliated progressive groups is all Johnny and Jenny come lately. The Democratic Party establishment is just as guilty for initially dismissing it and now scrambling to avoid what will amount to an election sucker punch; the president’s re-election team, so unbelievably skittish on keeping him from looking “too Black” didn’t want him near it – but, when they finally get it, they’re all late to the game.
Because organizations such as the NAACP and others take political lead from Democrats (let’s not front on this), the rapid response is dishearteningly lacking. While the urgency might be there (like a rushed “oh s*$!”), no one has successfully explained exactly what’s going on to the very people who will be impacted: Why is this important? What’s the real world impact? The conversation is too high level and too esoteric for the consumption of average folks on the streets who could ultimately show up at the polls on November 6th and find themselves being turned away or in long lines behind irate voters taking on polling judges.
Lastly, the voter suppression conversation – whether you are on the left side or right side of the fence – misses a larger point. Our “democracy” is fundamentally flawed and we need to seriously stop, take stock of the political process in front of us and figure out how to fix it before we end up in a bad place. Proof of this is the very fact that we’re even having a debate about voter suppression. The deep, intrinsic flaws are what brought us to this point where we could be faced with potential social unrest should millions find themselves strafed by an electoral sneak attack. Why are so few voting? And why haven’t we developed a uniform, national standard for voting in place of the current 50-state (plus territories) patchwork of election laws. Yes, Republicans are playing with fire in a time of great economic distress. But, perhaps we should take advantage of the crisis to focus on what’s wrong in the first place, from the low voter turnout to the perception of a rigged political machine.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 23:38
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
President Obama's ancestry has always been a hot topic. Between the birther debates that the Supreme Court dismissed last month to the country's differing opinions about his race, the commander-in-chief's biological roots have long been a hot-button issue.
But the most recent discovery into the president's complicated genealogy will likely fuel even more chatter.
According to the New York Times, a team of genealogists has discovered the president's slave ancestry.
As the son of a Kenyan father and white American mother, Obama is an African-American in the most literal sense. But until now Obama's African American cred in a more contemporary sense had been a source of debate, since unlike most American blacks he was not thought to have descend directly from enslaved Africans.
However, the researchers say that not only did the president descend from an enslaved African, his ancestor was likely the first ever documented black slave in America. Furthermore, Obama's slave heritage unfurls from perhaps the most unlikely familial line: his white mother.
The findings, which were announced Monday by Ancestry.com, stretch back nearly four centuries tracing Obama's mother to a slave in colonial Virginia named John Punch. Although lacking definitive proof, the team said it had evidence that "strongly suggests" the president's relation to Punch.
According to the Times:
In 1640, Mr. Punch, then an indentured servant, escaped from Virginia and went to Maryland. He was captured there and, along with two white servants who had also escaped, was put on trial. His punishment — servitude for life — was harsher than what the white servants received, and it has led some historians to regard him as the first African to be legally sanctioned as a slave, years before Virginia adopted laws allowing slavery.
The Obamas genealogy spurred interest in June 2012 when Michelle Obama's white ancestry was uncovered. These discoveries--and thousands of others being made by average citizens as researching family origins becomes increasingly more popular--prove the interweaving of ethnicities over time is a true representation of America's melting pot history.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 23:37
Category: Breaking News Written by huffington Post
Jay-Z NBA 2K13: Rapper Announced As 'Executive Producer'
Rapper turned entrepreneur Jay-Z has expanded his business portfolio by scoring an exclusive deal with video game developer, 2K Sports.
Today the company released a sneak preview clip from the latest installment of their hugely successful NBA franchise, NBA 2K13, featuring none other than Hov as the game’s executive producer.
While the brief, 24-second clip released today was impressive, featuring highlights including NBA legend Michael Jordan dunking to Jay-Z's smash hit, “Public Service Announcement,” it is still unclear how much creative input the rapper has had in developing the game, which is scheduled to be released on October 2.
Garnering executive producer cred for the video game is just the latest in the mogul's growing sports and gaming influence. He is also part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets, which he helped woo from New Jersey,and last month it was announced that the Grammy Award-winner will also serve as a director for Brooklyn Arena LLC, the parent company of the team’s Barclays Center arena.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 00:00
Category: Top News Written by Leland Stein III
LONDON — It was a no-win situation for London’s 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, simply because there was no way they could quite outdo what the world’s largest country (China) did during the 2008 Games in Beijing.
I sat in the Olympic Birdcage Stadium in Beijing in complete amazement and wonderment at the Chinese’s’ innovative aerial and mystical presentation, sitting in the London Olympic Stadium I was not sure what to expect.
I asked myself, “How could London match Beijing 2008? They could not.
But, as I sat in the Olympic Stadium with over 80,000 rabid fans and over one billion television viewers world-wide, the London Opening Ceremony surprised me with its fun presentation. It was enjoyable and took us through its rich cinema, comedy, and music history and, a surprising salute to the digital age – although the industrial salute age was a bit boring.
Smartly, the British did not try to outdo Beijing they produced a uniquely British production that was who they are and what they have been about.
Sure the visual musical presentation of every Opening Ceremony reflects the city hosting this mega sports festival; however, the appearance of the competing nations is my favorite part of the Opening Ceremony. Each team’s selection of the flag bearer, the wearing of their native garb, and the different size of each nation’s teams from very large to very small . . . I dig it because it is about the athletes.
Then there was our beautiful First-Lady (Michelle Obama) in the Stadium as our representative welcoming in the USA athletes. Then, there was also former Olympic Gold medalist Muhammad Ali on the field to touch and bless the Olympic flag before it was hung high . . . oh yeah!!!
London is city in the United Kingdom that has over 7,500,000 million people and has given us Shakespeare, James Bond, Mary Poppins and Harry Potter, the Tower Bridge, the Thames River, BBC News, English and the beginnings of Democracy. As well as Wimbley Stadium and the Wimbledon Tennis Center, and, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Amy Winehouse, Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls are recognized as the crossroads of world trade and world culture.
Being that defined as a world power gives it the hustle and bustle greater than New York, a rail system and bus system unparallel in America, a diverse population that all live in the same areas, and, a mixture of the old history and the new today.
Still in all its glory London has many of the same problems urban America has - the poverty, classism, congestion and old infrastructure.
In fact, talking to a few Londoners they told me that there had been a Rodney King-type riot. In August 2011, a police officer shot and killed a black man during an attempt to arrest him. From there several London boroughs, districts of cities and towns across England suffered widespread rioting, looting and arson where thousands took to the streets. Place in Tottenham, Hackney, Brixton, Chingford, Peckham, Enfield, Croydon, Ealing and East Ham all experienced rampant looting and arson attacks of unprecedented levels.
In spite of it misgivings, London’s greatest strength remains the diversity of its people. Londoners come from all corners of the world. Reports note that London is witnessing an expansion of cultural and artistic life not seen for decades.
Getting back to the Opening Ceremony, seeing all the world’s nations come together in a celebration of peace through athletic competition always brings me back to the words of the late Rodney King: “Why can’t we all get along?”
Seeing Iran and Israel and North and South Korea all on the same field together proves that it is possible for u to all get along. At least for a few weeks the Olympic moto “Citius, Altius, Fortius” – which translate to “faster, higher, stronger,” will be in the forefront of the international discourse for now.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 23:20
Category: Top News Written by Leland Stein III
Dr Leroy Walker. – USOC photo
I remember having a one-on-one interview with NFL legend Jim Brown in his Hollywood Hills home. He invited me to his house and gave me unexpected access to him and his life.
I asked him why, he said: “We have to tell and document our own history.”
That interjection from Brown has stuck with me my entire writing career, and, with the recent passing of Dr. LeRoy Tashreau Walker, 93, it only reaffirmed the objective of the Black press to me.
People all know about Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, so why isn’t Walker’s name mentioned in the same category?
No matter, Walker, who was born in a poor area of Atlanta in 1918, was taken to Harlem at the age of nine by his brother, Joe, after his father, a railroad fireman, died. According to historical writings, he worked in Joe’s barbeque restaurants and window cleaning business to earn money during the Great Depression.
Being the youngest of 13 children he was the one sent away because they could not feed that many mouths. When he got sent to Harlem at about 9 years old, he became the only one in his family to go to college.
In his long life, he overcame poverty and discrimination to earn honors as an athlete and coach, but he also was an academic. He was the first African-American to earn a doctorate in biomechanics, and he went on to become chancellor of N.C. Central University from 1983 to 1986.
Amid all of his other accomplishments, all his firsts, all the ground he broke and trails he blazed, it was the connections Walker made, for himself and for others, that really define his legacy.
As the first black coach of an U.S. Olympic track team, the first black president of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the track coach who would one day become university chancellor, Walker became and international figure knowing everyone, and everyone knew him. He could move in any crowd, the kind of person who knew Jesse Owens as well as George Steinbrenner. His funeral, at Duke Chapel drew a crowd from all corners of the world.
When Dr. Walker became present of the U.S. Olympic Committee he quickly notices that the powers that be were all with males. So in his educated manner went he did not attach the USOC. He instead put together a business plan to a grant foundation and they gave him money.
Walker took that money and cajoled the USOC to match the contribution. He created the Project GOLD Initiative that select 100 men and women throughout America to come to the USOC headquarters in Colorado Springs to create a talent pool of people for possible selection on the USOC Committee or a National governing body (i.e. USA Basketball, Gymnastics, Swimming or Track and Field).
For some reason I was chosen from the nation-wide search for the Project GOLD Initiative. There I got to meet and know people from all over the country. However, the one the stood out to me was Dr. Walker.
He took advantage of his status as the USOC President and pushed all for inclusion, and, fortunately out of thousands of Americans I was included in the process.
From Dr. Walkers’ outreach I eventually was appointed to an US Olympic Committee.
The Olympics are a one of a kind international event. It embodies all that is good with humanity, competition, dedication, nationalism, and human excellent in a given genre.
Sure the terrorist in our world recognize that the Olympic Games is the biggest collective of humanity it our world, so there have been Olympic moments where politics and turned to violence.
No matter, since Dr Walker selected me as a worthy candidate for an USCO appointment in 1996, I have covered every Olympic Games since, and, what an eye opener to the world it has been for me. That is exactly what Dr. Walker told me about what he wanted Project GOLD to accomplish.
Walker became a member of more than a dozen halls of fame, but his most impressive legacy may be not in what he accomplished, but in what he inspired and enabled others to achieve.
Walker was an inspiration for me and is the main reason I will be headed to London for the 2012 Games as one of only three members of the USA Black Press.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 23:16
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Fresh off the heels of Mariah Carey joining the ranks of American Idol’s season 12 judging panel, are rumors of another Grammy Award-winning diva who may follow in Carey’s footsteps.
According to Sister 2 Sister magazine, a source who works for Simon Cowell claims producers are eyeing Toni Braxton as a possible candidate to fill Steven Tyler’s position as the highly rated show’s judge.
“When I overheard the producers during a candid conversation regarding having two Black, female judges for the first in the history of the show, I almost jumped out of my skin,” the insider reportedly said in an email. "To add to what was already internal pandemonium, I overheard them say that Toni Braxton was replacing Steven Tyler.”
Although there is no confirmation regarding the “Un-Break My Heart” songtress' involvement with the show, the rumor adds to the ongoing list of names including Aretha Franklin and country star Toby Keith as potential suitors for the gig.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 02:50
Category: Breaking News Written by Politics 365
Without the unique positioning of Black Republicans to mitigate the differences between appropriate voter validation efforts and unethical voter suppression actions, the GOP will remain cast as civil rights villains – and the nation loses as a result.
Can there be voter validation efforts through the nation – particularly in this heated election year – without those efforts wading into the shark-infested waters of voter suppression?
Most progressives – and most minorities in America these days – say no. Yet, there is a way, but that path must be laid and led by Black Republicans.
Although there have been some Black conservatives that have supported efforts that have put into question access to voting moving forward, there is a large segment of Black Republicans that believe in upholding the civil rights efforts of the past. With the push to limit voting access to those that can prove their citizenry, it is up to these conservatives to both articulate the points about fair, valid voting records and the concerns for pushing legitimate voters from the ranks due to partisanship, even if keeping those voters in pocket would jeopardize Republican hopes for the fall.
These Republicans must look at this situation as as win-win from the long-term perspective. For starters, it can not merely be about towing the party line when it comes to the voter ID laws that are increasingly sweeping across the nation. For Black Republicans to continue gaining the trust of the Black community – and, as well, begin to form some significant bridges between Black voters and the GOP – Black conservatives must serve as the honest brokers in the push for stronger voter ID laws.
In essence, they must be the foil that ensures that these efforts are above board. Statements or sentiments that highlight ulterior motives aside from the fair and just commission of elections (such as those expressed recently in Pennsylvania) must be taken and addressed head-on by Black Republicans that carry both the responsibility to Black America’s past and their current political affiliation. Further, Black Republicans must understand and enact (at a higher level than the GOP is currently doing) that the way to win elections (and win over a younger, more diverse electorate) is not to win around them, but to win engagements with them. Eliminating brown voters in droves may shave the numbers down to create more toss-up areas in November, but the result may also include a backlash that brings minorities out in opposition to the GOP for years on end.
Therefore, no one is better suited to balance the efforts of voter validation than Black Republicans. Yet, as has been argued before, these conservatives must take their efforts to both the GOP party ranks and the Black community simultaneously. If Black Republicans are not willing to push back on voter ID efforts that, in their yield, prevent Black citizens from being able to vote in 2012 without appropriate Constitutional cause, then they must be willing and active in modifying the arguments, efforts, and laws that cause this unfortunate reality.
Despite the rhetoric from many Black conservatives, today’s political environment does promote some instances where Black Republicans must be dutifully aware of the history of discrimination in America and how it has consistently impacted Black people in this nation – from slavery to Jim Crow to voting rights. If anyone has the capability of making sure that voter ID laws are about validating voters and not suppressing the Black vote, it must be the active Black Republican, a politico that must be both aware of the realities of sanctuary cities and one-stop voting and the vile re-introduction of racism in American political discourse.
A semblance of hope for balance and political civility for Black America — and the nation overall — could sprout from a successful and appropriate Black Republican role in this debate. A pall of despair (and more partisan narrow-mindedness) could result if active Black Republicans do not understand and grasp the political opportunity – and historical responsibility therein – that stands before them with the voter ID debate.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 02:30
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
Harvard Grad Inspires a Nation at the 2012 Olympics in London
I first started triple jumping as a junior in high school. This was after being a distance runner in 7th grade and getting cut from the track team in 8th grade. Apparently, distance running wasn't my calling as far as track and field was concerned. When I returned to the track my junior year of high school, the (new) coach realized that I had a reasonable amount of speed, pretty good leaping ability and long levers (arms and legs), which he thought would make me a good triple jumper. I immediately fell in love with the fluidity and beauty of the event. It also helped that I got to enjoy some small victories early on before my parents took me off the track team that year to focus on school. I rejoined my senior year and the triple jump has been my primary event ever since.
I can't say that it has always been a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics, although the 2000 Games in Sydney definitely served as the motivation for me to return to track and field. I didn't realize I could actually be an Olympian until 2007 when I graduated from the University of Texas and decided to continue with the triple jump while in law school. I did so because I realized that not only did I have more in the tank, but that I could eventually be one of the best in the world. Having no interest in selling myself short, I committed to becoming one of the world's elite triple jumpers. It helped me put things in perspective as far as my professional life was concerned.
I've realized over time that triple jumping isn't something that I can do forever, and that I have been blessed with the ability to do it at a high level. I also know that I can positively affect many people by doing it. As a result, I feel obligated to at least see how deep the rabbit hole goes. My law degree isn't going anywhere and the bar exam is behind me now, so I can focus on triple jumping full-time for the first time...ever.
My path to becoming a world class athlete is far from ordinary. While in law school at Georgetown, it was all about compartmentalizing my life. My teachers had no idea I would travel to France, Qatar or Brazil for competitions on the weekend, yet make sure that my work was always on point. In doing so, I was able to pursue excellence in the classroom and on the track without letting one affect the other.
I spent a lot of late nights in the weight room or on the track, only to have to wake up early the next morning to finish assignments, or get them done on my subway ride to school. I studied my craft as an athlete the same way that I studied the law. I also made the necessary lifestyle changes (diet, sleep/rest regimen, etc.) to ensure that I'd be in optimal position to reach the goals I'd set for myself. In fact, much of what I've done these past few years is learn how to (really) triple jump and apply what I've seen to what I want my body to do. Above all else, I've had to train my mind just as much as I've trained my body.
The road to London has been riddled with challenges. Obstacles I've faced range from something as common as the typical struggle Olympic hopefuls have making ends meet, to convincing sponsors to support my endeavors, to getting cut from the track team way back in junior high school. I can also remember being elected team captain my senior year of college at Harvard and having to sit out due to an injury in my tibiofibular joint. It was a tough experience and rebuilding process. I wasn't able to compete again until over a year later while I was at Texas, which was a challenge in itself. I opened that season with the #1 jump in the NCAA, but each of my subsequent competitions yielded so many subpar performances to the point that people, including myself, simply figured that I had either lost my "mojo" or just got lucky with that first jump of the year. And through all that, I managed to keep my head up.
Though some people may have thought I lost the "mojo," very few have doubted or questioned my decision to pursue this. For a while, my parents didn't know that I was actually one of the best and could consistently compete with the best in the world. I think they found it hard to believe that I was having so much success as an athlete rather than an attorney or academic. And though I chose to not pursue one of those paths right away, they, along with the rest of family, have supported me throughout.
In terms of the Olympics this year, it means everything to me to represent Haiti. Despite the fact that I consider myself to be a Haitian-American, I've chosen to represent Haiti in an attempt to inspire people and showcase my country's dignity. Haiti is typically in the news for all of the wrong reasons despite the fact that the country's beauty far outweighs anything else -- even after the earthquake.
So when I speak of representing Haiti internationally, I can't do so without thinking of the kids in Haiti who may not even know what the Olympics are, or other Haitians in the diaspora who may be doubting themselves and wondering if the sky really is the limit? I'm representing Haiti with pride and I'm just thankful to be a positive influence whether it's indirectly as an athlete or directly though my visits to orphanages and my foundation, Jump for Haiti. I want to stand for something and make a difference with the gift I've been given. And if I don't make an attempt to represent and help Haiti, then I've squandered the "gift."
When I win a medal, the first thing I plan to do is find my parents and brothers to thank them for being there and being on this journey with me. Then I'm going to grab a Haitian flag from the crowd and find a television camera so that the world knows that it's Haiti's medal.
After the Games, I may compete in one or two more competitions since the season officially ends in mid-September. I also want to spend some time getting my foundation off the ground and vacationing in Europe. I've also got a job offer at an international law firm based in New York that has been kind enough to defer my start since my graduation from law school.
As I look back over this journey and into my future, I'm incredibly grateful for the love and support of my family, friends and Ayanna Alexander. They've been instrumental in keeping me climbing and growing on a daily basis. And I can't express enough how big a source of inspiration my parents have been. Emigrating from Haiti and making it a point to work tirelessly so that my brothers and I could excel at something -- anything for that matter -- really influenced the way I approach things.
I've also gotten a lot of inspiration from Will Smith's words. Hearing him speak time and time again about his work ethic setting him apart from others who may be more talented than himself stuck with me, especially considering the path he took and work he put in to get there. Likewise, his belief in the mind's ability to propel one to great things when faith, diligence, discipline and persistence are the focal point of your life is something I truly believe.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2012 02:21
Category: Top News Written by Leland Stein III
Qunitin Berry connects. — Dan Graschuck photos
Tigers Ouintin Berry had to take a circuitous route to earning a spot in Major League Baseball (MLB).
At the age of 27, spending seven years and over 700 games in the minor leagues, and bouncing around four organizations the previous two years, one would think that a player like Berry would find himself in a pressurized situation when the Tigers finally came calling after injuries to centerfielder Austin Jackson.
“I never got discouraged,” Berry told me in a one-on-one interview, “but I thought about my situation a lot. I always felt that I could help a team and I never understood why no one really gave me a real chance to make a roster.
“That is why I did not let the pressure of the situation get to me because in the past years I have been through it all. Getting released, being at the end of a roster after spring training, and being in the minors with franchises that have people at my position already.”
Berry said when he finally got the opportunity with the Tigers he told himself to relax, enjoy it and play his game. He also noted that he is not surprised that he has managed to be productive thus far.
“I always knew what I was capable of doing,” he said. “It’s just that everywhere I’ve been people for some reason downplayed my hitting because I was labeled as a speed guy. But I can hit a little bit. I’m not a Punch-and-Judy guy. I come to the plate with a plan, I study the pitchers and I can get the ball in play depending on the situation.”
Said manager Jim Leyland: “Quintin has been a pleasant surprise; he has been fantastic. I think he is a great story coming from his background. I love guys like him that have fought through things and hung in there to be where they are. We knew he stole bases in the minors, but that is different that the big leagues.. Yet he has done it and has been a shot in the arm to this team that is fighting to get in the playoffs.”
In fact, Berry had stolen over 50 bases twice in the minors and over 40 twice. He has hit around .270 and was ready for the opportunity the Tigers presented to him.
As a Tiger, Berry is hitting around .280, stolen 14 bases without being thrown out, has had a walk off hit versus MLB champion St. Louis and had a five-hit game.
“Q has taken advantage of his opportunity and the team is better because of him,” said Prince Fielder. “When Jackson went down he stepped in and did the job for us at a crucial point in the season. It was unfortunate for Jackson, but a blessing for Berry.
Added infielder Ramon Santiago: “Berry has brought energy, clutch hits and speed to this team. People talk about his speed, but he played for MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gywnn, so he has been taught how to hit.”
Said catcher Alex Avila: “Berry brings a dimension to the team that we needed. When we have Jackson and Berry at the top of the lineup it changes the way pitcher have to pitch to the three, four and five hitters. I’ll tell you, I played against him in the minor leagues and we never got him out and I never threw him out.”
Berry may be turning heads in MLB, but he continues to divert all the credit.
“Because I bat in front of Miguel (Cabrera) and Fielder, pitchers look at me and say they are going to pitch to me. Why not! If Jackson and I get on base they have to pitch to Cabrera of Fielder, so they try to pitch to me in hopes I can’t handle it.”
Berry has more than handled his opportunity in the midst of a team fighting for a playoff berth.
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:00
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