Don Kelly is everything wrong with the Tigers.

At least, that's the impression you might get by reading my email, listening to sports radio or checking into the comment section underneath a story on the Internet.

If the Tigers lose, it's somehow Kelly's fault.

If they win, it's in spite of Kelly playing.

If Kelly starts, it's because he must have some dirty laundry on Leyland.

Or because he's Leyland's favorite player.

Or because the graying, chain-smoking manager who has taken the club to the World Series twice during his tenure is clueless about the sport of baseball.

You get the point.

Kelly is the new Brandon Inge, bringing emotions far past the point of rational thought.

It really doesn't make any sense.

Kelly is not a starter. He is a role player.

Kelly has started three times in right field this year, including Monday night against the Twins, because the 37-year-old Torii Hunter may be in excellent condition, but the Tigers need him to remain that way in October.

Kelly has started four times in left field, but taking plate appearances from Andy Dirks should hardly be seen as a great mistake.

Dirks, who has recently been kept out of the lineup due to a right knee injury, is batting just .196, though he hit his first home run of the season in Monday's 4-3 victory over the Twins. Kelly is now hitting .192.

What kind of idiot defends a guy hitting .192?