Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hang in There, JP

From Kevin Pearson at Diamond's blog:

You really have to feel for Juan Pierre. First he looked like his dog died before the game when he found out he would not be the starting LF, and then he was flat-out embarrassed on the field just now.

Pierre hit a single through the right side, but then was immediately picked off. He did not even make a move back to the bag and honestly looked as though his mind was off someplace else and he didnt even realize there was a baseball game going on.

You know this has to be tough for him, losing his spot, and the Dodger fans certainly were not helping. He was booed as he trudged back to the dugout and one heckler yelled "Go back to Florida, please" as though he were begging.

Always a classy guy, Pierre just looks like his heart is broken right about now.

Dear Juan,

While we believe Joe Torre made the correct decision in naming Andre Ethier the Dodgers' starting left fielder, we also believe you don't deserve the venom that's been spit at you this spring. As long as you're wearing Dodger Blue, we want you to succeed. And although you're unused to a bench role, we're certain your professional pride will ensure you play as hard as you did as a starter.

Plus, given how things are going this spring, don't be surprised if Andruw Jones and Matt Kemp collide with each other out there in right center. Hey, you may be a starter again before you know it.

Sons of Steve Garvey


As usual, Jon Weisman says it better—and with a historic burger joint reference to boot:

At least in terms of what's been printed, Pierre doesn't voice any recognition that everyone realizes he's exactly the same player he has always been - but that what's happened is three better outfielders have come along. It's as if Bob's Big Boy weren't able to understand why people have started to buy burgers elsewhere, even though it's still got the same ol' Bob's Big Boy statue outside it always has. Pierre can't, at least publicly, acknowledge the fact that you can now get a better burger elsewhere.

Dammit, now I'm hungry.


Steve Sax said...

Burger reference aside, it's not Pierre's role to acknowledge he's fourth-best on the team, nor would I want him to (as a fan who wants competitors on the Dodgers' squad). It's actually more of testament to his character that he remains anxious to prove everyone wrong (even if his numbers indicate that he likely won't) and he is maintaining his work ethic despite the demotion. He could just as easily take his $36M left and mope, but it doesn't appear that he's done that so far. Hang in there, indeed.