Monday, May 18, 2009

Headlines I Never Dreamed I'd See

The Dodgers take over #1 in ESPN's meaningless but strangely interesting Power Rankings, and a lot of it is due to the unlikeliest of sources: Juan Pierre. In the category of giving credit where credit is due, Slappy McPopup, the man with no smiles, has been a positive contributor to the Dodgers' lineup this year, and in particular since Manny Ramirez' suspension thrust him into the Dodgers' lineup:

The mayor of JuanPierreWood, an idyllic subdivision of Chavez Ravine, believes in giving an honest effort for a day's pay. He's making $10 million this year. If you compute the extra time he logs in the batting cage, the weight room and the outfield shagging flies, it works out to about eight bucks an hour.

The previous mayor -- back when the place was called Mannywood -- was also deadly serious about his work ethic. But he did some bad things and had to go away for a while. He'll return Friday, July 3, at Petco Park in San Diego at 7:05 p.m. Pacific time, for those keeping score at home.

Juan Pierre knows full well that no matter how many hits he accumulates or bases he steals in the next six weeks -- no matter where the Dodgers stand in the National League West -- many of the fans who filled those Mannywood seats in left field will be stricken with Manny Ramirez fever as the big day approaches.

"The fans have treated me well at Dodger Stadium," Pierre said, "but I think they're patiently awaiting Manny's return. I know that. I'm a fan of the game, too, and I know baseball. But there's no sense worrying about something when you can't control it."

Pierre's flourishing is really reflective of an overall improvement in the Dodgers' bench, which used to be filled with black holes like automatic out Mark Sweeney, Gary Bennett, and Angel Berroa. Now, with Pierre batting way over expectations, and others like Juan Castro (.450, 9-for-20 with two doubles and a HR), Mark Loretta (.368, 14-for-38 with two doubles), and Brad Ausmus (.346, 9-for-26 with a double) not only pinch-hitting well, but occasionally giving our starters some rest--it's been a pleasure to watch a lineup that rakes even when the starters sit. Throw in up-and-coming players like Xavier Paul, and the Dodgers look potent, no matter who is in the lineup or where they are batting.

Well done, Juan. Keep up the good work--especially for 40 more games!


QuadSevens said...

Check out the muscles on those boney arms! If Juan wasn't wearing a hat under his helmet to make it fit right, I'd say he was juicing.

Steve Sax said...

You want muscles, Q7? Check out the GameThread later today....

QuadSevens said...

I'm curious as to what's going to be in the game thread now. I'll be checking back here for that, for sure!

Chappy said...

Hey Quad, it seems to me that "muscles" are what got 'ol Pierre starting for LA out in left field to begin with.

I think I'm ok with some boney armed hitters for a bit!

Eric Karros said...

Future headlines:

Many Slappy Returns!

Neeebs (The Original) said...

Nothing better than a fresh plate of Italian style Mussels for dinner.


Oh, you said Muscles.

Never mind.

karina said...

Steve, "Slappy McPopup" made smile like i didn't have all day long. Thank you!