Sunday, September 06, 2009

"You're the MVP." "No, You're the MVP."

Dylan Hernandez' article in the LATimes today illustrates the kind of selfless humility one loves to see from the National League's best team:

Pierre moved Rafael Furcal from second to third with a sixth-inning bunt and watched from the bench as Furcal was driven in on a double by Ethier.

"Juan P can do a lot of huge things, man," Orlando Hudson said. "There's nothing he can't do -- get the inning started, hit behind guys, move guys over, get clutch hits. You saw what he did in the 50 games Manny was gone. Dude's MVP."

Dude disagreed.

"Manny could've been out there and they could've scored seven runs," Pierre said. "I'm not going to take credit for getting the guys going. I don't think I have to go out there and be a sparkplug for the team."

And Dude will probably be headed back to the bench today, as Torre said he expected Ramirez to be back in the lineup.

I don't know if I'd call an 0-for-4 performance from the two-hole an MVP-worthy night. But this is the kind of humility and deferential appreciation one loves to hear, particularly from two guys who have been vying all year to be the left-field starter. Across this roster, there's a lot of guys who can contribute different things to this team's success. And it's a credit to manager Joe Torre that he's built a club which seems to have hit a stride where everyone appreciates his role, no matter what is asked.


Greg Zakwin said...

If by "huge things" we don't include hit for power, walk, throw, field, or steal bases at an 80% clip, then yeah, dude can do a LOT of huge things.

Steve Sax said...

Wait, slap hitting isn't one of the five tools?

Seriously, JP may not be Manny andmay not even be worth his contract. But he easily could be sulking and moping and infecting the clubhouse with a corrosive nature, and instead he has (largely) shut up and played beyond his own ability and most Dodger fans' expectations (admittedly, a low relative bar for both). I will take it.

Kyle Baker said...

Agree, Sax. Apparently fans do, too, as JP always gets some big applause from the crowd when he is introduced.

Ken said...

Seriously, kempkershaw has the biggest hate for juan pierre i have ever seen for a fan have for a hometeam player, especially when a guy has the highest BA on the team, a near 380 OBP, and rarely strikes out. He prolly think Ichiro is a garbage player, too.

Ken said...

The fans love Pierre, because he is humble and doesn't care about criticism.

Go bash James Loney.

Greg Zakwin said...

I bash Loney (and Furcal) when they earn it, and they have definitely earned it many times this year. Loney has power though, and walks over 10% of the time this year. And he's 25ish. Pierre is what, 32?

I hate Pierre the player, not Pierre the person. Just like fans love Pierre the person, and confuse that with Pierre the player. The same player who complained last year about playing time.

BA is a horrendous stat, and considering he has not had an OBP this high since 2001, career year and fluke apply. His BABIP in his best months this year has been over .400

Pierre, in a full season, will be top 5 in the league in outs made. How exactly is that a good thing?

And why are we required to like players on our favorite team?

Ken said...

How can u bash someone based on their positive for this season? Look at his OBP if you don't look at the BA. Of course you are going to lead the league in outs made when you are a contact hitter.

If you are gonna bash someone bash Billingsley, Loney, Martin, and Furcal. Billingsley obviously had a fluke first half before hitters figured him out right?

Greg Zakwin said...

Billingsley has had a worse second half, no doubt, but he's had a much better career doing what he does than Pierre has doing what he does.

Bills is 25, Pierre is over 30, who's more likely to be a fluke?