Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Recognition of What Is Already Evident

Juan Pierre is not a regular starting outfielder and therefore this snide and often rude blog really has no purpose. Back-up outfielder is really a perfect role for Mr. Pierre, despite what he or his agent might think. I hope he steals 20 bases coming off the bench.

I imagine Juan could even be a useful starter for a team with bugger-all for outfielders (compliments don't get much more back-handed than that) and I sincerely hope he gets a chance to prove that and that we don't have to pay all his salary to make that happen. He still has a lot of time and money left on that contract, though. If Juan were to make a sweet farewell we might note it here, but I find it highly unlikely that we would continue to hound the man. We are primarily Dodger fans and while the goal of getting people to recognize what baseball skills should be most valued is a laudable one, that quixotic quest is just not ours. We got other windmills to fry.

In the meantime, as of today the Dodger outfield (Ethier, Kemp, and Manny) have an OPS of 1.078. That is patently ridiculous. Individual players having the greatest seasons of their careers can manage that sort of number, but for three guys to average it among them? Yes, only 13 games. Yes, it will certainly drop. But if the three outfielders can just average .900 OPS... that is a lot of offense, especially assuming the rest of the team does something besides pick at their belly buttons.

Anyway, this poor blog was consistently criticized for being pessimistic and a bit of a buzzkill. I can tell you that right now we are thoroughly pumped up for this season and may just be getting our hopes up a bit. Go Dodger Blue to Infinity and Beyond (Possible Toy Story 3 tie-in???). So expect this blog to stay dark and get dusty, unless they start playing Juan everyday again.

Let us all pray to the Gods of Strong Hamstrings and Well Connected Shoulders.


Humma Kavula said...

Here, here. I was about to make the same point myself, but was too lazy.

I will second the opinion that Juan Pierre is a fine addition to the team as fourth (or fifth) outfielder. Yes, yes, I've read the same studies you have that show that Pierre only has value when leading off an inning. But I assume that meant as a starter. I have to think that compared to other backups, he's the type of guy you want at the plate when it's late innings, first-and-second, one out, pitcher due up. He will put the ball in play and stay out of the double play. Sure, the most likely thing he'll do is ground to second -- but that's the most likely thing any bench player will do.

I would not go so far as to call myself a Juan Pierre fan at this point... but as he's no longer starting every day, I no longer find him offensive. (Not that he was ever offensive, as he showed no offense! Ba DA bup! I'll be here all week!)

But one moment, please, to play the requiem for Pierre's Hall of Fame chances. This is going to sound crazy, but assuming the guy got traded to a club that would start him every day, he had a significant shot at 3,000 hits. Those chances are probably gone now. As a man who roots for weird things to happen, I find this slightly sad.

Not as sad as watching him suck up 750 at bats for my team, of course. Just a little bit sad. Like a tiny, near-invisible hole in a sweater you didn't like anyway. "That's too bad," you say, and then forget it.

Celsius1414 said...

So in a sense you're switching to The Juan Pierre WatchOut? ;)

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