Friday, March 7, 2008

It's time to dump Juan Pierre.

I never thought it was a good signing to begin with. Colletti's view was that we had one outfielder going into last offseason so he signed Gonzo and Pierre. We probably could have gotten away with neither and let the kids rule the outfield while gaining a ton of experience and not blocking them from the future. The same could be said of our third base situation and Jason Schmidt. Signing Nomar as a 1st baseman was baaaad. Signing Jason Schmidt was worse considering he passed up on future hall of famer Greg Maddux.

Back to Pierre.

The argument that many people for him are things like, "he gets 200 hits a year", "he gets 60 stolen bases a year", "he has "intangibles"", "he shows up early", and that's about it.

The sole problem with Pierre's game is that it belongs in a different era.

In the 70's and part of the 80's almost all teams had 3 decent starting pitchers with ERA's under 4. This was the era of the 4 man rotation as well. Teams on average were scoring roughly 4 runs per game. Homeruns were scarce so runs came at a premium and had to be manufactured an way possible. Steals all of a sudden became the identity of the game.

The construction of the ball may have contributed to the fact that homeruns were scarce. The recent contributions of steroids may also have something to do with the spike in homeruns. Another possibility was that ballparks were much larger. Either way teams had to score any way possible to win games.

Todays game offers smaller parks, a different ball, and of course performance enhancing drugs. The game has evolved into getting runners on and bringing them in. Case and point would be the Red Sox. They have been among the top of the league leaders in runs scored and OBP. There is a direct correlation to those two things. It also helps to have guys like Papi and Manny. Last year even the average team scored 5 runs per game.

Having a guy like Pierre on your team means that you're playing "small ball". A term used to descibe the type of play that best represents the 70's and 80's. Since Pierre has a terrible on base percentage and even worse power, he is the perfect mold of a guy who would thrive under the conditions presented in the 70's. However, in this era... he is a good bench player.

Strike that... in this era a good bench player means you can come in and play good defense. Another attribute that Juan is missing. Statistically it has been proven that Juan Pierre has the WORST arm in all of baseball. He has gotten older and his one assett, speed, is hampered by his inability to judge a fly ball. He routinely makes bad judgements in the outfield.

Another argument for Juan is that he is nice guy. That while his abilities are mediocre at best, he has intangibles and shows up early. Intangibles = no talent. It's like saying a fat girl has a nice personality. (no offense) And to say that he shows up early might better display how bad he actually is. His weighted stats prove that he is worse than your everyday bench player. Let me get this straight... He shows up early to work on specific skills like throwing, hitting, catching, etc, and he is still not as good as Jason Repko? Also, Andre Ethier is competing for playing time against Jaun Pierre. He is by far a much better player.

In the end, Ned Colletti made a huge mistake signing Juan Pierre. It's time to scrap the idea and move on. He's also made other really REALLY bad mistakes. When is he going to make a good move that will help the Dodgers get to the World Series?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You're just ruining your reputation.

Dodgers LF having a great game
If you're watching the game on ESPN, you have no doubt noticed it. He is 2 for 3 with a stolen base and a bunt single and has made two nice catches, one of which was a spectacular diving catch over by the line. Not sure who that is playing out there today ... wait, let's see, let me just check my scorecard here ... looks like it's ... hey, wow, it's Juan Pierre. Imagine that. ... Dodgers are hitless in six ABs with men in scoring position, but none of those ABs were by Pierre. Only run came on a homer by Kemp.

Congratulations Tony Jackson. You have reached the "Bill Plaschke retardedly stupid" level. Up next: "Steve Phillips homer" level. It's worse than you could have imagined!!! Still a ways off is the "Joe Morgan: I'm old and codgery" level.

Calling for a cease fire ...
... even though I know I'm not going to get one. But here's the deal: after posting a response to some comments that were posted overnight about Pierre, I am now placing a moratorium on myself. I will no longer respond to your comments bashing this guy. While you are still welcome to post, and encouraged to post, your thoughts -- this is, after all, a blog, and your thoughts are what make it work -- I'm no longer going to engage in this debate. Sounds like a surrender.

It is for the same reason that I don't believe staunch Democrats and staunch Republicans should ever discuss politics with each other -- they are NEVER going to change each other's minds. And you and I are never going to change each other's minds about Juan Pierre. You know where I stand, and I know where you stand. But there is one fact that can't be disputed, and that is this: JUAN PIERRE IS GOING TO BE THE DODGERS' EVERYDAY LF IN 2008. Not if he's traded. Or if he bats .182 again. Or if his defense in LF is just as bad as his defense in CF. Or if he never gets on base. So yeah.... You aren't going to change Joe Torre's mind, either. I'll let the play of ethier Ethier or Pierre determine that. The only thing that will change his mind is if he watches Pierre play and draws the same conclusion so many of you have, and I don't think that is going to happen because, well, as you know, I think This is what you think... Not what Torre thinks.

Pierre is going to be a key piece of this lineup, and I think Joe Torre is going to love what he brings to this lineup. We all need more out makers. There are things about his game I don't like. Try everything. The whole game conclusively. He sucks ass.

I wish he would get better at bunting his way on, or else stop trying it so often. I also wish he would draw more walks, but I don't believe that is so much a shortcoming on his part as it is the way he is pitched to. It's not his fault he doesn't swing at the first or second pitch every at bat.

But I still believe the Dodgers are better with him in the lineup. Because I still think he is the Juan Pierre of four years ago and I have decided not to look up any stats at all.

And, as I promised in a previous post, I WILL admit it if I turn out to be wrong. ... And while we may disagree, I do want to say that I appreciate all of you posting your opinions -- and I especially want to thank Mr. Weisman, not only for his well-stated comment he posted here last night making the case against Pierre, but also for his taking the time to grant me a phone interview last week on the topic for a print story I wrote about Pierre than ran in yesterday's Daily News. I thought his comments really helped to balance the story. ... And finally, I want to say this: I KNOW there have to be some JP supporters out there somewhere, people who actually like his game. If you're one of those people, don't be afraid to post your thoughts on here, as well. Slowly the Pierre supporters are changing their views.

He goes on to say this...

Greg, I never said Juan Pierre was a better player than Andre Ethier. I said he was a better fit for the Dodgers lineup than Andre Ethier, an opinion both Ned Colletti and Joe Torre seem to share. And yes, Ned was the guy who signed him, but Joe wasn't. And no matter how much everyone keeps beating this same drum on this and every other Dodgers-related blog, I don't think it's going to change the opinion of either one of those guys. As for bigcpa's point, the Marlins also had some ticker tape a few years ago with Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo at the top.

How all this adds up in Tony Jacksons mind makes absolutely no sense. He's not a better player but a better fit in the Dodgers lineup. Sounds like gagnefan38 to me. Good job Tony. Way to display your awful credentials there.

Poor guy. He must really have some kind of mental handicap.

This isn't exactly about the Dodgers. It is worthy of posting just because it is so goofy bassackwards it deserves to be shamed right along with Plaschke.

So Jeremy Brown has called it quitskies, huh? You'd think that the retirement of a guy who is built somewhat like me would make me sad, but it doesn't. Instead, I danced a hora when I heard it. I doubt he knew who Brown was without doing some research. This guy likely read other columns and decided this was his chance to stick it to Billy Beane and Michael Lewis.

At least, I did the dance after the person who told me about the retirement explained to me who Brown was. I had never heard of the guy myself. There ya go. So what was that about dancing the Hora then?

For those of you who, like me, made the smart literary choice and didn't read "Moneyball," Because not expanding our knowledge of a game is a smart literary choice. Not understanding stats in general is really the best option.

Brown was the undraftable catcher the scouts passed on, but whom Oakland GM Billy Beane took with the 35th pick of the 2002 draft. (A lot of people think Beane wrote the book. Not true. The author, Michael Lewis, was an A's intern who wanted to make the boss look good. Who told you?)

When books are written about guys like Brown, you gotta wonder about the intelligence of the American book-buying public that made it into a best-seller. Just a quick note here. But when you are writing it's generally understood that you don't insult the reader.

We can only hope that Jeremy Brown's retirement will burst the bubble on the "Moneyball" experiment. Experiment? I think every team in baseball has changed their statistical outlook just because of the A's success.

Don't get me wrong. I love "Moneyball." Though I never spent more than $3.99 for the book, I probably own more copies of "Moneyball" than anyone in America. creepy.

I've got one propping up the table I'm writing on right now. I trained a puppy with two other copies, and lined the cages of some parrots with a couple of others. I don't even like birds, but I saw an opportunity to do what was right with that book, so I bought the birds and resisted the temptation to pluck 'em and fry 'em. To this day, they do nature's business on the silly words contained therein. Dude never even read the book. It's like insulting the Bible.

I have a copy of "Moneyball" under the sink in my bathroom for when we run out of toilet paper. When I go to the pistol range, I always bring one along and hang it on the line. I know book burnings have gotten a bad reputation, but if a guy came to the door and said he was starting a bonfire with copies of "Moneyball," well, I'd donate the high-test. I'm pretty sure we can find better ways to do all these things. If you want to go out and buy books just to wipe your but, be my guest. It hurts.

Here's the thing: We used to enjoy baseball just fine before all this "Moneyball" stuff started. You'd go to the ballpark or to a bar and people would talk about the game and never mention made-up stats like VROOM or SHIRK or PMS. I'm guessing this guy is old. While the math may b difficult to understand the concept is brilliant. Come up with a stat to rate players evenly.

Everyone got along just fine. Teams played, pitchers pitched, batters batted, the won-loss columns would fill up and, at the end of the year, you'd have the World Series. What was so hard about that? Baseball really has changed! So much so, that when the Dodgers most recently played the Mets this spring, instead they went in and played video games. Halo to be exact. I know we all saw Santana pitch, but that was just "MLB 08 the show". Pretty good graphix huh?

Now, I look at the stats page and it has more columns than the Parthenon. Puts an antebellum plantation to shame. LOL.
What do we need all these extra numbers for? The game is being ruined by people who would be better off watching "Star Trek" (come to think of it, one of their cockamamy stats is called WARP). HAHAHA, you are a funny guy...
What was wrong with the way things used to be? Was the game losing fans because it didn't have enough ways of measuring itself? (Did I mention the stats page has a lot of columns? It has more than the rich-boy frat house at an Ivy League school.)ROFL

The first thing we need to do is go back to our roots stats-wise. OK, just because you said so.

Stats pages on this and other Web sites should get back to basics. Just for you?

I suggest these time-honored baseball accounting practices, laid across the page in the traditional format: games played, at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, homers, runs batted in, batting average and maybe, if there's room, stolen bases. That's 10 items. Just go get a paper man.

For pitchers, there's games, games started, wins, losses, winning percentage, saves, innings pitched, hits, strikeouts, walks and ERA. That's 11, which might be too much. Forget strikeouts. If the guy's getting people out, it will show up in his ERA. Forget everything. Better yet. Lets just not play the games.

What else do you really need to know about a guy? If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, there's something seriously wrong with you -- I mean brain-damage wrong. Again with insulting the reader. Not winning any points.

If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, then maybe your daddy was drunk when you were a baby and he dropped you on your head and never told anybody because he was too embarrassed or didn't remember. This isn't remotely funny. Someone should report this guy. Maybe he was dropped on his head.

If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, maybe you ate some lead paint in the basement or crashed your motorcycle and hit your head against a telephone pole. Yeah... I know... It's getting old.

If you can't tell how good a player is from those basic stats, maybe Timothy Leary was your family doctor, or maybe it's just that you don't know very much about baseball. Maybe the problem is having gus like you around to ruin the game. I wouldn't doubt your the fat, drunk, loud, guy, that we all see at every game.

Here's the problem: I'm really old and I can't wipe my but anymore. And all these extra numbers that the figure diggers brew up in their maternal subgrade lairs (that's moms' basements for you laymen) make it possible for people like Jeremy Brown to try to crash the party, and that can't be a good thing. Someone wipe my but. I sharted.

The number-crumblers like equations so much, so here's one for them:

Infinite stats = infinite players

Makes sense to me: Keep adding statistics and eventually, you'll find something that will qualify everyone on the planet for being a pro ballplayer. Mark my words: Jeremy Brown was the first step on the slippery slope that will eventually lead to the ballplaying ranks being filled with ungainly looking types who should be stocking shelves or digging ditches. This is the kind of world that the "Moneyballists" have wished on us. Better watch out... here we come. ( I have a picture in my head of Austin Powers in that scene with the giant roller moving at a snails pace. )

That's why Brown's retirement is such good news. Maybe this so-called revolution is being strangled in the crib. Though this country was founded on a revolution, that doesn't mean all revolutions are a good thing. Good job. You can make arguments for me and against yourself. Win me.
Here's hoping this one is DOA, and that it has died without a single championship to show for itself. Because the red Sox winning the world series last year had nothing to do with the moneyball method.
What a fitting end to a bad idea borne in a bogus book. Here's a vote for leaving the game to the real athletes and getting the stat pages that contain their heroic deeds back to normal. Stats... heroic? Even the basic stats don't tell you about a walk off homerun.

Art Garfamudis is a writer and secretary-treasurer of the baseball chapter of the SLWEA -- the Society for Leaving Well Enough Alone. I'm gonna say the real writer of this was either Joe Morgan or Steve Phillips. What's more disturbing is that Jeremy Brown decided to retire for personal reasons. He fullfilled his moneyball type of play. Career minor league OBP: .367

Is this writing?

or just Plaschke being sentimental. I'm not sure I can find his opinion on this either. he jumps from point to point trying to be non-bias but using words and phrases like... well, you'll just have to read it.

Bill Plaschke:
It's weight and see with Dodgers' Jones weight and see, I get it. That was not funny.

The new center fielder is up to about 245 pounds, 10 more than he carried during his peak seasons.

March 6 2008
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- It's the oddest sight in camp. Juan Pierre still on the team?

It's the loudest whisper in camp. What?... no really, what?... I counldn't hear that "loudest whisper". Please tell me it's another Juan Pierre trade rumor.

People are staring, people are talking, everybody is wondering, there's no way around it. The suspence is killing me... (snore)

Literally, no way around it. I know... Juan Pierre is still on the team. It's like the giant pink elephant sitting on your girlfriend.

Andruw Jones looks heavy. wait a sec... What happened to the pink elephant?

The newest Dodgers center fielder looks like the newest Dodgers wrestler. Oh Snap!!! Burrrrn.

He stalks up to home plate in his Dodgers whites and you're like, this is him? Yup!

This is the sleek center fielder who has won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves? This is the sturdy star who has never missed more than nine games in a season? This is the Dodgers' athletic new stud? Words used to descibe Jones: Sleek, Sturdy, Star, Athletic, Stud. Where is he going with this?

The Dodgers won't say if they are worried, but they have to be worried. Because you said so?

Jones smiles and says he will be fine, but the numbers don't lie. Because we are one week into Spring Training!

At his peak, when he hit 40-plus home runs with 120-plus runs batted in, he weighed 235 pounds. And now he weighs 245.

He is now about 10 pounds heavier. At his peak, he was 28 years old. Whose to say he's old now?

He will spend most of this season at age 31. Get this man some calcium. He's likely to break a hip!

"You gain weight when you get older, it happens to everyone, it's just a fact," Jones said.

That fact could be wearing on his spring batting average, which is .118 after seven games. AFTER 7 GAMES!!!

He has one single, one double, one RBI and a whole bunch of at-bats that looked like his three against the New York Mets on Tuesday. AGAIN... AFTER 7 GAMES!!!

In the first inning against Johan Santana, he struck out flailing. In the third inning against Santana, he bounced weakly to shortstop. In the sixth inning against Scott Schoeneweis, he bounced out weakly again. BLABLABLA... It's been 7 games.

He hasn't had any eventful occurrences in center field but, then again, he hasn't played that many innings yet. Jones, who has the Chinese characters for "Bull" tattooed on the back of his neck, repeats that he will be fine. How does this have to do with anything? Seriously. Becuase Jones gained 10 pounds over the offseason did the Chinese character for bull all of a sudden turn into a cow?

"I know how I have to feel, I know how strong my legs have to be, I'm working hard to get there," he said. This is non-story right now. Two weeks into the season we can go ahead and print this one out.

The Dodgers have no choice but to trust him. "Given he's new here, given his track record, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt," Manager Joe Torre said. "But that doesn't mean we don't have people paying attention to what he's doing." Jones said his weight issues dated to last season, a disappointing free-agent audition during which he said he was too light.

"Preparing for that year, my wife and I had a weight-loss contest," he said. "She won, I lost."Did he ever, dropping 15 pounds, reporting to his Atlanta Braves job at 220 pounds."I was too light," he said. "I never felt right."Several times, he said he hit fly balls that fell just short of the fence, and he wondered."I thought it was my weight," he said. "I thought I needed to get it back up.

"His 26 homers equaled the lowest of his 10-year full-time career. His 94 RBIs were his lowest total in three seasons. His on-base percentage dropped 51 points. Folks thought he was either trying too hard to get a big contract or hide a big injury.

"It was none of those things," Jones said. "I think my body was too light."This winter, he did not make the same mistake."I ate what I wanted, I did what I wanted, I tried to get back to normal," Jones said. Well, he did. And then some.

"I wasn't surprised when I saw my weight this spring," he said. "I want to be heavier. I want my legs to be stronger."But now that he has realized that maybe he went a bit overboard, he's running more, and working the weights harder."I'll be fine," he said. "I know I can still chase down fly balls. I know I can still swing a bat. I know what I have to do. Wha... ok, ok, ok... I'm awake...

"The Dodgers will watch, and hope. Even though they were able to sign him to only a two-year deal, they still will pay him $18 million a year, the highest annual value of a single contract in Dodgers history. Even if Jones has another bad year at the plate he will be worth it. Juan Pierre on the other hand will be a negative value to the team. He will actually be "stealing" money.

That's a lot of money for a weight issue that could lead to injury and ineffectiveness. Since he has literally never been injured I'm not too concerned.

"We know that in the past, he felt he was too light and it affected his performance," Torre said. "We have to respect that. Still a non-issue at the moment.

"The Dodgers are counting on Jones to respect them. All of a sudden Jones doesn't respect the Dodgers. It's the constant cat and mouse game Plaschke tries to play with the reader. When is he going to throw race out there?

Earlier this spring, Torre walked over to Jones while he was stretching. Torre asked him, in his most fatherly Torre voice, (I would have guessed motherly, but oh well.) whether he could remember his weight during his peak seasons."I told him 235 pounds," Jones said.

"He didn't say anything else." Torre didn't need to say anything else. Here's hoping Jones heard every word. Was that a threat? If he didn't say anything how was he supposed to hear it!!! Plaschke. Stop it with this crappy writing. You're making sane people sick with it. Stop It.

Let's break this down...

I'm not exactly sure how Plaschke gets away with this kind of writing on such a daily basis, but the people in LA must really be hurting. I've read a handfull of this guys work and every one of them makes me want to puke.

Bill Plaschke:

Dodgers' Juan Pierre is right where he belongs. He's been booed by fans and brutalized by bloggers, but his old-school play and speed will benefit the team as he becomes a complement and not the cornerstone of the lineup. Does he mean that Juan Pierre is going to the bench?

March 5, 2008"I'm coming into this season with a chip on my shoulder . . . just like every season," says Pierre. And the last 3 season, with said chip, you sucked.

Fans don't appreciate him. Statisticians can't calculate him. Bloggers downright brutalize him. and for good reason.

I like him. because you are stupid.

Now that the Dodgers have added Rafael Furcal's health and Andruw Jones' pop, I think Juan Pierre's presence at the top of the lineup will be as oversized as his cap. That was actually kinda funny. Let me try... After 17 years of constantly shrinking his uniform, Juan Pierre can finally fit into a medium.

Now that the Dodgers have moved him to left field, I think Juan Pierre will fit as easily there as his bat fits on a bunt. So... Um... Yeah... that wasn't as good. Because seeing Juan bunt every at bat is like watching Sergio Garcia twitch 97 times before he hits the ball.

Now that Joe Torre is installing an aggressive running game, I think Pierre's ability on the basepaths will be as evident as the dirt streaks on his jersey. Lets hope those are dirt streaks.

Hate him or not. Hate him.

"My game is not pretty, it's just not pretty," Pierre says. "You have to be an old-school guy to appreciate it." Too bad we don't play in the old school era. I'm sure if we played in that era everyone would appreciate it.

That's one more reason this will be a good year for Juan Pierre. Because he is older?

Torre is one of those old-school guys who appreciates him. Because Torre is older?

"He does things the right way," Torre says. Compared to the rest of the team. Specifically Andre Ethier who is competing with Pierre for playing time. Andre likes to do the BIG things instead of the little things. And he usually does them the wrong way. He holds the bat by the fat end. He wears his helmet backwards and one time he was caught running the bases in reverse order.

Contrary to the winter hopes of many Dodgers fans, Torre's lineups have indicated that Pierre will be the starting left fielder ahead of Andre Ethier. Mostly because when torre last saw Pierre, Pierre was kinda good. Since then Pierre has become an out machine.

Pierre adds an irreplaceable speed component to the top of the Dodgers order. And, in left field, what Pierre lacks in arm, he can overcome with that speed. Because instead of throwing the ball to the infield he is going to run it in.

"Johnny Damon never had much of an arm, we moved him to left field, it worked out fine," says Torre. "You can offset that kind of arm with your aggressive play. You can get good jumps, get to balls that other guys can't." At least Damon can get on base and hit for about as much power as Ethier can.

Pierre also brings something that, during last season's doldrums, everyone seemed to forget. What can't I remember about Pierre?... Poor arm... Really fast... Low OBP... No Power... Bad defense...overpaid... significantly declinging!!!... that about sums it up.

You can find it in a locked box in his Fort Lauderdale home. 9 million dollars? Nope. I remember that part pretty good.

He's one of only three Dodgers with a World Series ring. Oh yeah... he was the guy that had 36 so-lo homeruns for the Marlins the year they beat the Yankees in the WS. He pitched in every game too. He was the only guy on the team that contributed that year. It was amazing. Too bad he really... REALLY sucks now.

"The young guys know about it, they ask about it sometimes," Pierre says. "But I don't like wearing it. I'd rather lead with my actions." Plus they don't make rings that small. From Juan himself, "Here's a good pointer for you young kids. If I show up early and practice really hard, no matter how bad I play they will give me a stupidly horrible contract for millions of dollars." Lesson learned.

Those actions were uninspiring early last year, the first of a five-year, $44-million contract that was questioned before the ink was dry. Maybe it's still wet. Let's do some investigating.

Trying too hard, he spent much of the early season surrounded by boos for a mediocre batting average, an awful on-base percentage and general ineffectiveness. Which is the Juan Pierre of the last 3 seasons now.

"Yeah, I heard everybody," Pierre says. "It was like, 'Pierre, you stink' . . . 'Pierre, go away' . . . I heard it all." don't feel too bad Juan. I did some yelling at other guys too. Namely Ned Colletti.

Funny, but the most active guy on the team never made a move. Lets define active. Juan Pierre was actively running to first base to make an out at a rate more than anyone else on the Dodgers and more than anyone else in all of baseball! Sounds right.

He never even turned his head. Gotta focus on those outs.

"To say anything would have been the worst thing in the world," he says. "Hey, I signed the big contract. I'll take the heat." It's gonna get hot. Four more years of declining numbers. Were talking HOT!!!

By the end of the season, the team was in such turmoil that nobody seemed to notice the only player who had calmed down was Pierre. Perfect timing.

He batted .308 after the All-Star break, three points higher than his average during Florida's 2003 world championship year. He finished with 41 runs batted in, the same as in the championship year. Other players on the Dodgers in limited playing time surpassed Pierre in the RBI department. Why are you even bringing this up?

He scored four fewer runs (96), stole one fewer base (64), and, with the exception of a lack of plate discipline amid a lousy offense, he performed just as he did in Florida. And the Dodgers didn't even make it to the playoffs.

In the end, Juan Pierre did exactly what Juan Pierre does. Less than mediocre.

While unfairly taking the fall for a team that crumbled around him. While it was a team effort, Pierre contributed the most to the "lack of production".

"In Florida, when we won, it was like, 'Oh, Pierre and Luis Castillo are the table-setters, they're the keys,' " Pierre says. "Here, when we struggled, it's like, 'What is that?' " Well, that's a lot of bunt outs.

This was also the first time Pierre had been criticized for his arm. Not necessarily. I remember him playing in Chicago and they ate him up.

"I've had the same arm my whole life and I'd never been criticized like this," he says. "I couldn't understand it. It's never been an issue before." I thought Juan was the kind of guy that DIDN'T RESPOND!! You just wrote it like four sentences ago.

Placing Pierre's weak arm under the spotlight -- and, in fact, putting his whole game at risk -- was the injury to Furcal. Damn you Raffy. You were the reason Juan couldn't draw a walk.

The Dodgers shortstop couldn't reach many shallow center-field balls that shortstops usually reach. I thought his speed was supposed to overcome things like this. When did it all of a sudden become the short stops job to cover half of center?

He also couldn't move Pierre along the bases as a good No. 2 hitter should do. Here's is the basis of a poorly written article by Plashke. Do any of you remember watching games from last year? Raffy lead off. Pierre batted second. Both of them played pretty bad. Raffy was hurt. And Pierre couldn't move Furcal over as good number 2 hitter should do. Is Plaschke really going to keep doing this?

Without a rangy shortstop, Pierre was playing a center field that was twice as big. This just in, McCourt extended the center field wall to 600 feet making it twice the size of all other center fields. To quote Mccourt himself he has said that now that we have a guy who can literally run the ball in faster than other players can throw it, he should be able to cover the outfield pretty good. Since when did the SS have to cover half of center field?

Without a productive No. 2 hitter, Pierre was a sports car stuck on a pot-holed road. I want to puke. Plaschke is bordering on a "Joe Morgan stupid" level. I would better describe Pierre as a little girls bike with the training wheels still on.

By the end of the season, he was listed as a Ned Colletti mistake the size of Jason Schmidt. At least Jason only hurt us for 6 games. We had to endure the Juan Pierre marathon out machine for all of the 162 games.

The situation is, he's nothing like the Jason Schmidt mistake. It's worse.

The truth is, the idea of Juan Pierre was a good one, and still is if he's on the bench.

I can't wait for Plaschke to come out and write an article bashing Pierre at the all star break. This guy has to be the worst sports writers in America!