I am sorry, dude. I just had to say “dude”, because it is more personal that way. I remember when we signed you. I was angry at J.D. Drew because he opted out of his deal with the Dodgers and left us with an outfield of completely unproven youngsters.
Our GM, Ned Colletti looks like Super Mario (before he eats the mushroom) and he was always making dumb ass moves. He had to make dumb ass moves because our old GM Paul DePodesta (who looks like Harry Potter) made lots of dumb ass moves we had to make up for.
So with a gaping hole in our outfield, Ned decided you, a guy with a lot of drive and not much physical ability, had to replace J.D. Drew, a guy with a lot of natural ability and less drive than a go-kart.
We knew you didn’t strike out, but also that you never walk. We knew you threw like a fourteen year old girl. We knew you stole a lot of bases and and had a Jay-Z lyric written about you.
But you showed up and your arm got exploited. You didn’t get on base very much. You took weird routes to the ball in the outfield. It was an awkwardsaurus rex out there. The next year we sign Andruw Jones to be fat and strikeout constantly. Still, this was enough to put your ass on the bench. You were all mad. We were all “shut up Juan Pierre and stop throwing like my little sister”.
Andruw gets benched like the fat whale he is (should I say beached?) and it seems like Juan gets to be the flower girl in left field again. Juan seems to be happy until the worst thing ever happens.
We bring in the Dreadlocks and he proceeds to hit .400 and take us within 2 wins of the World Series. The town is bugging out. Mannywood becomes the battle cry. Juan is left to bitch on the bench, dreaming of the sun on his skin and visions of hot, nasty bunts down the first base line dancing through his mind.
This offseason, Juan kept quiet until the Dodgers resigned the Dreadlocked one. Juan demanded a trade. The otherwise effable left fielder with a baby’s still-developing arm was back to the bench. The Dodgers granted him the ability to shop himself for trades. Only no one really wanted the guy with a arm that is barely strong enough to pass the salt at the kitchen table. That’s because Super Mario had signed him to a five year deal worth almost 50 million dollars. For that kind of money, you want a guy who can throw the ball from home plate to the pitcher without needing to bounce it once.
So Juan went about his business until Christmas came in May. Manny, the Dreadlocked 8th Wonder of the World, had gotten caught eating women’s fertility drugs (possibly just for fun) and a 50 game suspension followed. Juan was back in the game.
I wrote an article talking a lot of smack about Juan. I critiqued his arm, so soft and delicate that it bruises in weather more than 5 degrees hotter or colder than 72 F. I complained about his OBP and his desired to be traded. After all, in a bad economy, who could feel bad for a guy getting overpaid to sit on the bench. Sounds fun.
Juan, I am sorry. I owe you a big, fat apology. I am sorry for calling you a man who possessed the throwing arm of a man wearing rollerblades on an iced over lake after a few beers. I am sorry because if you are going to bitch about playing time, you better bring it when you get your chance.
And Juan, you have brought it. I’m calling it Pierrewood in left. You’ve done it without steroids (if you’d juiced you’d be able to open jars of pasta sauce without asking for Casey Blake’s help). You have carried this team and even earned back your spot as leadoff hitter.
I was wrong about you. Even if you tanked the rest of the way, you helped us get over the loss of our Dreadlocked slugger. For that, I thank you. In fact, I’ll buy you a beer for sure. Ten of them.
I’ll even twist the cap off for you.