When I think of the Dodgers I never think about Juan Pierre anymore. When I think of Dodger outfielders I don't even think of Pierre. I think of young stalwarts Ethier and Kemp. I think of Manny ( will he come back? ) I think of Andruw Jones even, and wonder that a player could be so bad, and so secretly fat, and so full of smiles as he struck out. I think of potential Manny replacements such as Adam Dunn. I think of Repko, and marvel that he is still banging around with the Dodgers at the AAA level or so, presumably banging into fences and shortstops down there. Sometimes I even think about Milton Bradley and wish things could have been different. What a player Bradley is, when strong in body and mind! But no, he is long gone, and the Cubs will probably curse the day they signed him anyway, if he predictably breaks down while playing the field.
Pierre is still here, but he is already gone. I'm not saying he won't play for the Dodgers this year. He might even get 600 at bats with the team if things break right. I mean wrong. It depends on perspective. I have my own, but I won't deny Pierre his. He wants to play, and I admire that, even as I rue the possible consequences of his ambition. But I don't really rue. Not anymore. No worry, no rue, no dread, no fret. Why? Because Juan D'Vaughn Pierre is gone.
Pierre is gone because his claim to fame is gone. His claim to a piece of my mental energy is gone. His fame was his contract and that which it justified, his place in the lineup, everyday, like Groundhog Day, no matter what young player might be better than him. He's not as good as Ethier and Kemp, and now everyone knows it. Colletti knows it. Torre knows it. I think even Plaschke knows it. He will never start ahead of Ethier or Kemp again, if all are healthy. Mission accomplished. Not even the whisper that the Dodgers need him as a leadoff hitter can be heard. Furcal's return has drowned that out.
Pierre wants out. Get in line behind Repko. Watch Jones already get his wish. Settle in, Pierre, because you're in Blue for a while longer. Those three years left are a prison sentence. A penalty box. The wages of hubris. The wages of being human, and wanting money. You get paid, but you won't play. I bet that deep down Pierre cares a lot more about playing everyday than about getting paid a lot. So make that exchange! But that's not how the world works. He can't throw it back now. It's a part of him. An unwanted limb. The union wouldn't let him anyway.
Even the anticipation is gone. He hit his Dodger home run. It seemed impossible that it would ever happen, and then he did it, and that brief thrill was done. There's really nothing left. That's life, I guess.