Why Does Pierre Have To Make It So Hard to Dislike Him?

There’s no shortage of writing out there about how underqualified Juan Pierre is to have a starting outfield spot for the 2008 Dodgers (something we’ve covered ad nauseum, particularly here, and which is nicely summed up by DodgerThoughts today), but he’s certainly not making it easy on me (off the field, at least). For someone who I would love nothing more than to see far, far away from the Dodgers, his continued class and respect really makes it hard to want to keep dumping on him.

Selected quotes from JP at dodgers.com today:

“I’m not the kind of guy who says I have to play center field. If it makes the team better, I’m not walking around sulking. I’ll play like I always play.”

“Some people value what I do and some people don’t,” he said. “I don’t know their thought process. All I can do is play hard. I’m close to Kemp and Ethier. There’s no rift with any of them. I wish everybody the best. At the end of the day, we have to see a benefit to the team. If not, they might have to look at getting rid of me if they don’t see me as an asset.

“It is what it is. I wouldn’t say I was upset, but I stopped watching TV,” he said. “To sign Andruw, I’m not a power hitter, so I can’t get too offended. But when people say they finally got a center fielder, that kind of hurt a bit. I have the utmost respect for Andruw. I’m a big Andruw Jones fan.”

“If Andruw drives in runs, everybody will be happy. We’ve all got a job to do. You can’t say that Andruw’s here and everything’s OK. But I take full responsibility for my game last season. If I did my job better, the season would have turned out better.”

“I sign a contract for 162 games and I like to think I honor the contract,” he said. “I know the team counts on me. There might be guys that want me to sit, but that’s just the way I feel.”

Man. He makes me just want to give him a great big hug. And refuse to let him go until December. Of 2011. Like in Misery.

- Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg