Regal Blue

Finals season means infrequent posting; also, Pierre may soon be gone

Posted in Sports by gklarsen on December 9, 2009

The Kings have been on fire and baseball’s hot stove continues to churn out noteworthy rumors and transactions.  Unfortunately, it also happens to be finals season for this particular law student.  Thus, few posts lately.  My apologies.


First things first:  Juan Pierre may be traded after all.  According to John Paul Morosi, via MLBTradeRumors, the Tigers want Pierre and are looking for a third team to complete the deal.  The Dodgers obviously want starting pitching and likely aren’t too interested in any of the Tiger’s train wreck bad contracts.  Bonderman and the ghost of Dontrelle Willis have contracts so bad that they make Pierre look like a bargain.

It feels as though the Dodgers have been trying to get rid of Pierre since they acquired him.  Last year, there was minimal discussion that the White Sox might have been interested but obviously nothing ever came of it.  The rumors this year seem to be more substantial, perhaps because the Dodgers are more serious about unloading him.  Xavier Paul is a significantly better fourth outfield option and after his promising (though injury shortened) performance last year the Dodgers must feel they can go without Pierre as essentially Manny’s back up.

I have to believe that moving Pierre for an overpriced starter will be met with universal acclaim in Dodgerworld.  Now that Schmidt is gone, Pierre remains the most visible relic of Colletti’s poor dealing when he first started GMing after the 2005 season.  Primarily because of that bad contract, he is a lightning rod for scorn amongst the fans.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.  Odds are if you’re reading a Dodger blog, you’ve got an opinion on Juan Pierre and it’s probably not good.  Mainstream media has done a poor job of defending him on the occassions when they’ve tried.  Features about Pierre essentially boil down to what a hard worker he is, what a good guy he is, he sure is good at stealing bases.  Not a good way to defend a player in the Sabermetric age.

Pierre’s departure would probably have more effect on the perception of the team more than the actual results.  Exiled eternally to be a back up going forward, there would undoubtedly be fewer at bats this year than last year.  I’m assuming no one will be suspended for 50 games.  So, getting rid of him would be a symbolic victory more than anything, considering we’ll still have to pay him or another equivalent bad contract.  It may demonstrate Colletti’s emerging skills as a GM.

However, it may also be another symptom of the Great McCourt Schism.  That event may be the greatest motivator and Colletti may be attempting to push Pierre out only if most of the contract can be dismissed too.  Perhaps the pitcher coming in will be one with only a single year left on the contract.

Despite all of this, I think the odds of sending Pierre out of LA remain slim.  It’s a rough contract in a nasty economic climate.  He remains as he always has: a poor OBP, sub par center fielder (not bad in left, according to Fangraphs), with zero power.  Maybe the Tigers overvalue Pierre’s notoriously illusory hotstreak when Manny got suspended.  Maybe Dave Dombrowski digs fast players now that Curtis Granderson is out of town.

More updates as they become available.


The Kings have been getting points like crazy lately, capped this week by a win over Jerome Iginla and the Calgary Flames.  Tonight the Kings face off against the Sharks.  It looks like Ersberg will start tonight in place of Jon Quick.  Seems like a strange piece of timing considering that the Sharks score lots of goals and Quick has been downright decent lately.

The big question continues to be the first line.  Kopitar has managed to squeeze a few assists, Williams has scored a couple, but the fact remains that it’s a worrisome drought.  Ryan Smyth is still a week away and it’s safe to assume that he’ll need a game or two to get back to full speed.

This opinion is completely without any sort of objective basis, but it feels like Kopitar has been right there as far as scoring.  He’s getting some chances and it may just be a matter of time before the pucks start to find the net.  Regardless of the reasons, every Kings fan would breathe a huge sigh of relief if Kopitar could knock one in tonight.

Irresponsible prediction:  Kings 4, Sharks 3 – Kopitar and Simmonds score.

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