Juan Pierre Goes for the Gold

13 Aug

Have you been watching the Olympics?  Well, someone sure has.  Last night was the Closing Ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics which were the second most watched event in American TV history.  Now that’s a lot of beach volleyball.  What does that have to do with our boys in red?

Be patient.  It’s early.  I’m getting there.  One of those viewers glued to this year’s international competition was Phillies veteran outfielder Juan Pierre who, after beating out an infield single yesterday to give the Phillies a walk-off win, pumped his left fist into the air and jumped into the arms of reliever Jeremy Horst.

“I got inspired watching Usain Bolt (the Jamaican runner with three gold medals in this year’s games) last night,” Pierre said to reporters after the game.  “I had a chance to go through the finish line there at first base and just got excited, man.” 

And why not?  Juan Pierre has been one of the few bright spots in a dark and dismal season.  He has quietly been one of the Phillies most consistent hitters all year.  Not to mention that he is the ultimate team player as well.

After the trades of Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino that signaled the end of the Phillies hopes for this season, manager Charlie Manuel called Pierre into his office.  He told the veteran that he would not be starting much any more, that the Phillies wanted to take a look at some of their younger players to see what they had for next year.

Pierre, who has hit over .300 for most of the season, couldn’t have been blamed if he found this news frustrating.  After all, he has done all the Phillies have asked of him and more.  And his reward would be to now ride the bench.  But Pierre listened quietly to his manager and when Charlie was finished Pierre responded simply:

“I’ll be ready.”

Juan Pierre has been true to his word.  He has continued to work hard every day and never complained about his lack of playing time.

It is unlikely that the veteran outfielder , who will turn 35 on Tuesday, will fit into the Phillies plans for next year.   His days of being one of the fastest players in baseball are clearly behind him but on a Sunday afternoon, in a game that will most likely mean nothing in the big picture, Pierre gave it all he had, sprinting for that first base bag like, well, like he was going for the gold.

Usain Bolt would have been proud.

4 Responses to “Juan Pierre Goes for the Gold”

  1. BJ August 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Gotta love it!

    • Susan Cohen-Dickler August 14, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      Yep. Gotta take what we can.

  2. Michael Gillen August 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Excellent, and nice connection to the Olympic spirit! (we watched a
    lot, including beach volleyball, and all of closing ceremony.)

    • Susan Cohen-Dickler August 14, 2012 at 12:42 am #

      So did we! I’m going to go through Olympics withdrawal.

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