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Humble Pierre reflects on hits, stolen bases

CHICAGO -- With a pinch-hit single and pair of steals on Tuesday, Juan Pierre continued his march up the ladder on a couple of baseball's all-time lists. Pierre tied  Willie Randolph and Carlos Beltran with 2,210 hits -- one behind Willie McCovey and four in back of Joe DiMaggio -- while inching closer to Otis Nixon on on the stolen base leaderboard. Pierre, the majors' active leader with 613 steals, ranks 13th all-time, seven steals behind Nixon.

"The names that you start getting on the list to, it's hard for me to fathom," Pierre said. "I almost feel like I don't deserve to be on that list. It's still hard for me to grasp the names I'm associated with on the hits list. I just wanted to get to the big leagues, let alone think about hits. I never really played the game to set out to do this and do that. Just to be in the same company with these guys is crazy. I bet you could ask these big league players now and tell them how many hits I have, and they would be like, 'No way.' I always flew under the radar."

Pierre is quick to acknowlege that his high hits total is due primarily to a combination of longevity (he's in his 14th season) and low walk totals. Due to his lack of power, pitchers were ever afraid to go after Pierre and didn't nibble.

"Being a guy that didn't walk a lot, I had to get hits to get on," Pierre said.

But Pierre is proud of the fact he piled up stolen bases in an era when the home run was king.

"To have the running game during the steroids era -- because I was right in the bulk of it -- and most teams didn't want to run," Pierre answered when asked whether he was more in awe of his hits or stolen base totals. "I was fortunate to play here with Jack (McKeon). He was an old-school manager. He would be like, 'Go! What are you waiting on? Run!' So I think it helped in an era where it was 3-run home runs and 'Don't move. Don't run us out of an inning.'"

As a result, Pierre has been able to pass some of the greatest base stealers the game has known.

"When I passed Davey Lopes and Maury Wills on that list, I was like, man, those cats there, they were the best of their generation," Pierre said. "To pass them. That's crazy. Kenny Lofton (622 stolen bases) was one of the guys I really tried to pattern my game after, and I'm close to him."

Comments

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Just my 2 cents

If I were Beinfest, I would call the Dodgers in the offseason and offer Stanton for Puig. I think that trade would help both teams and place both players in more comfortable homes. Stanton in S. Cal where he is from and Puig in Miami with the Cuban/Latino community. My only concern is that Stanton would become another Cabrera, but it is clear that he wants no part of Loria and the Marlins. He is obviously dogging it, not Hanley style, but he isn't giving 100%. Puig along with Fernandez would be marketing gold and could possibly help reconnect the team with the fanbase. I can see billboards all over town with Puig and Fernandez.

An outfield of Yelich, Ozuna and Puig would be young, dynamic and explosive. You also have Marisnick, but I do not think that he is ready yet and could use some more seasoning in the Minors.

Stan M

I really like your idea. However, it probably will never happen for two reasons. One, I think Puig is making a lot of money as a result of his signing. Second, the Dodges would be crazy to do it. What ever happens, I hope he is traded for ML ready quality players. We've got enough prospects. I'd like a catcher and/or a third baseman if Coghlan doesn't pan out. The way he's hitting, I'm terribly afraid that we have another Dave Kingman on our hands.

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