Recently retired Marlins World Series winner Juan Pierre visits camp, talks retirement and more

JUPITER -- Juan Pierre called it a career last Friday.

Monday, he was back at work. Well, sort of.

The 37-year-old, 2003 World Series hero visited Marlins camp and was handing out hugs. Soon, if manager Mike Redmond can convince him, Pierre could be handing out advice.

Although it won't be in any official coaching capacity, Redmond and the Marlins are pushing for Pierre to spend some time around the team this season, hoping his trademark work ethic will rub off on some of the young pups like Dee Gordon. So will Pierre be sporting a Marlins advisor's uniform soon like Andre Dawson and Jeff Conine?

"I don't know. If they want me in uniform," Pierre said. "I'm not necessarily itching to get back in uniform. But just to hang out with the guys, come here and help out there individually. I don't like this attention right here. I like to slide in the cracks, be on the backfields. Field 6 is where I was made. That's what I look to do back there with the kids, work out individually if need be. Right now I'm just out here, hanging, supporting.

"Red was a great teammate of mine, supported me a lot, helped me a lot when I was here. Both times. We had a lot of great talks with the boys. This was my last team so a lot of these young pups I know. I'll try to help out anyway I can.

"My ideal job is to come to spring training between 7 and 9:30 a.m., do early work and then I go home. That's my ideal job. Give me all the early work you want. That's my ideal job."

Redmond would love to have Pierre around any way he can.

"After the season that he played for us [in 2013], we talked a long time about a lot of different things," Redmond said. "I know he was still trying to play and wanting to play and I just told him 'Hey man, when that day comes and you retire, give me a call, let me know and we'd love to have you around this organization.' I think back to all the days that I played I don't know that there's a better guy to represent our organization and what he meant as a player, as a person and a teammate.

"So to have him come up it means a lot to me and a lot of our guys too. To have him around as an another source of information is important I think to our younger players. Dee Gordon will really benefit from JP being able to talk to him. Sometimes just casual conversations can make a huge difference. It doesn't have to be a really specific thing, just maybe an experience thing. Look for this, look for that. It's nice the more guys we can bring out here with that type of experience will benefit all of us."

Pierre, one of the most beloved Marlins of all-time, has long had a reputation for being a hard worker. Redmond said there were mornings back when they were teammates he would show up at 5 a.m. for spring training workouts and Pierre was already in the batting cages bunting.

"It's funny for me to hear him say he only wants to show up from 8 to 10 or whatever," Redmond said. "It was impressive to watch him [during those early morning workouts]. I think that rubs off on players. You realize what it takes to be great and a guy like him is a role model and a leader no doubt. Younger players especially gravitate towards guys like that, that know how to work, how to act and are very successful."

Pierre, who sat out the 2014 season while looking for work, said he waited about a week into spring training before deciding it was time to retire. He was still hoping to get a phone call for a camp invite, but wasn't going to wait forever.

"I didn't want to be around all summer long hoping and wishing and that type thing," he said. "The decision was easy. It's hard because you know everybody knows the passion and love for the game I have. But it comes to a point where you know you can't play forever."

In the meantime, Pierre said, he's been enjoying his time at home with his family. He and his wife have two boys: Joshua, 3, and Jonathan, a five-month old.

"I'm Mr. Mom right now," Pierre said. "I enjoy it. I have to put my little one to sleep every night. He won't let my wife do it. I have to do it. So I enjoy little things like that. Maybe down the road I'll get back into it [coaching] in some capacity. I don't know yet. But definitely the love for the game is still there."

> Pierre said he sees a lot of similarities between he and the speedy Dee Gordon.

"He's way faster than I was that's for sure," Pierre said. "He's right on the cusp of being that great player. Similar to me, he was traded over here and here in this ballpark you need speed. He'll be able to run and maybe do some things he wasn't able to do with the Dodgers. It's definitely more laid back here. The Dodgers media, there's a lot of them out there. He's right on the cusp of being a really great player. He's in a perfect spot because they embrace [his] game here. They want him to run and score and make it a lot easier for the guys in the middle of the lineup. I definitely see a lot of similarities. He's probably got more pop than me too. How many career home runs does he got so far? He might get me here in a couple years then."

September 10, 2008

Hermida gives Tyler Babel the tour

Marlins right fielder Jeremy Hermida was the host and tour guide as he led Tyler Babel through the Marlins’ clubhouse before Wednesday’s Marlins-Phillies game.

Tyler, 6, got the red-carpet treatment from the Marlins players. Luis Gonzalez came over to give him some batting gloves and Dan Uggla and others stopped and joked with the first-grader.

There were some bats and autographed balls, and of course there was the moment when Hermida led Tyler up the steps from the dugout and onto the field at Citizens Bank Park.

“This is awesome,’’ said Tyler, wide-eyed and staggered by being on the big league turf.

Hermida set up the tour for Tyler, who was hit in the face by a foul ball on Aug. 5 that sailed off Hermida’s bat. Tyler suffered three fractures, and spent three days recovering in the hospital.

But Tyler, his older brother Matthew, 8, and mom (Anni) and dad (Matthew) were all smiles Wednesday. They each wore red Phillies T-shirt jerseys with black Marlins caps. The kids wore Ryan Howard jerseys and mom and dad wore Chase Utley jerseys.

“The Marlins are my second favorite team,’’ Tyler said.