How discouraging must it be for National League teams to witness what the Dodgers are doing without Manny Ramirez in the lineup? You see a guy with Hall of Fame credentials sit for nearly two months, replaced by a speedy singles hitter and think maybe — just maybe — you’ve got a chance to gain some ground.
Then Juan Pierre goes out and forgets he’s not very good. No, he isn’t hitting like Ramirez — few people do — but he’s producing at a level (.404/.469/.544) that nobody could have anticipated. Granted, it’s a small sample, but Pierre has already covered more than one-third of Manny’s Surprise Vacation.
Even if he reverts to career norms tomorrow, Pierre has done enough damage to help keep opponents at bay. He is hitting like a legitimate big-league left fielder. That isn’t supposed to happen for any extended period of time, and when it does, it creates problems. What should be a weakness for the Dodgers isn’t.
One day you look up and realize that they are dominating with Pierre in the lineup. Then you remember that he’s just a temporary fix and that eventually Ramirez will return.
That can’t be a comfortable thought. I’m just sayin’.