Pierre deserves to be on final-man ballot

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.


All-Star Game: July 14, 8 p.m. ET on FOX

If there is one thing I want to hear when the All-Stars are announced Sunday, it's Juan Pierre's name.
Pierre is not going to be elected by the fans. I don't expect him to be elected by the players, either. But at the very least, he should be included on the five-man ballot for the final spot on the National League roster. Pierre, in the words of Padres second baseman David Eckstein, represents "everything that is good about the game." And, at a time when many are celebrating Manny Ramirez's return from a drug suspension, baseball could send a powerful message by giving fans one more chance to elect Pierre if he does not make the NL team in some other way. "That would be nice," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said when I ran the idea by him on Saturday. "He should win, too. He's a popular player." The fans apparently were smart enough not to elect Ramirez, who was seventh among NL outfielders in the most recent balloting. I'm betting they would be smart enough to elect Pierre, not necessarily as the anti-Manny, but as a player who embodies so many old-fashioned ideals. Pierre, 31, performed brilliantly for the Dodgers during Ramirez's 50- game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy. And now that Ramirez is back, Pierre has resumed his part-time role without complaint, maintaining his tremendous work ethic, staying prepared. For the season, he is batting .321 with a .381 on-base percentage, .407 slugging percentage and 22 stolen bases. He would be an asset to the NL as a pinch-runner or pinch-hitter. A number of players from both the Padres and Dodgers told me this weekend that they voted for Pierre on the players' ballot, so it's conceivable he could be a surprise choice when the rosters are announced Sunday. NL officials also have discussed naming Pierre to the team, sources say, but the fans' and players' choices likely will leave them with little flexibility when they complete their roster. The final-man ballot, then, would figure to be Pierre's only hope. Get him on there. For all the right reasons, Juan Pierre is an All-Star.
Tagged: Dodgers, Padres, Manny Ramirez, Juan Pierre

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