Read: Pierre unsung hero

With all the attention being paid to the return of Manny Ramirez – he plays his first game in Los Angeles since his 50-game suspension Thursday against Houston – it’s easy to forget the outstanding job Juan Pierre did filling in for Manny in left field.

Baseball America’s Tracy Ringolsby wrote a nice piece about how well Pierre played and what his role is moving forward.

The Dodgers were 29-21 without Manny and Pierre hit .318, stole 21 bases and scored 34 runs. Now he goes back to the bench – or maybe onto the trading block – with Manny back in the lineup.

It’s hard not to root for a guy like Pierre after reading this article, which is interesting because most Dodger fans probably wanted to ship him out of town last winter after he slumped and pouted through a terrible 2008 season, the last three months spent as Manny’s backup.

Whether the Dodgers held onto him this winter or just couldn’t find a trade partner, you have to admit it all worked out for the best.

As the old saying goes, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.