Pierre told to fine-tune his approach

first_imgThe question is whether Pierre, who is seven years into a productive career in the majors, can make such an adjustment – or if he should even be asked to, considering the Dodgers signed him to a five-year, $44 million contract based on the player he already was. “I’ll just go out and play my game,” Pierre said. “I don’t get a lot of walks, but … it’s not like I’m just up there hacking.” The biggest knock against Pierre is that his career on-base percentage (.350) isn’t what teams look for from a leadoff man. Pierre doesn’t draw many walks, a fact he blames on his lack of power because pitchers aren’t afraid to challenge him when they are behind in the count. But Little also made it clear in announcing last Thursday that Furcal would lead off and Pierre will be more a second leadoff man than a prototypical No. 2 hitter. Little seemed to reiterate that even as he called for Pierre to take more pitches. “He did ask me about sacrifice bunting with (Furcal) at first base,” Little said. “I don’t think we’ll have much of that. If he sees an opportunity for a (bunt) base hit in those situations, he might be doing that. But we’re not going to be giving up outs when we have a runner on first who is fully capable of stealing a base.” Told after the workout of Little’s comments, Pierre initially seemed taken aback. But ultimately, he acknowledged having had such a conversation with Little. “We talked about it when we talked about me batting second,” Pierre said. Pierre is a contact hitter who struck out just 38 times in 699 at-bats with the Chicago Cubs last season and who has struck out just once every 16.5 at-bats throughout his career. LOOKING BACK Veteran reliever Rudy Seanez, who is in camp on a minor-league contract, returned after a two-day absence to attend his grandmother’s funeral. No sooner had he gotten back than he was reminded of a game at Dodger Stadium last Sept. 18, when Seanez gave up a two-run homer to Nomar Garciaparra in the 10th to give the Dodgers a dramatic win over San Diego. The Dodgers had hit four consecutive homers in the ninth to tie the game. The two clubs wound up tied atop the National League West, with the Padres getting the title based on head-to-head play and the Dodgers making the playoffs as the wild card. “In a game like that, with everything that had gone on, I think there was a feeling that we just weren’t going to win,” Seanez said. “But the biggest thing was, we just came back from it and I just came back from it. I think it showed what both teams were made of.” KOUFAX VISITS Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who lives nearby, made his first Dodgertown appearance of the spring on Sunday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img VERO BEACH, Fla. – Three days after saying he didn’t want Juan Pierre to change his approach despite being dropped to second in the order, Dodgers manager Grady Little said before Sunday’s spring-training workout that he has asked Pierre to be more patient at the plate. “We talked to him about (that),” Little said. “It might help him get on base more.” last_img read more

Solskjaer says no talks yet on long-term Man Utd future

first_img0Shares0000Manchester United’s caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won all four games as interim manager © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jan 4 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not yet spoken to Manchester United bosses about extending his stay at Old Trafford beyond the end of the season despite a perfect start to his reign.The Norwegian former striker has won his first four Premier League matches as United manager — a record that only former boss Matt Busby can match. He made clear after the victory at Newcastle this week that he would love to stay in the job beyond the summer, when his loan from Norwegian club Molde is set to expire, but said on Friday that he had not spoken to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about that.“It’s early days,” said Solskjaer. “When I came in they were open and honest. They have a process to look for the next manager but the more you’re here the more you enjoy it.“It’s one game at a time, though, and the day they announce the next manager, if it’s me or someone else, then good luck to them.”Solskjaer added that, because of his interim status, he would have only a limited say in United’s January transfer activity.He said he was happy with the squad as it stands and that there was no urgent need to add to it.“The club’s probably had a plan,” he said. “You don’t just plan the next day and next month. This transfer window has probably been planned since the summer and the year before.“The structure here is phenomenal, I’m sure they’ve got their targets. I’m here to voice my opinion on that and I’m sure we’ll sit down, me and Ed, if we’ve got anything in the pipeline.“I’m here to work with the ones I’ve got. They’ve all performed and as long as they perform, they should get a chance. But that’s my job, to improve players and individuals.”Solskjaer is focusing on FA Cup progress against Reading, who are second from bottom of the Championship.The Norwegian won the trophy in 1999 and 2004 as a player with United, and is keen to succeed in the competition as a manager.Paul Pogba is likely to miss the third-round home tie on Saturday with a minor injury.The France midfielder suffered a knock during Wednesday’s 2-0 Premier League victory at Newcastle, having been on the receiving end of a robust challenge by Jonjo Shelvey.Romelu Lukaku, a scoring substitute in United’s past two matches, is likely to be given his first start since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last month and Alexis Sanchez is also set for his first start since November 7.“I’m not sure if Paul’s going to be ready,” said Solskjaer. “He got a knock against Newcastle. If (Marouane) Fellaini gets through the session today, it’s more or less a full squad.“Definitely, there’ll be a few changes and they’ll get a chance. Some of them are itching now to play of course. It’s a chance to get Lukaku and Sanchez a start. That’s important for them because they need more game time.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more