Juan Pierre's first order of business with the Marlins this spring will be finding the light switch at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.
Pierre said he expects to be the first player to arrive every morning at the team's spring training complex, starting his day in the weight room just as he did every spring from 2003 through '05 in his first tenure with the Marlins.
"Gotta be there by 6,'' he said with a smile. "I'm a guy that just does it.''
Pierre often led by example in his first Marlins stint. His work ethic made him a favorite of then-manager Jack McKeon and helped the Marlins win the 2003 World Series.
But Pierre, 35, knows his role in 2013 will be different.
Pierre, exclusively a center fielder in his first go-round with the Marlins, is expected to get most of the playing time in left field while hitting first in the lineup. He also is preparing to be more of a vocal leader on a team made up mostly of young and inexperienced players.
"A lot of these guys were probably in elementary school when we won it in '03, so it's definitely a blast from the past in that aspect,'' he said with a laugh.
"I'm not a real vocal guy. Maybe this year I might have to step out of my little comfort zone and be that. If I can help a young guy or see things that might need to be said, then I might have to do it.''
The Marlins reached out to Pierre in mid-November just after making a 12-player trade with Toronto that turned Miami from a veteran club to a team that is rebuilding.
Pierre, a free agent who played for Philadelphia last season, said he was about 15 minutes from agreeing to a contract with an American League team when the Marlins called. He quickly agreed to a one-year, $1.6 million deal.
"I couldn't pass it up,'' he said, adding he was shocked by the offer because he figured Miami planned to use a young outfield.
Pierre is the first to admit that he's a different player than he was nine years ago, when he patrolled center for the World Series championship team and set a franchise record with 65 stolen bases.
Juan Pierre happy to be back with Marlins, regardless of his role
Palm Beach Post | Jan 16