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Marlins' Pierre would take on leadership role if necessary

The SportsXchange

Juan Pierre is the first to admit that he has rarely been a vocal guy around the clubhouse during his career, but Pierre knows he may have to change his ways this year as he starts his second tenure with the Miami Marlins.

Pierre, 35, will be the second-oldest player on what is shaping up to be a young Marlins roster. Infielder Placido Polanco, 37, is the oldest.

"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," Pierre 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."

Pierre also knows he's a different player than he was in 2003 when he patrolled center field for the Marlins' World Series championship team and set a franchise record with 65 stolen bases.

However, he said he's in great shape and has much to offer the team on the field. Last year he signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, won a roster spot in spring training and hit .307 with 37 stolen bases in 130 games.

"I want to go out there and play, but whatever they have for me I'm willing to do," said Pierre, who played every inning of every game in each of his first three years with the Marlins.

"It's a very different 'JP' than I was eight years ago the last time I was here, mentality-wise. I still want to play every day, every inning. I'm still that guy, but I know the direction of the team, and where it may go it may not allow me to do that. I'll be fine with it. I won't be pouting."
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