Left off roster, Hairston backs fellow Dodgers

Left off roster, Hairston backs fellow Dodgers

Left off roster, Hairston backs fellow Dodgers

ATLANTA -- Veteran Jerry Hairston balanced his disappointment over being left off the Dodgers' National League Division Series roster with support for those who made it.

"The team is more important than one person," said Hairston, who essentially lost his utility spot to Michael Young, who was acquired at the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline.

"The bottom line is, I want us to win. That's it. It's about winning a championship and I'm excited for the guys. I've tasted it, hoisted the World Series trophy. I hope I get to see them do it."

Hairston played in the postseason for the 2009 champion Yankees and the 2011 Brewers.


His outside chance at making the NLDS roster was wiped out by the injury to Andre Ethier, limiting the outfielder to pinch-hitting and necessitating carrying Dee Gordon for pinch-running.

"I've always been a team guy, never complained," Hairston said. "I want the guys to know I've got their back, I'll cheer for them. I know what it's like to be on the roster, it's a great feeling and I hope they enjoy it.

Hairston did take exception to portrayals that his offense slumped over the second half, explaining that his playing time diminished and his role changed to primarily pinch-hitting. He hit .258 in 120 at-bats before the break and .143 in 84 at-bats after the break.

"It was the Matt Stairs role and it's not easy," he said. "One thing I don't appreciate is people saying I struggled. I didn't struggle. I had 80 at-bats the second half. Pinch-hitting against closers. That's tough. I've had experience playing center field. The step or two I've lost I make up for with experience, knowing how to play the game."

Hairston will continue to work out with the club in case an emergency replacement is needed.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.