It would be a good idea to learn Perl well enough that you can at least read other people's scripts. For your own scripting, some simple Perl skills might be more what you need than Java, and it's not too hard to pick up for anyone with previous programming experience.
I'm a Perl fan (can you tell?
), but to be fair, there are a lot of people who prefer Python for sysadmin and general scripting tasks. Tcl/Tk also has a following.