What is the truth about the Ethier situation?

Ever since T.J. Simers wrote his article about Andre Ethier, there has been a firestorm of controversy in the media, in the team and in the blogosphere.  Ethier said: “Other than going into the training room every day and saying my knee hurts,” Ethier says, “and having six-inch needles stuck into it to make it feel better, I’ve told them my mechanics are messed up because of my knee. They know.  “But they’ve told me, ‘Grin and bear it.'”  Ned Colletti hinted that Ethier may be faking an injury: “What am I supposed to be concerned about?” General Manager Ned Colletti says. “That he has those numbers [since the All-Star break], that he’s hurt or contends he’s hurt?”

In Tony Jackson’s article, Ethier backtracked when he talked about the condition of his knee: “Ethier himself told us there was no real change, that he was still free to play through the injury if he chose and that he, and not Mattingly, had been the one who had chosen to play through it all season.”

At the end of spring training, Ethier had this to say: ”

“My salary is increasing each year. I would say the likeliness of me being here beyond this year, it’s not just my decision. … I have been kind of lucky to be in one spot in baseball for as long as I have been, for six years now. That is a long time to be in one city playing for one team. There is no inclination now other than to go out and play this year and see what we’ve got.

“If I don’t play well, we have seen them non-tender guys here. If you do play well, sometimes they don’t offer those guys arbitration because their salaries are too high.”

The obvious message Ethier was trying to get across that day was that he wasn’t feeling that the Dodgers were committed to him. Fast forward to this weekend, to another Ethier firestorm that on its face was completely unrelated to that first one, and it now sounds as though Ethier might not be all that committed to them, either.”

Steve Dilbeck reported in his L.A. Times blog “that by Sunday afternoon, a certain disconnect had developed between what Ethier told Simers and what he said before the game. This came after he met with Colletti and Mattingly in the manager’s office, and then was quickly ushered into the training room by team doctor Neal ElAttrache for another examination.”

More disturbing were the comments by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who felt that his personal integrity had been challenged:

“I got kind of blindsided by that,” Mattingly said. “To me, the way I read it is, Dre’s been telling us he can’t play and we just said, ‘You’re playing anyway.’ That definitely isn’t the case.

“For me, that takes a shot at my integrity. … I would never do that. I would rather lose my job that put a guy out there who might hurt himself.”

In the official Dodgers MLB site, Ken Gurnick said that Ethier backed off the comments he made in Simers article: “His pointed comments in the column ignited a controversy that indicted club decision makers and infuriated teammates. But Ethier backpeddled an hour before game time, agreeing with the club that he never told officials he was too injured to play. ”

Mattingly declined to speculate on whether Ethier’s comments in the article were motivated by contractual desires or to serve as an excuse for the outfielder’s second-half slump. Instead, Mattingly said if Ethier needs surgery now, “he’s better off to get it now.”

All of this speculation about Andre Ethier has caused quite a stir.  Who knows who to believe?  Only time will tell how all of this will play out.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 29, 1948 – In St. Louis, Jackie Robinson hits for the cycle, drives in two runs, scores three times and steals a base helping the Dodgers to beat the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park, 12-7.


85 Responses to What is the truth about the Ethier situation?

  1. dodgereric says:

    Reposted (with a few new sentences) from the last thread:

    So, who are the leading characters in this bad play?

    Stan Conte, trainer. Already on record as being the worst trainer in Dodger if not MLB history. No integrity.

    Don Mattingly, manager. Already on record as having no major league managerial experience, This reporter has never heard anyone ask him the question, but this reporter has no doubt that, were someone ask him of his opinion of the owner and/or the GM would either completely avoid the question or would answer, “Well, he’s been good to me so far.” No integrity.

    Ned Colletti, scumbag GM. Already on record as having publicly ripping his players and sitting on a .010 record of good free agent signings and trades. No integrity.

    F….Fr…..no, still cannot write it. The putrid Dodger owner. Already on record as having absolutely no integrity whatsoever in any category anyone on the planet could name.

    Andre Ethier, right fielder. Already on record as a good teammate, hard worker and first in his field of working with charity, but challenged with a temper that he sometimes loses a fight with. Certainly someone with whom dodgereric shares at least one attribute.

    Reaction #1: If someone in this episode deserves benefit of the doubt, it’s Ethier.

    Reaction #2: I still cannot forget Colletti’s “What am I supposed to be concerned about? That he has those numbers [since the All-Star break], that he’s hurt or contends he’s hurt?” Has Colletti retracted, clarified or denied that statement? Has anyone had the balls to ask him that?

    Reaction #3: I wouldn’t give a tinker’s damn for a player who constantly begs out of the lineup. I don’t think Ethier is one of them. I think he knows he should be held out of games. I think he knows that management and the trainers know he’s hurting. If an old man sitting at home watching on TV noticed his grimace, don’t you think that someone – the manager, a coach, a trainer, a teammate should have noticed it, especially since it happened 20′ from their dugout? How many times has anyone seen a player – any player – show signs of an injury on the field and have the trainer and the manager run out there and yank his ass right out of a game. It’s their JOB to do so. If it isn’t something on the field, but instead in the trainer’s room – for example – oh – maybe having his knee drained or having fluid added to his knee, then the trainer (if he’s a good trainer) goes to the manager and tells him he’s done for a while. Because that’s his JOB. Then, the manager goes to see the player and tells him he’s sitting down. Because that’s his JOB. Or, if he’s a stinkin’ ex-gnat bastard trainer who is completely tied to the stinkin’ ex-gnat bastard of a GM’s coattails, he won’t.

    Reaction #4, I still think that Colletti is still using his injuries to drop him numbers to a point where he thinks he will win the arbitration hearing in the spring.

    Agree or disagree as you like. That’s my opinion, and that’s who I believe, to answer your question, 32. Period.

    Lost in the anger of those and other statements yesterday, I neglected to mention that yesterday’s Game 67 put our attendance over 3 million in 2010. Today’s game put the “attendance” over 2.5.

    Game 68 attendance (2010): 44,268
    Today’s attendance courtesy of trumom: 38,503
    Difference from 2010: -6,661
    Estimated no-shows: 9,626
    Estimated turnstile attendance: 28,877
    Greater than last year = 9 / Less than last year = 58
    13th straight game of negative attendance

    Games less than 30,000 this season – 9
    Games less than 30,000 in 2005 – 2010: none
    Last game was 9/14/2004 – 29,704

    Lowest attended game of the year: Game 8 – 27,439
    Largest single game drop: Game 18 (55,662 – 28,419 = 27,243)

    2010 attendance (68 games) – 3,046,600 (44,803 average)
    2011 attendance (68 games) – 2,509,935 (36,911 average) #10 in MLB
    Percentage attendance drop 2010/2011: -21.3816

    Drop of 536,665 total
    Average drop of 7892
    Extrapolated for 81 games – 639,263
    Projected 2011 final attendance – 2,989,776
    2010′s final attendance – 3,562,318 (#3 in MLB)

    Next game’s (69) attendance in 2010 – 37,080

    Crowds less than 30,000 in 2010: none. 2011: 9
    Crowds 30,000 – 39,999 in 2010: 13. 2011: 42
    Crowds 40,000 – 49,999 in 2010: 44. 2011: 12
    Crowds 50,000 – 55,999 in 2010: 7. 2011: 2
    Sellouts (56,000) in 2010: 4. 2011: 3

  2. I can’t wait for the tell-all book to come out this fall..


    Ethier is about as outspoken as anyone has ever been in a Dodger uniform, and although management wants to keep him quiet, you could tell today, he wanted to say something else other than that farce of ” I WANT TO PLAY”..Obviously, he does want to play, but he too knows he has to pick his battles wisely, and this one is a loss through and through. The mere fact that reports claim that Ethiers agent and Ned spoke about an Ethier injury as early as Spring Training and then 2 weeks ago, wouldn’t that put out a caution or a “HOLY SHIT, LET’S GET HIM THE MEDICAL HELP HE NEEDS”..

    It’s clear to me that either than Dodgers don’t have the $$$ to pay for his surgery, or that they are indeed trying to damage him to where he has to accept their low-ball figure. His production is heavy based on his knees, and he himself grimmaces in pain as most have pointed out on here.

    It’s absurd to think that no trainer, no coach, no gm, coach or player knows or knew he was injured. He’s the leader of the clubhouse, and yet, he had to go to someone other than Conte to get checked out. I’m pretty sure he has cartilage damage and needs a knee scraping and joint fusion of some sort. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday this week, Ethier will be shut down or see his play time diminish significantly, with Oeltjen and Gwynn playing the OF more, along with Sands and others to fill the gap during the last month.

    Ahhh, can’t wait to see how they write this season off in the team archives, or for that matter, the team almanac.

    When all is said and done, Ethier will indeed leave for this very purpose, and we will all miss him, because he stayed true to his belief, and his work ethic should never of come into question.

    Who are you to point fingers at me, when there are fingers pointed right back at you. I do believe that will be Ethiers’ opening line. I pray though, that his closing remarks are

    C’est La Vie C’est La Vie!!!

  3. messagebear says:

    The last sentence of the article brings the whole thing into focus, “who do you believe” – my answer is EASY, ANDRE.
    I wouldn’t believe Frank, Ned, or Donnie if they said the sky is blue.
    As for Conte, he should have been SHOT long ago.

  4. trublu4ever says:

    Plain and simple…I DON’T trust anything that comes out of the mouth of management! Therefore, I DO believe Andre!

  5. trublu4ever says:

    We were typing at the same time, Bear. But the sentiment is the same! 😉

  6. selltheteam says:

    If you haven’t already read it, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts has an interesting take on the whole Ethier situation. In summary, it is that Andre and the Dodgers should have, a long time ago, focused on getting Andre 100% healthy. He obviously hasn’t been 100% healthy in quite some time.

  7. nellyjune says:

    Andre, Don and Ned meet in a closed door meeting, and then Andre comes out with a different story than what was said before. That alone should be reason to believe Andre. I don’t think Andre isn’t saying anything that hasn’t happened.
    Dodgereric and Yunghitters – very well said!!

  8. JhallWally says:

    Ethiers a crybaby!! An overrated super star wanna be. So why didn’t he get the knee taken care of after last season? He knew it was a problem. So now he’s stinking up the place and he pulls out the injury card and tries to blame his lack of ability on the organization. Lame!!! From your comments I can see he also makes some strong Kool-Aid.



    On a team with a full compliment of real major league players, Mr Soft-E is an outfield platoon player.

  9. The only thing I can add is “Simers strikes again”. He’s another one to not trust.

  10. grizzy says:

    This whole thing is a little strange from both sides of the fence, but I really do not see Mattingly as being dishonest about this. Maybe Ethier does want out. So be it. Still don’t get Colletti’s remarks. I really don’t think Mattingly is the jerk here.

  11. selltheteam says:

    Lineup – With Ethier

    Sellers SS
    Loney 1B
    Kemp CF
    Rivera LF
    Ethier RF
    Miles 3B
    Barajas C
    Carroll 2B
    Kershaw P

  12. northstateblues says:

    The BIGGEST player in this drama is T.J. Simers. He played everybody like a fucking (can I say “fucking” here?) Stradivarius, emitting a caterwauling tune only Jack Benny could be proud of.

    He played off Ethier’s reputation as a “moody, emotional” ballplayer who’s biggest obstacle on the diamond is “his own temper”

    He played off of, in absentia, Stan Conte and the training staff, who we know couldn’t (or wouldn’t) keep Shpunt out as a Honorary Doctor, and the best word one can say about his tenure with the Dodgers is “questionable”.

    He played off Ned Colletti as the GM who brings the hammer down on his young talent while coddling PVL’s who, in a great orator’s words, couldn’t hit water falling out a fucking boat (Looking at you, Velez).

    He played off a Dodgers fanbase fed up with anger and hungry for vengance.

    And he played off of the ownership, McCourt being the second worse housekeeper in the MLB (Selig being the undisputed champion of that).

    From a former Journalism student, never, Never, NEVER trust the media. Unless you find some ultra-dedicated small press, there is ALWAYS an agenda in what’s printed, and we all know T.J.’s agenda, Get a Rise, Get Readers, Get Paid.

    The bigger the media outlet, the bigger it’s corporate sponsors, and the more that corporate sponsor influences the agenda of what news is reported, and more importantly, what news ISN’T reported. For example, the Sacramento Bee published an article showing the crooked tactics car dealers use on car lots, forgetting that at least 25% of their advertising was… car dealers. The dealers pulled their ads in anger from the newspaper, and within a week, THE BEE PUBLISHED AN APOLOGY, and the car ads were back. Good for business, bad for “truth” and “media ethics”, the last phrase fading away faster than Kodachrome film.

    In short, anyone who watches 10 minutes of Fox News and 10 minutes of MSNBC and sees one of the channels as Champions of Truth and the other as Horrible Lying Liars is part of the country’s problem, and definitely not part of the solution.

    Well played, Mr. Simers. Well played. : puke :

  13. I’m sure Ned fancies himself as a Little Napoleon, and I’m sure Dre fancies himself as a superstar. As with most things, including this latest controversy, the truth lies somewhere in between.

    On one hand, for a former PR man its apparent that Ned never mastered that trade either. On the other hand it seems Dre keeps trying to play cards he may not hold.

    The dysfunction of this franchise knows no boundries.

  14. lbirken says:

    I believe there is enough blame to go around for this situation and I still say we don’t know all the facts. But clearly there is some sort of problem between management and Ethier, at least with regards to communication. I maintain most players play for themselves, not in a selfish sort of way but in hopes of getting that next contract. The good ones don’t let it affect their play. Is Andre letting that happen to him? I don’t doubt he is hurting and I don’t doubt he never wants to come out of the lineup. But to suggest management “forces” him to play hurt just does not cut it with me. I think Mattingly is a decent, honorable person. You can question his ability as a manager but there is nothing about him to suggest he would knowingly do something to jeaprodize a player’s health. I can understand a player being concerned about how he is perceived in the clubhouse but Andre has never struck me as the type of guy who has to proove himself to his teammates. His play should speak itself. So I continue to wonder, what really happened and why?

  15. selltheteam says:

    Who’s up for counting the number of Ethier-Winces tonight?

    • JhallWally says:

      When he’s playing or when he’s running his yap?

      He might as well shut it down and get the knee taken care of now. He hasn’t helped the team playing hurt.

  16. I hate reading about this current Ethier situation. It’s very hard to form an opinion but all I can is, if he feels that the pain of the injury doesn’t bother him enough to stop playing than let him play. BUT if his slump continues and he’s not helping the team, then Mattingly should just simply bench him and regardless of what happens, I hope he gets that offseason surgery .

  17. trublu4ever says:

    Have a good game tonight Kersh! Let’s get him lots of runs so he can cruise to victory…GO, DODGERS, GO!!!!

  18. trublu4ever says:

    Tonight is the first time I ever heard Lyons mention what a small crowd there seems to be.

  19. trublu4ever says:

    Yes….love the DP!

  20. trublu4ever says:

    WAY TO GO JAMES!!!!!

  21. vl4eccjr says:

    Loney’s en fuego!!!

  22. Who’s this James Loney guy?

  23. vl4eccjr says:

    Whatever Hansen is doing to Loney seems to be working.

  24. Just watched the replay of Loney’s shot… he seems to have that original James Loney sweet swing back.

  25. trublu4ever says:

    Too bad….Kersh just lost his scoreless innings streak.

  26. trublu4ever says:

    ( 😉 ) Dre!!!!!

  27. Hey, a productive out!!!

  28. Damn! That was real baseball.

  29. trublu4ever says:

    3 – 3 😉

  30. trublu4ever says:

    Woo-Hoo….Blake DeWitt hit a shot against the gnats!

  31. Nice that he got a hit and all, but I don’t see what’s to be gained by keeping Kersh in against he Puds.

  32. Nellyjune says:

    DeWitt is having a great game against the gnats!!!

  33. trublu4ever says:

    29,764 paid attendance. Very, very bad!!!

  34. vl4eccjr says:

    CG win! The bullpen owes him for the night off!!!

  35. trublu4ever says:

    Excellent job Kersh & company!

  36. JhallWally says:

    Woo-Hoo!!! WTG Kersh!!!

  37. vl4eccjr says:

    Amazing performance from Kersh! He just got tougher as the game went on.

  38. I have some sad, sad news to report:

    “Uribe increasingly likely to miss rest of season.”

  39. Nellyjune says:

    Great game Dodgers!!!!

  40. That was a fantastic game. Kershaw looked stronger as he went along. The offense looks a lot better lately, who knows this could be a turning point. Even if they don’t make it this year, if this keeps up maybe next year. It was also good to see them bounce back after a loss.

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