What is the truth about the Ethier situation?

August 29, 2011

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.

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Wait ’til next year

August 26, 2011

Those famous words were the Dodgers motto for years when they were still in Brooklyn.  It seemed that the Dodgers were always the bridesmaid, but never the bride.  Of course that all changed with the magical 1955 season.

Tony Jackson has an article that outlines what the Dodgers need to do for the remainder of 2011.

Over at the Los Angeles Times blog, Steve Dilbeck has lots of links for your Dodgers browsing pleasure.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 26, 1939 – At Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, NBC televises the first major league game in history on experimental station W2XBS. The Dodgers and Reds split a doubleheader.


The Winds of S**t

August 16, 2011

Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times Dodgers Blog sums up yesterday’s game pretty well.

JhallWally and trublue4ever provided the inspiration for today’s post.

Both the Dodgers and I have flown into a place that we don’t want to be.  I am having some major plumbing work done and have spent the last week trying to coordinate everything.

Today, I found out that my insurance is not going to cover everything and I have to come up with $1500 which I don’t have.  I am totally stressed by this problem and other similar problems.  They all involve people wanting money from me to fix things.  Then I think about the silly game of baseball where even the greenest rookie makes $414,000 a year.  I am trying to support a family of four on 6% of that amount.

What is tearing me up inside from worry about how I can pay the plumber, or the auto mechanic, or replace the microwave oven that just broke yesterday would not even be a passing thought for a major league player.  Just write a check and the problem disappears.

The winds are the same.  They just affect me and the Dodgers in different ways.

Maybe a wealthy Dodger would consider sending a donation to my PayPal account brian at brianoconnell dot net to help me out of my s**t storm.  Unfortunately, only some new players that are actually good can help the Dodgers out of theirs.  A new owner wouldn’t hurt either.

Warning – Do not watch this video if you are offended by scatological humor.

This Day in Dodgers History

On August 16, 1964 – St. Louis outfielder Curt Flood collects eight consecutive hits during a doubleheader against Dodgers pitching. The Cardinals split the twin bill in Los Angeles losing the opener to Sandy Koufax, 3-0, but takes the nightcap as Curt Simmons tosses a six hitter to give the Redbirds a 4-0 victory.


Face the Music

August 9, 2011

Sunday’s loss with Kershaw on the mound has proved to be somewhat of a pivotal event.  With the Giants struggling, it seemed that the Dodgers had replaced their probable, almost certain future of finishing well out of contention with a glimmer of hope.  Alas, that hope did not last long.  Monday’s ugly loss against the mighty Phillies sealed their fate.  The Dodgers must now Face the Music… they are officially toast.  Jon Weisman had some (Dodger) thoughts about this.

On the McCourt front, Steve Dilbeck writes about how Frank can’t wait to start another lawsuit.  What a piece of work!

Since music is the topic of the day, I would like to share the latest song by dodgereric, an ode to Frank and Ned.  The song is based on “Evil and Dangerous Men”,  written and performed by a friend of mine, actor and singer/songwriter Rick Moses.  Some of you may remember him from the soap opera General Hospital, where he played the hitman “Hutch” who was hired to kill Luke and Laura.

Hapless and Pathetic Men

You can stare into the eyes of ineptness,
And swear that your ears hear an echo.
You can try to make trades under stress,
Out-smarted by a gecko
You can acquire the world’s greatest ballclub
And never spend a plugged nickel.
Fans trade your tickets on StubHub,
And your wife sticks you in a pickle.

Hapless and Pathetic men,
They don’t get it.
Hapless and Pathetic men, half of a half-wit.

Ned calls and the GMs want to answer,
They all smell the blood.
As a GM he makes a good dancer,
Man, that cat’s a dud.
He can’t sign good FAs
He cries he gots no money.
Good players he can’t appraise,
He just steps in Schidt, sonny.

Hapless and Pathetic men,
They don’t get it.
Hapless and Pathetic men, half of a half-wit.
Hapless and Pathetic men,
They don’t get it.
Hapless and Pathetic men, half of a half-wit.

(Instrumental interlude)

The owner and Ned have much in common
As they drive our team in the drink,
For the team has gone from the good to the bad
Frank’s gone from “bad” to “you stink”.
He owes money he cannot pay back
The Feds are checking his books,
For deception he has quite a knack
Lock him up with other crooks.

Hapless and Pathetic men,
They don’t get it.
Hapless and Pathetic men, half of a half-wit.
Hapless and Pathetic men,
They don’t get it.
Hapless and Pathetic men, half of a half-wit.
So close…

This Day in Dodger History

On August 9, 1975 – Davey Lopes steals his 32nd consecutive base without being caught breaking Max Carey’s 1922 record in the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory the Mets at Shea Stadium. The Dodgers’ second baseman mark will be broken by Vince Coleman in 1989.