Ethier met with reporters Thursday before the Giants game, and though he did eventually apologize, to say he was contrite would be stretching things.
He spent the first few minutes with reporters trying to make light of it.
"They really weren’t supposed to release this photo shoot yet," Ethier said. "It was an inspirational piece and they asked me what I thought of Dylan Hernandez at the time. It was based on the L.A. Times beat reporters.
"Steve [Dilbeck]’s photos haven’t come out yet. I was hoping T.J. [Simers] would be here. I have them on my phone, the rest of the photos. It’s kind of a theme piece. They were supposed to be intimate. I thought the photographer was going to wait for my OK to release it, but obviously they were very excited to get the images out."
This line of conversation went on for some time, too long really, and when pressed, Ethier kept trying to have it both ways.
Was he ticked at that moment: "I wasn’t [angry] at all. If you’re going to stand there and take the same picture for 15 minutes, what’s the difference between the first and the 15th minute? It just got kind of annoying. I guess I slipped up, and that temper you guys sometimes like to write about, got ahead of me and I didn’t use my head and use the best judgment in that situation. I made a mistake of it and it’s unfortunate."
Was he sorry: "I’m sorry. It’s a dumb incident. Obviously it’s an age when someone can’t wait to plug their flash drive in their computer and get their 15 minutes of fame off of something and try to make a name for themselves. Obviously this is what this person is about. You have to always watch your guard and watch who you’re dealing with out there."
Or just be a tad smarter, like Ethier the would-be team leader should have been.
Sax's update 5/20/11 10a: Now MLB wants to probe Ethier. Using the whole fist there, Bud?