Monday, August 29, 2011

Mattingly May Now Be As Sore As Ethier

With Andre Ethier noticably out of Sunday's lineup--especially watching some ginger play from substitute Trent Oeltjen out there in right field--it was unsurprising to find out that Ethier's comments to TJ Simers, implying that he has played hurt over his own concerns, rubbed manager Don Mattingly the wrong way:

Colletti, however, insisted the club did not force Ethier to play hurt. Mattingly, in fact, took that inference personally.

"I got kind of blindsided by this," said Mattingly. "That's taking a shot at my integrity, at the organization and training staff and Ned -- and personally that I would put a guy out there that was hurt and risk his career. I'd never do that. That's not in my DNA. I'd rather lose my job than put a guy out there with the chance to hurt himself or his career in a long-term way. We knew 'Dre is banged up. But I always check with him, and he's never said he couldn't play.

"In fact, there was a day game [against Houston], and I told him in the weight room he wasn't playing -- and later he came into my office and said, 'I want 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."

"He's told me he wanted to keep playing, and it's been his decision to keep playing," said Mattingly. "He never told us he can't go.

"It's pretty easy to pile on the Dodgers now. But this, to me, is off base."

In a disastrous season like this one, I can understand frustrations coming to the surface. We're all frustrated. But this outburst from Ethier, following his second year with a solid first half and a slumpy second half, is really disappointing. I wish Ethier had the type of personal advisors who could help him frame the frustrations in a more politically adept fashion, rather than pointing fingers.

I nfact, even in the Sunday Ken Gurnick / article in which Ethier tried to "backpeddle" [sic] a bit, his words reflecing his desire to stay in Los Angeles seemed half-hearted, at best:

Meanwhile, Ethier rejected speculation that he wants to leave the organization.

"It's still a great organization. But, obviously, a lot of things need to be changed," he said. "For the team, for the fans, for what the place should be. I definitely want to be here. We were going in a great direction before the divorce [of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt]. I can't say an ownership change is warranted. Everyone knows things aren't right, we definitely agree on that. How do you make it better?"

I can think of one place to start.


Greg Hao said...

Fuck Ethier, if he don't want to be here, he doesn't need to be.

And it's pretty galling of a guy who in the pre-season said that he wanted to be a leader of this team. Take your entitled ass and GTFO.

Fernie V said...

I agree with Mr. Hao, I like Ethier but don't mind burning my Ethier good day t-shirt.

Nostradamus said...

I've been as big of a supporter of Andre as there is, but we've got to face the realities of the ownership situation sooner or later.

There's no reasonable way this clusterfuck is getting totally resolved before the beginning of the season. If trading him for a nice haul of prospects frees up cash to get Kemp signed long-term, I can live with it...

...or at least I could live with it as long as it wasn't Ned behind the wheel.

Greg Hao said...

@Mr. C - You're quite right on all points. Frankly, for a guy who's hitting .223 career against left handed players, Ethier is not a frontline star and we should sell him for as many quality prospects as we can get.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

The only problem with trading Ethier is that he's at his lowest value. Crummy second half, off-season surgery, public comments that have obviously perturbed the front office. He still has value, but we're not going to get as a great a haul in the winter than if we wait for July next season.

Nostradamus said...


Agreed, though much depends on how much latitude the team will be afforded this winter to do anything more than maintain the status quo (kuo?)

Ethier is still on the (projected) upside of his career, and he's had decent enough production over the last few years for several teams to be competing for his services, though. I'm less concerned about the value offered for a potential trade than I am about the competency of the decision makers.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Looking at the free agency list for 2012 offseason, here are outfielders who could join Ethier and Kemp in free agency:

Josh Hamilton
Michael Bourn
BJ Upton
Carlos Quentin
Shane Victorina

Dollars to donuts Hamilton gets an extension. Odds are Bourn does too. Upton likely gets traded this offseason. I don't know what happens with Quentin or Victorina. But it looks like the Dodgers could be in a sellers' market next July.

Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

Ichiro is also a free agent, but I don't see him leaving Seattle.

Steve Sax said...

Ethier for Milton Bradley continues to be the finest move in Ned Colletti's Dodgers GM career.

I wonder if in the back of his mind, that makes Colletti loathe to move Andre.

Steve Sax said...

I have to say, I'm also a little surprised that everyone is pretty fed up with Andre based on this kerfuffle.

I don't know what Andre hoped to achieve by saying those comments to Simers over the weekend, but I have to guess he didn't expect this reaction, from the team and from the fans.

Dusty Baker's Toothpick said...

Ethier has been mouthing off all summer. He needs to shut his trap and let his bat do the talking. We're all as frustrated as he is with the ownership fiasco, but he's a professional athlete, who gets paid big bucs for the honor of wearing the Dodger Blue. Dammit

Fernie V said...

We probably just going to keep him til next years trade deadline. He will have an outstanding first half and his upside will get us prospects.

Steve Sax said...

Maybe we can get Trayvon Robinson back.