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Andre Ethier meets with Dodgers management after L.A. Times column

Aug 28, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

Andre Ethier AP

T.J. Simers’ Sunday column in the Los Angeles Times, which highlighted Andre Ethier‘s struggles as he plays on a sore right knee that will require offseason surgery, created a stir in the Dodgers clubhouse and led to a meeting this afternoon between Ethier, GM Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly.

Ethier, who has been playing regularly while hurt, was held out of Sunday’s lineup after the meeting.  His comments in Simers’ article suggested he was playing at the Dodgers’ insistance:

It’s only going to get worse from this point. I’ve dealt with it all season long, but as the season goes on my body wears down. That’s just the way it is — I keep getting put in the lineup, so what am I supposed to do?

Obviously, that didn’t go over well with Mattingly:

“I got kind of blindsided by that,” Mattingly told Steve Dilbeck of the Times. “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.”

Ethier says he’s been told playing won’t make his condition any worse, so it doesn’t sound like he’ll be shut down anytime soon.  Still, one wonders if his time with the Dodgers is coming to an end.  He’s been painted as a malcontent in other articles this year, with many suspecting that he yearns to play in Boston with good friend Dustin Pedroia.  The Dodgers have him under control for next year, but he’ll probably make $11 million-$12 million in arbitration and he’ll be a free agent after that.  They might decide to get something for him while they still can.

  1. Roger Moore - Aug 28, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    Of course Ethier hasn’t been telling management he’s hurt and can’t play. Management has plenty of ways of letting players know they don’t want to hear about it, and you can bet that Mattingly has been using a bunch of them. When management shuts off communications from the players, they can’t be surprised when they’re not receiving this kind of critical information.

    • jimbo1949 - Aug 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      “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.”
      Guess they want a doctors note, signed and notarized.

  2. firedude7160 - Aug 28, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    What do the Dodgers get out of having him play through the injury? They are not even close to being in contention for a playoff spot. Why not let him have the surgery now and give him as much time for recovery as possible

    • prionogenic - Aug 28, 2011 at 10:59 PM

      Ethier is a good looking, talented player. If the Dodgers want people to continue buying tickets then they want the best team they can field whether or not they are in contention this year or not. Also, with the ownership problems it’s not like any of the staff is guaranteed a job next year, so they want to win as much as they can so that it’ll look nice on their resume should they need to find another job. Employers look at GMA and manager W-L records too.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 28, 2011 at 11:41 PM

        I dunno, I think running a star player into the ground unnecessarily would look worse to an potential employer than a superficial W-L bump.

      • firedude7160 - Aug 29, 2011 at 1:12 AM

        I can understand the points you are trying to make, but I have to agree with Kevin.

      • Old Gator - Aug 29, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        Problem is, this is the Bums. I don’t know that I’d trust Frank McCourt’s logic very much, nor do I know how much of it trickles down to the field level management. I’m not surprised to find toxic decision-making all the way through the organization from its accounting fir….I mean, from the front office to the dugout.

        And even if Ethier is just trying to grumble and irritate his way to someplace else, look at where he’s playing, who he’s playing for, and then, as Bernie Birnbaum famously implored, look in your heart and see if you can blame him.

  3. capsboy - Aug 28, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    He’d look awesome coming home and patrolling left field in Chase Field. Really Andre, you can still hang out with “the laser show” all off season if you want to.

    Hey, a fella can dream can’t he?

  4. jimsjam33 - Aug 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Trade him now while he still has a little value .

    • Old Gator - Aug 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      That, or petition the court for permission to borrow against him….

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