Let me make something perfectly clear. If Andre Ethier could quit being his own worst enemy, I would be his biggest supporter, but if I have to keep Andre Ethier as he is, I would trade him in a heartbeat. The Dodger Beat Writers can’t and won’t say much about it, but Andre Ethier wears his wildly changing emotions on his sleeve. He just can’t seem the find some middle ground – he’s either too high or too low. When he’s high, it means that everything is just perfect, but that doesn’t happen a lot. Most of the time, however, he is low. I mean, even when you are doing great, you are making outs 70% of the time. Maybe Andre really doesn’t think he’s all that, maybe he really is not arrogant, maybe he’s just insecure and immature.
I’m not a psychologist, but I do know that his behavior is self-defeating. I really don’t care how he treats the media either, but his treatment of the media a is a symptom of a deeper underlying problem. Andre needs to realize every at bat is a new opportunity. Every Spring is a time of re-birth, a time to mend fences and be a leader, not continuing to be a sulking, moody, self-absorbed crybaby. Andre needs to “man-up” like Matt Kemp did last year.
Andre is capable of doing nearly what Matt Kemp did last year. Based upon a 162 game season, Andre’s Average Season is 21 HR/85 RBI/.291 BA/ .843 OPS. If he just has an “average” year, the Dodgers will be better, but he is capable of so much more. Hitting behind Matt Kemp should allow him to see so many more fastballs. Andre Ethier is capable of hitting 40 HR and batting over .300. That’s why it infuriates me to see him blow it all away with his sulking, moody attitude. I want Andre Ethier to reach his potential… or I want him gone!
A lineup with Kemp and Ethier back-to-back could cause an incredible “domino effect” throughout the lineup. If Andre Ethier can just grow up, man up and shut up, he will be a force to be reckoned with. His attitude has always cost him so much. Those of you who are under the illusion that he did so many wonderful things in 2009, need to go back and look at his splits in 2009 (he wasn’t all that):
- For the season, he batted .272 with a 361 OB%
- RISP – .250 BA
- 2 Outs, RISP – .218
- Bases Loaded – .208
- Runner on 3rd, 2 out – .158
- In wins he hit .313
- In losses he hit .213
When things were going good (the team was ahead) he hit well, but when things were going bad, he don’t. ANDRE – Change Your Thinking and you Will Change Your Life! OK, I’m done – I would love to see what Andre Ethier could do if he would just extract his head from his butt. Matt Kemp did and the sky is the limit. I wish Andre could do the same.
On a positive note: I hear that Juan Uribe showed up in much better shape, stronger and more “cut.” We don’t need him to be the MVP or anything, but it would be nice if he could just have an “average year for him:” 20 HR/80 RBI/.250 BA/.775 OPS. That’s all the Dodgers need and if Uribe can do that and (Gasp) Andre Ethier and James Loney could play to their potential, we could have a lot to cheer about.
Finally, Rick Honeycutt is working with Chad Billingsley to make some changes in his delivery so that he can be more consistent and improve some of his pitches. Will it work? Stay tuned. It’s a work in progress. Expect him to get shelled in the Spring. It’s what he does after the bell rings that concerns me.
TJ Simers of the LA Times reiterates what I have been telling everyone for two years: The new owner might not be any better than McCourt!