We Love The Guy But He Should Leave Now

The Los Angeles Dodgers have opted not to bring outfielder Andre Ethier back for next year. The team declined a $17.5 million option in lieu of a $2.5 million buyout.

Good.

Yes, Andre is the longest serving Dodger on the roster and has provided many an exciting moment in his career. He  holds the Dodger record for post season games played (51), has a couple of Silver Slugger Awards, earned a Gold Glove, hit in 30 straight in 2011, and had a 6th place finish for the 2009 MVP award.

For 11 years, after being traded to the Dodgers in 2005 for the poorly-behaved and embarrassing Milton Bradley, Ethier was our go-to guy.

But in the last two years?

In that time, he’s only played in 38 games.  Any employer paying an employee full time for just 38 days of work, is wise to let that employee go.

That’s not to say, I don’t appreciate what he’s done for the team.

Like all sports, baseball is a “what have you done for me lately” game.  And Andre, hasn’t done much.

Regardless of time served or exciting moments, now when I see him, he’s a “Not Him!” guy, as in, when players are called upon to pinch-hit in critical situations, I yell at the TV, “Not Him!”

Either and Chase Utley were both huge “Not Him!” players in the post season.  Yes, Andre had a home run and Chase got hit in the foot once. Both events added to their storied histories in the playoffs. But, those were isolated incidents. The rest of the time: still “Not Him!” guys.

King of the all-time Dodger “Not Him!” players?  A.J. Ellis.  Even my kids would scream “Not Him!” when Clayton Kershaw’s old catcher would come to the plate. But that’s probably better left for another day.

With the success of outfielders Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson, Ethier has become expendable.  And the Dodgers have minor leaguers ready to go to fill the void -a void that Ethier has been responsible for, for too long.

Yes, he did have the only Dodger RBI in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series, but one RBI isn’t worth $17.5 million.

As for Utley, we celebrated the trade that brought him to our team three seasons ago because we needed an aggressive, battle-tested winner.  He hasn’t been there for us lately, and we shouldn’t be there for him now.

The numbers speak for themselves. From a career-high batting average of .332 with 530 ABs in 2007 to a dismal .236 with 309 ABs in 2017. It’s pretty clear he’s had a good run, but his run with the Dodgers needs to end too. But, the Dodgers haven’t yet announced a decision.

Years ago, Ethier was the guy I wanted playing, everyday.  I was his biggest fan.  Really.

But this year, in the post season, he began showing his age. It was a shock, because I’d always thought of him as ageless.

Love you, man. But, it’s time to go.

 

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