Andre Ethier visits our little baseball world
The rest of us are just mere mortals. And then there’s Andre Ethier.
Ethier is playing like he just dropped in from Mt. Olympus. Thunder cracks when he comes to the plate like the gods applauding in appreciation.
He is not this good, of course. Nobody is this good for an entire season.
But for first 32 games of the season, he has been the best player in baseball. That’s all of baseball.
He enters Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks leading the major leagues in average (.393), RBI (34), slugging percentage (.732), and tied for second in home runs (10). He’s done everything but heal the sick.
Before the season began, Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez wrote a feature on Ethier where he claimed he used the doubt of others as motivation. I responded with a tongue-in-cheek blog ripping Ethier, doing my best to offer him fresh incentive.
I told him a few days later I was going to add an Andre Rip of the Week feature, just to make sure he stayed on track. Wish I had, because naturally I would now be taking credit.
As it is, the Dodgers better hope he can continue to approach his start while being lavished with praise. This isn’t the only place taking notice of his impressive start.
Of course, when you’re in contention for a triple crown -- even if it's only the middle of May -- people tend to notice.
They are seriously noticing in his hometown of Phoenix, where half his hits have gone for extra bases.
"The kid is very comfortable at the plate," said Manager Joe Torre. "I just hope he stays that way."
That would be some trick, for a mortal.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Andre Ethier bats against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire.