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Dodger Andre Ethier on starting in center in All-Star game: It's better than playing first

July 12, 2010 |  3:38 pm
When Andre Ethier strolls out on the field in the first inning for Tuesday's All-Star game, it will be the first time he’s played center in seven years.

The last time?

"I think it was in college in 2003 at ASU," Ethier said.

That would be at Arizona State, meaning Ethier hasn’t played a lick of center in his entire professional career.

If National League Manager Charlie Manuel really remembers Ethier playing center, he must have been doing some scouting in ‘03 when he served as a special assistant to the general manager for the Phillies.

Welcome to the All-Star game.

Best answer: None of the three starting outfielders are center fielders and somebody has to go out there.

Ethier said he was as surprised as anyone. He didn’t learn of his position until his Monday afternoon news conference.

"For sure, I just heard the lineup right now," he said. "I'm pretty surprised, but at the same time, have fun doing it. I’ll use some of my man Matt Kemp’s skills out there."

Kemp won a Gold Glove playing center for the Dodgers last season.

"I'm going to have to call him up and ask for some advice," Ethier said. "I haven’t been out in center field in a long time. Being here at the All-Star Game is kind of different, weird. I wouldn’t say uncomfortable. It’s a different feeling. And definitely standing in center field is going to be a different feeling.’’

Either figures the position change could have been worse.

"It's unfamiliar, but I guess it’s the outfield," he said. "It's better than playing first."

-- Steve Dilbeck