Dodgers Web musings: Andre Ethier, you are sports' biggest rising star
That’s right, the Dodgers’ own Andre Ethier is not only the hottest thing on the baseball diamond right now, but also the biggest sports star to watch this month.
Anyway, so says a marketing research company that puts out a monthly list it calls "Rising Sports Stars."
Ethier, who at 27 games has baseball’s longest hitting streak in two years, had the biggest lift in popularity last month, according to Brand Affinity Technologies. They base their results on some nebulous formula that looks at media exposure, performance, awards, popularity, engagement and fan base.
Ethier’s rating climbed 136% last month, according to BAT. Before you get too excited, he just squeaked past New Orleans Hornets forward Trevor Ariza’s 135% increase.
Also on the Web:
-- Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi takes a look at Ethier's hitting streak.
-- Joe Torre has been mum on Major League Baseball’s takeover of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt since arriving on the scene with trustee Tom Schieffer last week but earlier confided to MLB.com’s Mark Newman that Commissioner Bud Selig did confer with him before taking action.
"It has been the issue of the week every week,’’ one MLB source said. "He's always gone to the commissioner with things that he needs -- rules to bend, paths to pave. It's always something with the guy. For him to say, 'All I want is a meeting with Selig,' is a little wacky.’’
-- The Times’ T.J. Simers was not one of the chosen few granted a one-on-one with McCourt Friday -- shocking, I know -- but he has few questions for the embattled owner.
-- CBS Sports’ Ray Ratto thinks it’s time for McCourt to shut up.
-- There is some evidence that McCourt’s wild media circus has paid dividends, at least outside Los Angeles. In a Bloomberg nationwide poll last week, Eben Novy-Williams said 45% believed Selig was wrong in taking control of the team.
-- Guess McCourt never heard "Making Whoopee,’’ where the judge advises: "You’d better keep her, I think it’s cheaper.’’ The Times’ Bill Shaikin writes the appointment of a trustee could hurt McCourt financially.
-- The Times’ Phil Willon takes an in-depth look at Schieffer, whose friends warn he won’t shy away from a fight.
-- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune features law student Josh Fisher, whose Dodger Divorce blog has become a must-read for those following the impact of their divorce.
"I think the situation was this perfect confluence of celebrity and baseball and gossip and law and high-end business,’’ Fisher said. "I came into this at a perfect time because I knew the words. That's really all it was; I knew the words.’’
-- ESPN/LA’s Tony Jackson said Hong-Chih Kuo still doesn’t look ready to return to form, and the poor-performing bullpen can’t afford to wait much longer,
-- The Register’s Howard Cole hopes General Manager Ned Colletti doesn’t wait until midseason to upgrade the roster.
-- Scott Podsednik, who turned down a $2-million option with the Dodgers, tells Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Todd Dewey he is finally over his bout with plantar fasciitis. He is now attempting a comeback with Toronto’s triple-A Las Vegas 51s.
-- MikeSciosciasTragicIllness’ Mike Petriello fears the Dodgers’ loss Sunday could prove a microcosm for their entire season.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (16) connects for an RBI double during the first inning against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on April 26, 2011. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire