So you’re wondering what to make of Andre Ethier’s latest brouhaha, his revealing to columnist T.J. Simers in Sunday’s Times that he is playing with a bad knee that will require off-season surgery.
Get in line. The Dodgers would be the ones in front.
"It's only going to get worse from this point," Ethier told Simers. "I've dealt with it all season long, but as the season goes on my body wears down. That's just the way it is. I keep getting put in the lineup, so what am I supposed to do?"
Ah, yes, what to do? For Ethier, the Dodgers, Ned Colletti and Don Mattingly.
You will be absolutely stunned to know that by Sunday afternoon, a certain disconnect had developed between what Ethier told Simers and what he said before the game. This came after he met with Colletti and Mattingly in the manager’s office, and then was quickly ushered into the training room by team doctor Neal ElAttrache for another examination.
Ethier, who was not in Sunday’s lineup, said he did want to keep playing.
"I was assuming I would play today until they said no," Ethier said. "It was a long game [Saturday]. I’m going to keep going. There’s no reason for me to stop right now."
Other than, of course, risking further injury. Which on Sunday, there was not?
"That’s what they tell me," he said. "That’s what I believe. I think it’s only gotten worse because of the wear and tear over time, which is going to happen. You just keep going and it’s my decision to keep going."
Confused? At no point did Ethier deny anything Simers wrote, and the first time he was approached by reporters Sunday he advised them to simply read the column.
Mattingly rightly felt his personal character had been challenged by the implication Ethier’s knee injury was severe enough that he shouldn’t be playing, yet was put in the lineup every day anyway.
"I got kind of blindsided by that," Mattingly said. "To me, the way I read it is, Dre’s been telling us he can’t play and we just said, 'You’re playing anyway.' That definitely isn’t the case.
"For me, that takes a shot at my integrity. ... I would never do that. I would rather lose my job that put a guy out there who might hurt himself."
So what is going on with Ethier?
It’s all theories, but this being Ethier, they’re interesting theories.