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Andre Ethier picks a bad time to be insecure: Thinks this could be his last season as a Dodger

March 29, 2011 |  7:53 pm

The season is still two days away and I already feel comfortable handing out an award. Don’t wait for a game to be played. Don’t even bother to seal the envelope.

To Andre Ethier: Worst Timing of the Year Award.

The Dodgers had barely gotten off the plane in Los Angeles and Ethier was going off on one of his say what? tangents.

Before the Dodgers’ game Monday against the Angels, Ethier was asked an innocuous question about opening the season against the Giants. And he said:

"It might be my last one here with the Dodgers. You never know. A lot of signs are pointing that way, so we'll have to see. Six years for a Dodger is a long time, in the era that we're living in. So I'm going to cherish every moment I can, enjoy the season and try to make it my best one."

A lot of signs are pointing to this being his last year as a Dodger? On what planet? He’s signed through this season and under team control the next. He’s batting in the coveted third spot in the lineup. Next month, he’ll turn 29. He’s one of the key guys they’re building the team around.

Asked about his comments Tuesday, he did not back off one syllable. Guess the Dodgers' non-tendering Russell Martin rocked Ethier.

"If I don’t play well, we’ve seen them non-tender guys here, and if you play well, I’ve seen them not offer arbitration because they’re afraid guys are setting their salaries too high," Ethier said.

Ethier said he wanted to remain with the Dodgers: "Yeah, as long as the organization is moving in the right direction still, moving in a direction where they’re committed to winning and committed to constantly moving forward in an upward direction rather than if things don’t go good for a year or two here, rebuild and try to figure things out."

Not that Ethier appears certain of the organization’s direction: "I don’t know if this is going to be my last or not, but I want to make the most out of it and enjoy it the most I can because I’ve been here quite a while and you never know if you’re coming or going, and I’ve enjoyed my time in L.A. and that’s what I told him.”

Dizzy yet? What to make of this? Ethier has always drawn motivation from those he believed doubted him. Now he’s like the main man in the lineup and he’s trying to motivate himself because the Dodgers haven’t extended him like they did Chad Billingsley Tuesday?

General manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers had approached Ethier’s agent in the spring.

"We had a couple of discussions, but nothing that gained much ground," Colletti said.

Colletti was unaware of Ethier’s comments until they were read to him by a reporter before Tuesday’s game. Safe to say, Colletti did not look happy. Then he issued a terse no comment.

What GM would be happy to hear this crazy stuff on the eve of the opener? After what had been considered a positive and focused camp?

If Ethier felt this way, better to relay it through his agent or privately rather than rock the organization publicly. And how’s that Andre Ethier, team leader, going?

Ethier said he didn’t think his comments should be unsettling to the team or organization.

"I don’t know why that would be unsettling.... It ain't up to me buddy," he said. "That ain't my decision. My job is to go out there and play the best I can and if I don’t play well? You see they non-tendered Russ Martin. And if I do play well, then that’s another big decision. Do they want to keep me for one year and have me walk at the end of the year? There’s a lot of different scenarios"

Right, only not a single one that needs to be addressed a couple of days before the season.

-- Steve Dilbeck