Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ethier Gets A Big PayDay, Not Bad for a Guy that Can't Hit Lefties

So I see that Ethier was signed for just short of $11 million this year.  Hopefully he puts up numbers that that salary deserves.  I have always liked Andre.  I think he’s a class act and his community service is amongst the best on the club.  I must admit though that his performance against left handers should move him to a platoon role and $11 million a year isn’t the salary that a typical platoon player gets.  This leaves me to assume that Colletti is planning on Ethier as the everyday Dodger right fielder and a platoon is not being considered.

These are the past three years splits for Ethier, and trust me, if you go back more years, the picture doesn’t get prettier.
Vs. Right handed pitching
2009 431 AB, .302 BA, .390 OBP, .960 OPS, .571 SLG, 25 HR, 81 RBI
2010 358 AB, .318 BA, .396 OBP, .960 OPS, .564 SLG,  20 HR, 63 RBI
2011 346 AB, .321 BA, .410 OBP, .878 OPS, .468 SLG, 10 HR, 49 RBI
Vs. Left handed pitching
2009 165 AB, .194 BA, .283 OBP, .629 OPS, .345 SLG, 6 HR, 25 RBI
2010 159 AB, .233 BA, .292 OBP, .625 OPS, .333 SLG, 3 HR, 19 RBI
2011 141 AB, .220 BA, .258 OBP, .563 OPS, .305 SLG, 1 HR, 13 RBI
Ethier’s career splits have him with .909 OPS vs. righties and .662 OPS against southpaws.  His career on base percentage against right handers is .386 while lefties strangle him to a .302 OBP.   The big picture is that Andre needs to platoon.  He needs to accept that fact and play 80% of the time, whenever a right hander is on the mound.  there’s nothing wrong with that.  He can be valuable in that role, but as an everyday player and a tempermental one at that, who pouts at the mere mention of being lifted for a pinch hitter, he’s going to continue killing us against lefties.
I know, the walk off homers really got us wrapped up in the emotional game ending heroics that he accomplished.  It was amazing what he did a few years ago.  But it has really clouded many a Dodger fans clear thinking.   His last walk off homer was May of 2010 and if you review all 11 walk-off hits between '08-11 only two were off of lefties and many occurred in late extra innings when the opposition had already used up the closer.  Some of the household names that Ethier had walk offs against were Villanueva, Durbin, Peralta, Dumatrait, a struggling Brad Lidge, Boyer and Parisi.
Lefthander Michael Dunn of the Marlins has just struck out Ethier in this April 27, 2011 game in Miami.

The fact is, Andre can’t hit lefties.  Never has, and never will.  Yeah, I know his dad learned to pitch left handed so that he could learn to hit lefties at an early age.  It’s a great story and it was a good idea, but have you ever thrown, let alone pitched with your weak side?  I have, and it aint pretty.   I’ve got to hand it to Andre’s dad Byron, a fine ballplayer at the JC level level himself, for learning to pitch from the left side.  But  please, it was probably real easy to hit off dad who was tossing lollypops to him from over there. 
A platoon of Jerry Sands/Andre Ethier would be a prudent move and worth a few wins in the standings IF Ethier would agree to get on board with it and not sulk.  Does Mattingly have the guts to make such a bold move for the good of the club?  Is Andre honest enough with himself to realize that the club would benefit from having a right handed hitter batting in his place against left handers?  On both fronts, I highly doubt it.

James Loney was signed for a one-year deal worth $6.375 million plus incentives.  Not bad for him considering his sub-par year and  turbulent off-season activities.


Try to figure this one out.  In this 1994 Topps Stadium Club card of Orel Hershiser, his second to last year on the Dodgers.  Does anybody know what is he doing?  He has a clump of sod in his hand, and there is a shopping cart involved.  Additionally based on the other uniformed player who is unidentified, he is in Pittsburgh.  No need to do any groundskeeping at old Three Rivers Stadium that had artificial turf.
So my question is:  What is he doing? Who is the Pittsburgh player, or is it their bat boy?  Topps puts out a mystery card every now and then, but what were they trying to do here?
Anyone that can solve this riddle gets a Opinion of Kingman’s Performance T-shirt, one of 3 or 4 remaining that I have in stock.  And if you are XXL, you’re out of luck, unless you want to use it for a rag.  I think I have 2 mediums and a large left.


  1. It's a good card if you know what he's doing.

    Orel brought the sods from Dodger Stadium because the team played poorly on artificial turf. He put them down in Three Rivers Stadium, laid gloves and other articles on them, and won. They took the sods on to St. Louis with them.

    The sod lives, and it's growing. The Dodgers packed up their lucky sod and flew it with the team from Pittsburgh to St. Louis, where they had it in their dugout and bullpen in Monday's victory over the Cardinals. Then they began talking about it as a fixture and promotional item. What began as a quaint charm to ward off evil artificial turf spirits now threatens to spin out of control. "We've got a little momentum going," said pitcher Orel Hershiser. "We're the Sod Squad.

    [url=http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-30/sports/sp-41459_1_10-game-streak] Chief Of The Sods [/url]

    The Dodger players have established The Sod Squad. After beginning the season 0-9 on artificial turf, outfielder Cory Snyder suggested the team purchase sod to take on the road with them to remind them of their home success. Los Angeles had won 13 straight at Dodger Stadium before losing to Atlanta Sunday.

    Right-hander Orel Hershiser had a clubhouse attendant purchase 1/2 yards of the sod, which the team placed in the dugout for the May 28 game at Pittsburgh. Each player walked on it. The Dodgers were 4-2 on the trip through Pittsburgh and St. Louis, both of which have artificial turf.

    The Sod Squad has a motto (In SOD We Trust or The Grass is Half-Full), a favorite Broadway play (West SOD Story), and a favorite movie (OH SOD!).

    There is a section in Orel's book “Between the Lines - Nine Things Baseball Taught Me About Life” called the Sod Squad, in which he tells the story of the sods.

  2. Bluenose Dodger: You are amazing! I remember that "sod" story now. Email me your address and shirt size, you've got a t-shirt coming.

  3. Actually my information came from a good friend in LA - Ron Cervenka - Think Blue LA blog. He researched it. I just relayed it.

    I live on the east coast of Canada, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.