Preamble 1: Manny Ramirez, February 22, 2010:
"I won't be here next year, so I just want to enjoy myself," Ramirez said. "I don't know [if I'll play next year]. I just know I'm not going to be here. When the season is over, I will see where I'm at."
Local/national reaction: Significant uproar over Ramirez stating the obvious.
Preamble 2: Chad Billingsley, March 28, 2011:
"I started my career here in 2003," Billingsley said. "I love what this organization stands for. Hopefully, we can get something done."
Reaction: Isn't that nice?
In its recap of Monday's Dodgers-Angels game, The Associated Press has this from Andre Ethier:
Ethier is in the final season of a two-year, $15.25 million contract that will pay him $9.25 million this season. And the way he's talking, the Dodgers might have a difficult time re-signing him next winter because of the uncertainty of the team's payroll and subsequent ownership in the wake of owner Frank McCourt's divorce from wife Jamie.
"This is my sixth one, and who knows? 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," Ethier said. "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."
OK, first of all, unless everything I've ever seen and calculated about him is false, Ethier can't become a free agent until after the 2012 season. So there's no issue with regard to the Dodgers' ability to sign him for next season other than the possibility of having to go to an arbitration hearing, which they narrowly avoided the last time around.
Beyond that, why is Ethier talking about leaving now? It was one thing when Ramirez did it, because everyone with a brain knew that, short of a massive season, he wasn't coming back to Los Angeles in 2011 after being suspended for 50 games in 2009. If Jonathan Broxton had said what Ethier said, it would be pretty disturbing (at least among those who aren't aching for him to be gone), but at least you'd know where it was coming from.
Are we to believe that Ethier is so discombobulated by the McCourt divorce that he's plotting his exit from Los Angeles 19 months before he has the ability to engineer it?
I'm wondering if somehow, something got lost in the translation, but otherwise, I think the most tranquil Dodger Spring Training in years might have just had its first rock thrown through the glass.
For surprising comments, it might be hard to top this:
... Had (Walter) O'Malley known of this connection, he surely would have jumped at the chance to rename his team and the stadium in honor of the first Los Angeles residents. Visualize his portly body shaking with laughter at the thought of pitting his Los Angeles Yang-nas against their former bitter New York borough rivals, the Yankees, in a World Series in Yang-na Stadium. ...