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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Ethier Ore (Cont'd)
2008-09-06 09:40
by Jon Weisman

"You always try to better yourself and keep progressing. You hope that you don't peak at your talent level."

- Andre Ethier, 2006

Let's have some fun ...

Ethier is closing in on 1,500 plate appearances in his major-league career. Here are his numbers:

1,463 plate appearances
.356 on-base percentage
.480 slugging percentage
112 adjusted OPS

From Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness:

I don't know if this can be overstated, so I'm going to say it again. Andre Ethier has a higher slugging percentage (in 2008) than Vladimir Guerrero, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Howard, Jason Giambi, and Carlos Beltran. His OPS of .843 is currently good for 26th in baseball - that is to say, there's more than one team that doesn't even have one outfielder as good as Andre Ethier. ...

Here is a month-by-month breakdown for Ethier - his OPS matched with his batting average on balls in play, the latter at least a partial indicator of his luck:

May 2006 .973 .345
June 2006 .821 .429
July 2006 1.024 .403
August 2006 .804 .368
Sept./Oct. 2006 .454 .163
April 2007 .740 .242
May 2007 .711 .316
June 2007 .848 .300
July 2007 1.021 .404
August 2007 .803 .294
Sept./Oct. 2007 .742 .283
April 2008 .861 .333
May 2008 .746 .333
June 2008 .643 .185
July 2008 .835 .329
August 2008 .961 .292
September 2008 2.244 .750
Total .837 .322

Ethier's OPS isn't always rising and falling with his BABIP (see June 2006 and May 2007), but it seems to most of the time. And his truly bad months definitely seem related to poor BABIP. But for the most part, those have been rare - and it's certainly been proven by now that it's worth waiting for Ethier to rebound.  A .322 BABIP is higher than you'd expect a player to sustain, but as more time passes, you can't help but wonder how much of it might be a repeatable skill. 

You also really can't help but sit back and enjoy it when he's as blue-hot as he is now.

Comments (56)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-06 09:47:16
1.   bhsportsguy
I'm off to go enjoy the game.

With my Bob Carpenter Fan Scorebook.

2008-09-06 09:48:25
2.   D4P
Ethier's OPS isn't always rising and falling with his BABIP (see June 2006 and May 2007), but it seems to most of the time

The correlation between his OPS and BABIP is .93, which is very very strong.

Put another way, his BABIP explains 86% of the variation in his OPS, which is a lot.

Put yet another way, his OPS is heavily dependent upon his BABIP.

I would guess he's not unusual in that respect.

2008-09-06 09:51:49
3.   Eric Enders
So the Dodgers' last four 1 1 1 1 games were by Andruw Jones, Delwyn Young, Andruw Jones, and Delwyn Young.

Dave Hansen had a ton of them, as did Billy Ashley, which I guess isn't too surprising. Eric Gagne had one also.

2008-09-06 09:53:51
4.   D4P
When was the last Dodgers "Small Straight" game...?

(It would, of course, have to be a backwards Small Straight, since AB is greater than or equal to H).

2008-09-06 09:56:30
5.   GoBears
LAT'd, but more appropriate for this thread anyway:

Someone in the last thread [now 2 threads ago] suggested that we hold a ceremony to officially bury the "3.5" nickname.

I object. The nickname was originally intended to be ironic, and Ethier's recent emergence only makes the irony sweeter.

Besides, it beats my wife's nickname for him, which is "Pretty Boy."

2008-09-06 09:58:43
6.   Gagne55
"His OPS of .843 is currently good for 26th in baseball - that is to say, there's more than one team that doesn't even have one outfielder as good as Andre Ethier"

Is he 26th among outfielders or all hitters? Either way one part of the statement should be changed. Though I guess if it is all hitters the statement is factually true.

2008-09-06 09:58:55
7.   Eric Enders
4 Assuming PAs is the fifth category since you need five cards to make a straight, the Dodgers have had 29 of those. Most recently Olmedo Saenz last April.
2008-09-06 09:59:12
8.   D4P
I guess something like 4 1 3 2 would technically count as a "Small Straight", but I'm thinking more along the lines of 4 3 2 1.
2008-09-06 09:59:39
9.   Eric Stephen
The last was Matt Kemp, in Pittsburgh this April.

I prefer to call them "Major Tom" games. "4,3,2,1..."

2008-09-06 10:00:27
10.   D4P
Did you call is "Small Straight Games", or is that an actual BB-ref phrase...?
2008-09-06 10:01:01
11.   Eric Stephen
You can title the searches as they are saved.
2008-09-06 10:01:27
12.   Gagne55
Pedroia had a small straight last week on Sept. 3.
2008-09-06 10:01:28
13.   D4P
Just so you guys don't have to do all the work, I'll go find the last Dodgers "Chance" game...
2008-09-06 10:03:27
14.   Eric Enders
6 The correct answer is... neither. He's 19th among outfielders and 41st among all players.
2008-09-06 10:03:35
15.   Gagne55
Wait, is it AB, R, H, RBI?
I thought it was AB, H, R, RBI in which case the last Dodger small straight was Nomar Sept. 14, 2007
2008-09-06 10:04:50
16.   Eric Enders
15 It's AB, R, H, RBI. But again, you need five cards to make a straight.
2008-09-06 10:06:15
17.   bhsportsguy
Any DTers going today, stop by Reserved Section 1, Row R, and say hi to me and Bluebleeder.
2008-09-06 10:06:32
18.   Eric Stephen
But we aren't talking poker; we're talking Yahtzee. A small straight is a run of 4 numbers, and a large is a run of 5.
2008-09-06 10:07:15
19.   D4P
you need five cards to make a straight

...except that Jon's original "Yahtzee" concept in the previous thread really centered on 4 "cards".

2008-09-06 10:08:51
20.   Gagne55
16 Ok, well using that criteria, and extending to PA, AB, R, H, RBI, then Don Demeter had a 6 5 4 3 2 game on April 26, 1959. For good measure he had one walk, which is listed on PI right after RBI making it a 6 5 4 3 2 1 game :)
2008-09-06 10:08:55
21.   Eric Stephen
Don Demeter had the only 5-4-3-2 small straight in LA Dodger history, on April 26, 1959:

2008-09-06 10:09:18
22.   Terry A
Re: Marty's comment at the end of the last thread.

I do believe the transition from a Kent-controlled clubhouse to a Manny-centric one has been great for this team. But I tend to put more stock in "chemistry" than many folks here do.

2008-09-06 10:09:27
23.   Eric Stephen
4 seconds!!!
2008-09-06 10:09:57
24.   Gagne55
Don Demeter has the only 5 4 3 2 game in Dodger history according to PI.
2008-09-06 10:10:21
25.   Eric Stephen
Also, I believe Kent was only gone for the 2 remaining days in AZ. He has been reported to be in the clubhouse most if not all of this week, so it's not like he's not around to spread his love.
2008-09-06 10:12:12
26.   bhsportsguy
What, no 3-card poker players here?
2008-09-06 10:12:31
27.   Gagne55
Kaz Matsui had the last 5 4 3 2 game on August 8 2007. (Also a 6 5 4 3 2 1 game) There have been 28 "5 4 3 2" games in MLB history. (since 1956)
2008-09-06 10:12:59
28.   Eric Stephen
I once won $905 playing 3-card poker at a casino, thanks to a straight flush of 6-7-8 of spades.
2008-09-06 10:13:29
29.   D4P
And just for fun, Milton Bradley in 2008:


I know he's injury prone and that Texas inflates offensive numbers, but still: it's pretty amazing that he's OPSing over 1.000

2008-09-06 10:13:46
30.   LoneStar7
huge break for roger, man i hate that weasel novak...and I've been pushing this for almost a year, hes a real wanker
2008-09-06 10:14:31
31.   Gagne55
Since 1956, no MLB player has ever had a 6 5 4 3 game.
2008-09-06 10:14:59
32.   Jon Weisman
13 - What's the highest Dodger chance?
2008-09-06 10:15:26
33.   D4P
I'll be happy but very surprised if Roger beats Djokovic and Murray/Nadal.

Murray won the first set over Nadal, BTW.

2008-09-06 10:16:39
34.   Eric Stephen
Federer is up 2 sets to 1 in a pretty entertaining semifinal.
2008-09-06 10:19:30
35.   berkowit28
Hmmm. According to Wikipedia, Yahtzee (which I had never heard of) "is made by Milton Bradley", and also tells me that the said Milton Bradley "is wholly owned by Hasbro". And there I thought he was currently owned by the Texas Rangers; well, contracted to them anyway. A very accomplished and diversified person, it seems, both a ballplayer and a maker of board games. Also he was apparently born in 1860, which makes him quite old for the major leagues.
2008-09-06 10:20:13
36.   Gagne55
32 Tough to get PI to sum these values.
2008-09-06 10:21:57
37.   Gagne55
35 He can be contracted to both the Rangers and to Hasbro. Neither contract conflicts with the other.
2008-09-06 10:23:24
38.   Gagne55
23 Shouldn't have added the link. Thats where you lost the four seconds.
2008-09-06 10:23:45
39.   Eric Stephen
OK, I didn't even catch the subtle Milton Bradley reference. Kudos to Jon if that was intentional!
2008-09-06 10:28:50
40.   ToyCannon
So who said pennant races aren't worth the effort for crappy teams? This is what some of us call fun.

Wasn't really planning on going today as I have a gazillion chores to do but I just announced to my wife that I'm headed for DS.

I'm sure she was relieved as that gives her old movie time instead of Fox Dodger Baseball time.

Hope to come home in 1st place.

2008-09-06 10:37:51
41.   Eric Stephen
I realize Dice-K's FIP is 4.09, but it seems like he has one of the least-hyped 16-2 seasons ever. I would think that because he's on the Red Sox he would get more acclaim, but it seems that's not the case. I guess when Cliff Lee is 20-2 and having a far better season, its hard to get noticed.
2008-09-06 10:42:36
42.   Bob Timmermann
At halftime

Ohio 7
Ohio State 6

2008-09-06 10:44:02
43.   Alex41592
Phillies/Mets postponed. Our 18% just went up significantly.
2008-09-06 10:45:16
44.   Tripon
41 Part of it is his high number of walks, and low strike outs, yet Dice-K's other numbers such as Runs allowed, homers allowed, and hits are almost half of what he gave up in 2007. Its an amazing year but its also one of the more perplexing.

2008-09-06 10:47:46
45.   Eric Stephen
So much for OSU leapfrogging Georgia to make next week a 1-2 matchup!
2008-09-06 10:47:58
46.   Tripon
Smokey the Bear just used Disney's Sleeping Beauty to help prevent forest fires. How evil.
2008-09-06 10:50:21
47.   Marty
The announcer in the Ohio State egame said the Ohio quarterback was effective "due to the elusivity" of him.

That's a good one.

2008-09-06 10:52:48
48.   Bob Timmermann
Ohio has never beaten Ohio State in football, but they've only played each other five team and the first four games were from 1899-1902.

They played again in 1999, which was the first time that the Bobcats ever scored against the Buckeyes.

In other great intrastate battles, Illinois leads Eastern Illinois 26-7 and Michigan State leads Eastern Michigan 21-7.

2008-09-06 10:55:34
49.   LoneStar7
i just can't wait until people will finally get it into their heads that the big 10 is weak..

anyway roger about to close

2008-09-06 10:56:19
50.   Tripon
43 Hanna just turned the Mets-Phillies game into a doubleheader. No game today.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-06 10:57:19
51.   Tripon
Ohio scored to make it 13-6.
2008-09-06 10:57:19
52.   Jon Weisman
2008-09-06 10:59:24
53.   Mike Scioscias tragic illness
6 I meant to write "among OF". My mistake in omitting that. 14 According to when i checked, it was 26th.
2008-09-06 11:18:11
0 I think it needs to be stressed that Ethier is not just on a hot streak right now. Ethier is locked in and has been getting progressively more locked in since the beginning of the season. He has been giving the team its best at-bats ever since mid-June, coincidently around the time Russ started swinging at low breaking balls. And Ethier hasn't really taken a step back, in terms of the qulaity of his at-bats, since. That distinguishes him from other young players, who you should rightly expect to progress in a two-steps forward, one-step back, sort of way.

Ethier's last three months are also encouraging for the Dodgers in a wider sense. The other young Dodgers will likely make a similar production leap, by simply having less periods of times where they are lost at the plate, as they reach their prime age years.

Ethier has begun the prime of his career. It will be a lot of fun when Russ, Loney, and Kemp do as well. And when Bills reaches his prime, it might just end up being something historic.

2008-09-06 12:35:21
55.   Robert Fiore
Okay, so under the protection theory, because Manny Ramirez is batting behind him, they start pitching differently to Andre Ethier, and this change in pitching strategy turns him into Ted Williams. Theoretically this is to keep Ethier from getting on base via a walk when Manny Ramirez is up, but actually he is getting on base more and producing more offense under this altered pitching strategy. Furthermore, this effect will occur to a greater or lesser degree with any player who bats before Manny Ramirez or any other batter with these protection properties. And over 140 years of professional baseball pitchers have not noticed this. That's what the protection theory says. That's what sportscasters have been repeating on broadcasts since the days of Marconi. Okay.
2008-09-06 12:38:20
56.   Bilshaw
Johnson scratched from Sunday's start

LOS ANGELES — Arizona's Randy Johnson, six wins shy of 300 career victories, was scratched from Sunday's start against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of a sore left shoulder.

Johnson, who turns 45 next week, will be replaced by right-hander Max Scherzer.

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