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Big League Stew

Andre Ethier, this is your life now that Yasiel Puig is around

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

If the Los Angeles Dodgers really were a Hollywood production, there might have been a scene like this after Sunday's game:

Two Dodger fans sit at a bar discussing the game.

DODGER FAN #1
".. And did you see that diving catch Yasiel Puig made? Wasn't that something? Is there anything that guy can't do?"

DODGER FAN #2
"Yeah, he's amazing. If they would have brought him up earlier, we might be in fourth place by now"

A guy at a nearby barstool turns around to face them. It's Andre Ethier.

ETHIER
"Puig, Puig, Puig. Do you people ever stop talking about him? I could have ..."

DODGER FAN #1
"Holy crap! It's Andre Ethier. Can we ... can we .. have your autograph?"

ETHIER
"Listen. I could have caught that ball. I didn't even have to dive. I just needed to stand there. But nooooo, Puig has to come flying in front of me like a missile, trying to impress everyone again. If I caught the ball, nobody would have said anything. They'd still be talking about trading me. But he catches that ball and it's like 'Oh, Puig, you're so good.' 'Oh, Puig, you should be an all-star.' 'Oh, Puig, you can cure cancer.' " And let me tell you another thing about your beloved Yasiel Puig ..."

DODGER FAN #2
"Dude, I think we better go."

DODGER FAN #1
"Hey, Andre, uhhh ... nice to meet you, but uhhh ... hey, look it's Luis Cruz over there."

ETHIER
"[muttering] Cuba [muttering] swing at everything [muttering] Kevin Maas [muttering]"

* * *

View photo

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(USA Today)

OK, maybe that was a tad dramatic, but c'mon, we're talking about L.A.

Tell me that catch doesn't encapsulate the status of Andre Ethier. If Ethier makes that catch: eh, whatever. When Puig dives through your screen to look like a hero: O-M-G, he's so wonderful.

Puig has stolen the spotlight in a city full of them — and left Ethier like an ignored middle child when a new baby comes. Imagine Ethier running into his bedroom, slamming the door and shouting, "I wish I was never born." Then a glowing Vin Scully appears and walks him through a world in which that was the case, "It's a Wonderful Life"-style.

Ethier may actually find a new life soon. The talk from fans revolving around him these days is: (1) What can we get for trading him? (2) Any chance he can play third base?

The first scenario is the only one with real traction. Ethier is one of the guys listed in the most recent "10 Degrees" column from Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan, sizing up the top trade bait in baseball. There's a decent chance, when Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford return, that Andre Ethier really would be the odd man out.

At least then he wouldn't be stuck standing behind L.A's latest leading man when he's making diving catches in the outfield.

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Follow @MikeOz and @bigleaguestew, on Twitter, along with the BLS Facebook page.

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