He's playing it cool, period.
Not that he's going to hype it.
"I'm just trying to do what the situation calls for," Ethier said.
Meh, he says. He was even cooler the day before when he broke the old record of 22 straight, which was set in 1971 by his former manager, Joe Torre. But monthly hitting streaks are only so exciting, so a reporter raised the possibility of Ethier extending the streak for five more weeks.
Asked about Joe DiMaggio's all-time record of 56 games, Ethier rolled his eyes.
"I don't think anyone will get too close to break that," he said. "It's tough to get a hit three weeks in a row. Fifty-six in a row is a whole other thing."
It's 32 more games for Ethier, so any real Joltin' Joe talk shouldn't come before Ethier reaches the big 4-0. But certainly there must be something impressive that's closer to Ethier's grasp?
Major League Baseball doesn't even pay real attention to hitting streaks until they reach 30 games. If Ethier can reach that number, he'll tie with 16 others — including Washington's Ryan Zimmerman(notes) in 2009 — for the 29th-longest hitting streak in history.
If there's such a thing as lots of elite company, that's it.
But notch one more hit, and Ethier does inch forward in Dodgers lore; if he makes it 25 straight, he'll tie five Dodgers — most recently Paul LoDuca in 2003 — for the third-longest streak in team history.
The Dodgers record is Willie Davis at 31 straight in 1969. So, if Ethier can hit in eight more in a row, it'll get him atop the Chavez Ravine totem pole by his lonesome.
So, should we not be paying any attention to Ethier's streak? It sounds as if he'd like it that way, but no. Twenty-four straight is great, and noteworthy — especially because he's batting .380/.451/.560 so far.
But, like Ethier implies, the streak is not quite epic. Just a few more in a row — not necessarily 32 more, but a few — and it becomes much cooler.