I've always thought that one of the stranger parts about being a celebrity would be stopping to pose for pictures with random people and then never seeing how they end up.
Apparently Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier agrees with me, because he just admitted to Diamond Leung that he's adopted a new policy for public interaction.
Ethier's main beef with saying cheese? Though he's popular and well-liked by Dodgers fans, he says he doesn't quite trust that the 1s and 0s of a digital picture won't be misappropriated, misconstrued or misrepresented on the Internet.
"No MySpace or Facebook photos," he's been heard telling fans.
From Diamond Notes:
Ethier said he didn't think he was being paranoid. He wants to be cautious in the new information age.
"In the profession you're in, it's more likely to happen to us than regular people."
Ethier is making a rare exception this Sunday when he shows off his inner foodie at a Carne Asada event at Dodger Stadium, but he's been remarkably strict on enforcing the policy everywhere else. Earlier this month, Ethier drew the ire of several Dodgers blogs when he refused to take pictures with fans at Dodgers Photo Day — an event that even Manny Ramirez looked quite happy to participate in.)
I can understand Ethier's policy if it's in protest of what's a pretty awkward social moment — honestly, would you want strangers putting their arms around you all the time?
And in the age of the Michael Phelps party controversy, every athlete has to watch who's looking to turn into Herb Ritts around them. Ethier is right about that.
But his refusal to take pictures because he's worried he might be mocked on "SportsCenter" like Matt Leinart's infamous hot tub photos doesn't ring true with me. You know how you avoid controversies like that one? You just stay out of the hot tub altogether.
I mean, plenty of athletes already won't pose in nightclubs or in a photo where anyone is holding a drink (even if it's not alcohol), so why doesn't he just go that route? What is there to be gained by taking a gigantic step forward and not posing with someone who's wearing your jersey in a controlled environment like Dodger Stadium? Really, that's the part that's just not jiving with me.
What do you think? Is Ethier's policy good practice?
A big BLS head nod to Sons of Steve Garvey for the focus.