A handful of players have taken on leadership roles in the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse during their current stretch of eight consecutive National League West titles. One of the most prominent is Andre Ethier, who spent his entire 12-year career with the organization.
Ethier retired at the conclusion of the 2017 season, which came after he and the Dodgers fell one win short of defeating the Houston Astros in the World Series. It was a season that saw him appear in only 22 games due to injury, but he nonetheless had a big impact on certain players.
Particularly Austin Barnes, who appeared in a career-high 102 games before overtaking Yasmani Grandal as the Dodgers’ starting catcher during the postseason.
Having played in three additional seasons since then, Barnes named Ethier his all-time favorite teammate, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“Man, that’s a loaded question. Was that Alex Wood? I have a lot of favorite teammates, but Andre Ethier. I remember one time he was breaking a bat right in the little way to the clubhouse. I was coming out of the bathroom, I was a rookie and made eye contact with him and I closed the door real quick. He gets in those modes. He was always providing some fireworks, good and bad. There’s a lot of great teammates. I’ve played with a lot of great people with the Dodgers. Howie Kendrick just retired, and he was a great teammate.”
Barnes cited Ethier’s fiery personality as what stood out most to him, recalling an incident from his rookie season of walking in on him breaking a bat near the clubhouse.
Ethier was known to have a few of those moments, but it also brought out the best of his teammates with that same competitive demeanor. He and Barnes developed a good relationship and remain friends to this day.
After the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6, Ethier shouted out Barnes — a fellow Arizona State Sun Devil — for catching the final out of the World Series.
Ethier turns tables on Barnes
Ethier regularly appeared on the Dodgers Zoom parties last year and his fiery personality became the butt of many jokes by his former teammates, including Barnes.
The retired outfielder, however, turned the tables and asserted Barnes had a similar demeanor.
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