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Better Know a Dodger . . . Andre Ethier

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Despite the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-2 loss Wednesday night in Colorado, no team in Major League Baseball can boast more wins (10) than the Blue Crew heading into Thursday's action. Led by an airtight bullpen, the Dodger pitching staff (2nd best ERA in the National League) has driven much of the team's early season success. This, of course, is a horrible segue (in fact no segue at all) to the subject of Part 4 in our 436-Part Series, "Better Know a Dodger" - outfielder, Andre Ethier.

Andre Everett Ethier was born April 10, 1982 in Phoenix Arizona. As an Aries, per astrology-online.com, Andre's likes include "action" and "challenges", while his dislikes include "admitting failure" and "tyranny". Apparently, those born on April 10th harbor a unique dislike of tyranny, as opposed to those born on, say, August 28th.

One of seven siblings, Ethier attended St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, and played college ball at Arizona State University. In 2003, he was chosen by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd Round of the amateur entry draft. He was traded to the Dodgers prior to the 2006 season.

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Andre Ethier is also the name of the former lead singer & guitarist of the Canadian indie rock band "The Deadly Snakes". The singer-songwriter eventually struck out on his own, and his solo career produced such albums as "Andre Ethier with Christopher Sandes featuring Pickles and Price". There is no relation between the two Ethier's, but it appears that the baseball playing Andre Ethier seems to have had a slightly more successful career. Thus far, anyway.

The ebays boast 90 Andre Ethier items up for bid, and as usual, the majority are baseball cards and signed memorabilia. An autographed Topps Chrome Andre Ethier Black Refractor is the highest listed item available; starting bid is an impressive $250. Alas, Andre Ethier (musician) has no items currently up for auction.

Ethier stands 6'3" tall and weighs 200 pounds. He both hits and throws left-handed. His salary this season is $387,500. He is married (sorry yet again, ladies) to Maggie, his college sweetheart. Maggie was an All American gymnast at ASU, and currently serves as Assistant Coach for the Sun Devils Women's Gymnastics team. She is also a Mormon. (Please insert good-natured 'sex with a gymnast' and/or 'marrying a Mormon' jokes here)

More on Andre Ethier's playing career after the jump.

After signing with the Athletics in 2003, Ethier spent the first three years of his career working his way up through the Oakland farm system. He broke in with Single A Vancouver, and finished the 2005 season in AAA Sacramento. His most successful stint was with AA Midland in '05, where Andre hit .319 with 18 home runs and was named Texas League Player of the Year.

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Ethier was traded to the Dodgers prior to the 2006 season, in exchange for notorious clubhouse rabble rouser Milton Bradley, and the less notorious Antonio Perez. Ethier's big league debut came on May 2 in, of all places, Arizona. He tallied his first major league hit in that same game, a double off of Luis Vizcaino.

After he hit extremely well in his first few months in the majors, Ethier's production tailed off dramatically in September and he was a non-factor in the Dodgers' NLDS loss to the Mets. He did finish the season with a .308 batting average, 11 home runs, and a splendid .365 on-base percentage. Andre Ethier also found time during the 2006 season to release his second solo album, titled "Secondathallam". Wait, wrong Andre Ethier.

Capable of playing all 3 outfield positions, Ethier will battle Matt Kemp for playing time in right field once Kemp comes back from the disabled list. For now, Ethier is getting the bulk of the reps in right field. He is off to a mediocre start in 2007, with one home run and a .250 average in 36 at bats. Andre's next solo album, "I Married a Mormon Gymnast", is slated to drop this fall.

AP Photo courtesy of Jeff Lewis

Thanks to Dodgers.com and TheBaseballCube.com for their vast troves of information. Kudos to Christopher Drexel for his ASU Web Devil article on Maggie & Andre's courtship. And highest praise of all to the Colbert Report for not suing us as we blatantly rip off their ideas.