No one knows why Andre Ethier is playing center field tonight
I wondered yesterday why manager Charlie Manuel would choose to start Andre Ethier in center field for tonight’s All-Star game despite his having zero experience there in the majors, particularly since NL right fielder Corey Hart has actually played several hundred innings as a big-league center fielder. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times wondered the same thing and he actually asked both Ethier and Manuel about it. Turns out, neither of them really knows either. First, here’s Ethier:
Now here’s Manuel (yes, Craig already highlighted this quote, but it’s clearly amazing enough to do twice)
(Ethier’s teammate Rafael Furcal also had a great reaction to the news: “Oh, really? Oh my god.”) I don’t want to be too hard on Manuel here, because he’s not the world’s most articulate public speaker and ultimately it doesn’t really matter, but as Hernandez pointed out that explanation makes zero sense. In fact, it’s backwards. Manuel says he chose Ethier to start in center field “because I remember he played there a lot.” In reality he’s never played there and Hart is the one who was a regular center fielder as recently as 2007. Just something to remember the next time you assume the people involved put a lot of thought into these types of things.