Professional athletes aren’t typically the recipients of much empathy because of their incredible salaries, but really, there are a few aspects of that lifestyle I’m not sure I’d just accept blindly.
One such aspect: Trade rumors.
Could you imagine going into work one day and finding out your employer is considering moving you, forcing you to move across the country and get used to working around a completely different group of people? Oh, and that’s if the trade actually goes through. Some players are the center of trade rumors for entire years on end.
I’m sorry, but that would suck, no matter how much money is being made in the process.
Andre Ethier falls into that aforementioned category of having been mentioned in some kind of rumor for as long as he can probably remember, and for the most part, he’s handled it with pretty incredible professionalism. In a story with the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett, he spoke about his tenure with the Dodgers.
On yet another rumor-filled offseason:
“Was it really that different of an offseason?” Ethier said with a laugh. “I feel every year – people used to get on me for saying it before last year – but I come in every year looking to earn a job, trying to prove myself. That’s the mentality I have to take.”
Again, anyone who doesn’t commend Ethier for his willingness to perform in this predicament simply fails to relate to the kidn of stress these rumors probably has on players.
As if that isn’t enough, could you imagine trying to get your work done while the person who will probably take your job is being groomed to do so right in front of you? I’m not saying this isn’t the only highly competitive workplace out there, but that can’t be easy to deal with.
He continues on that very subject:
“I guess I take comfort in knowing I was valuable last year and they still feel that. Going forward, I’m going to hopefully prove them right in those beliefs,” Ethier said. “But you know … things can change overnight or with one phone call. I can say I’m more than happy and pleased to be back in this uniform. I’m excited to be back again.
“But I’m not going to take any comfort or any complacency in things. … We’ve got a lot of young talent. They’re asking guys to step up. For me and a couple other guys, it’s kind of reading the writing on the walls and it’s building a bridge to these young guys they’ve got coming up. They’ve been very open about that. I have two years left on my deal. That’s an easy bridge for them to prepare guys. Who knows if guys will show up earlier than expected?”
Now, the obvious counter to these points being made is that if Ethier had lived up to his contract more consistently, the organization wouldn’t have grooming players to take his spot. Sure, that’s fair, but there are always other variables to work with that are beyond a player like Ethier’s control.
Anyway, rant over; but it’s still great to see him handling this with such maturity — something one would hope he passes along to those getting ready to take his job.