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Dodgers: Andre Ethier Praises His Often Underrated Former Teammate

“He gives more to this team than he realizes.”



If you’re like most of us, the party still rages on for Dodgers fans. After waiting more than three decades for another title, the celebration has been a bit spaced out and different in 2020. 

In fact, earlier this week, the team finally had an official World Series celebration special on Spectrum’s SportsNet LA. Two weeks after the final out of game 6. The program featured world champions Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, and Corey Seager to name a few. It also welcomed some celebrities and dignitaries along the way. But one true highlight — as he always is — was former Dodger Andre Ethier taking some time to join.

While on with the guys, Dre Day was thrilled for what his former teammates had accomplished. Moreover, he took time to shout out an often overlooked member of the team who turned into a real key down the stretch in the postseason.

Austin Barnes.

Andre shared his thoughts on the catcher’s big October.

He’s been a guy who’s… he gives more to this team than he probably even realizes. And I know guys always tell him that. I’ve always told him that. So I’d like to give a little shout out to our ASU background — that’s probably that toughness you get playing at Arizona State that reared its head in playing tough games. Our head coach always said ‘the toughest games you’ll ever play are in October’ and you can see Austin is a guy who steps up and gets the job done then.

And if Andre is saying it, it’s something you can take to heart.

Of course, Ethier played with the club from 2006-2017 and was an instrumental cog to the Dodger machine, particularly in the early parts of this eight straight division title run. Along the way, he became a veteran leader and mentor to the younger players on the field. Someone teammates could turn to. 

While he and Barnes only spent three seasons together, the bond of sharing the same school brought the two together at the big league level. And finally, now Andre Ethier can call his former teammate a world champion.

NEXT: What Adrian Gonzalez Thinks the Padres Need to Finally Beat LA

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. With Smith and Barnes, The Dodgers have an embarrassment of wealth at catcher. For defensive reasons, I have to go with Barnes as long as he can continue to show the kind of offense he did in 2020.

  2. We are so fortunate to have the catchers we have within the organization. Not just Austin and Will but Keibert and others as well. I believe though that I am most proud of Austin. It is nearly impossible to try to use statistics to evaluate athletes, particularly catchers. If you watch Austin calling a game and blocking balls in the dirt, you begin to realize just how good he is. Pitchers aren’t afraid to throw a low breaking ball because they trust him to dig it out. You also can tell how prepared he is by watching how infrequently they shake him off when he’s called a pitch. We haven’t seen one that trustworthy since A.J. And when the game is on the line and he has runners in scoring position, he seems to reach down and find another gear to git er done. My hat is off to you Austin. Keep up the good work.

  3. The biggest move that Roberts made was putting Austin Barnes behind the plate for rest of the series after game 4. Smith was doing well at the bat, but to put everything on his shoulders during the World Series would have been detrimental to the Dodgers success. The experience just isn’t there yet.

    Austin was not only hitting unbelievably well in clutch situations, his defense and pitch calling were unmatched. It’s not that Smith was terrible, but he lacked the years of experience Barnes has. Barnes was a stud behind the plate, and I think he was easily the Dodgers 2nd MVP of that series.

    I believe if Roberts had not changed Barnes for Smith after Smith’s bobbling of the ball in game 4 for the remainder of the series, the Dodgers had a great chance of not prevailing. Smith’s time will come, just not yet.

    Roberts decision was huge, emence, ginormous, and thankfully he made the correct decision in the World Series.

    I can’t wait for spring training. I hope Friedman keeps this team together. Their chemistry is hard to find and I believe a huge factor.

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