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Ethier: The Dodgers' Jeter?

Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: February 21, 2011 7:37 pm
 
PHOENIX -- Can Andre Ethier become the Dodgers' Derek Jeter?

Perhaps not, but if the Dodgers are going to be successful, Ethier is going to need to do more than just hit. This is a team in need of some clubhouse leadership, and it sure seems that Ethier is a guy who needs to provide it.

"They need leaders who can step up," Ethier said this morning, a day before the Dodgers' first full-squad workout of the spring. "Yeah, I can be one of them."

Ethier said that in offseason conversations with new manager Don Mattingly, Mattingly referenced Jeter.

"Donny said to me that Jeter is very quiet and soft-spoken most of the time, but he leads by example," Ethier said. "That's the type of presence we need."

"I told him that to me, the reason the Yankees have been where they've been, it's all because of Jeter," Mattingly said. "When your best players play the hardest, that's leadership, and that's all Andre has to do."

Mattingly said he doesn't need Ethier to become more vocal, and pointed out to him that Jeter isn't always a vocal leader, either.

Ethier has other examples to draw on. He watched what Manny Ramirez did after coming over to the Dodgers in midseason 2008, and is also good friends with Dustin Pedroia.

"You learn from Manny, how he was so quick to complement players on anything they did," Ethier said.

Ethier, who turns 29 in April, is in his sixth year with the Dodgers. It's time for him to take on that role, too.

"You need guys like that, and that's something we've been lacking," Ethier said. "For me to make myself a better player, it's not the playing side that's going to dictate it. That could help in the long run more than hitting an extra home run a week."




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