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Dodgers star backs off his critical comments

LOS ANGELES — One day after implying the Dodgers told him to play through a sore right knee, RF Andre Ethier backtracked.

"It's always been my choice to keep playing and keep going," Ethier said before Sunday's game, which he sat out. "They've never said, 'We don't think you can or you can't play.' It's always been, 'Hey, you've obviously put up with this, and it's at your discretion.' "

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Ethier, hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs, gave the impression he had repeatedly told the team he couldn't play but was told he must.

"If you're expecting me to do what I've done in the past, no, there's no possible way I can do that right now," Ethier, who had 31 homers and 106 RBIs in 2009, said in the article. "You can say tough it out and give it your best shot, but it's not going to happen. It's only going to get worse from this point.

"I've dealt with it all season, but as the season goes on, my body wears down. That's just the way it is. I keep getting put in the lineup. So what am I supposed to do?"

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was "blindsided" by the comments.

"The way I read it was that Dre's been telling us he can't play and we just said: 'Well, you're playing, anyway,' " Mattingly said. "And that's definitely not the case. I would never do that. That's not part of my DNA.

"I'd rather lose my job and us not win than put a guy out there who has a chance of hurting himself and doing something that would affect his career in a long-term way. To me, that takes a shot at my integrity, the organization, the training staff and (GM Ned Colletti)."

Ethier, Mattingly and Colletti had a closed-door meeting before the game. After it, Mattingly said, "He basically tells me that he's never told us that he can't play."

Fan falls in Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas — An unidentified man was knocked unconscious after falling 21 feet in a stairwell while leaving Rangers Ballpark on Saturday night.

Police said they were still trying to determine what happened but believe it was accident.

The team said the fan was taken to a hospital but didn't know his condition.

On July 7, a fan at Rangers Ballpark died after tumbling over a railing and falling about 20 feet to concrete. He had reached out to catch a baseball tossed his way during a game.

More Rangers: RF Nelson Cruz left in the sixth with a strained left hamstring. Cruz, who missed 51 games last year with issues in both hamstrings, was hurt while running out a double. His status hasn't been determined. … 3B Adrian Beltre, out since July 23 with a strained left hamstring, will begin a minor-league rehab stint tonight. He hopes to return this week.

Astros: 1B Carlos Lee left with a sprained right ankle in the ninth after sliding into second. His right leg bent, and his spikes got caught on the bag. His status hasn't been determined.

Giants: Manager Bruce Bochy said LHP Jonathan Sanchez's sprained left ankle hasn't improved and he might be done for the season. He last attempted a bullpen session Aug. 19, and there are none scheduled. … Closer Brian Wilson, out with right elbow inflammation, threw for about 10 minutes on flat ground. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated Tuesday.

Indians: LF Michael Brantley will have surgery to remove a portion of the hamate bone in his right hand and miss the rest of the season. He was originally diagnosed with tendinitis in the wrist. … RF Shin-Soo Choo sat and is expected to miss at least two more games with soreness in his left side.

Yankees: RHP Mark Prior, out of the majors since August 2006 but rehabbing in the minors, was shut down for the season because of shoulder discomfort. … SS Deter Jeter played his 2,402nd game, surpassing the franchise record set by Mickey Mantle. He missed the doubleheader's nightcap after fouling a ball off right knee in the opener.

Dodgers star backs off his critical comments 08/28/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 12:04am]
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