The first couple weeks of spring training are to imagine the vast promise of the upcoming season. To talk about goals. To talk about growth. To talk about how this season will be better than last.
But not for Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier.
"How do you expect me to answer a question that I don't have the answer to?" Ethier said without a trace of a smile.
Well, you've been in this league for a few years. You have experience.
"That doesn't mean I have the answers to everything," he said. "If that was the case, just mark me down as a .290, 30 and 100."
That was that.
But later that day, when workouts ended, Ethier spent several minutes signing autographs for fans.
"He's moody, isn't he?" one of his teammates asked.
Here's a sampling:
On whether he expects to be pitched more carefully, given the kind of year he had last year: "No. I don't think so."
On whether he saw changes in the way he was pitched to last year as the season progressed: "I have no idea. That's their game plan. If I knew, I'd probably get a lot more hits."
On whether he made adjustments: "No. I just kept swinging harder. Sometimes you run into them, sometimes you don't."
On whether he had a plan when he went to the plate: "Sometimes. Most of the times, you swing as hard as you can. See it and swing really hard."
Manny Ramirez to Taiwan?
In what could be the strongest indication to date that Manny Ramirez will go to Taiwan next month for a three-game exhibition series, the former All-Star outfielder handed his passport to the Dodgers so they could get him a travel visa.
Of the players scheduled to go on the trip, Ramirez was among the last to turn in his passport. Players had until this Wednesday to do so.
But the Dodgers have not confirmed his participation in the exhibition series because they still aren't sure whether he actually will go.
Ramirez said he has not decided.
"I still don't know," he said.
Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax shared his thoughts in a pitchers-only meeting and offered tips to some of them during their bullpen sessions.… Ronald Belisario is working out and throwing in his native Venezuela while waiting to receive his visa, according to his agent, Paul Kinzer. Kinzer said he did not know if Belisario was late in applying for a visa or missed an appointment to delay the process. The agent acknowledged that for Belisario, the application process was longer than usual because of the drunk-driving charges the reliever faces, but said he is not concerned that his client might not be granted a visa. "As far as I know, it's a matter of when," Kinzer said.… Eric Stults will start in a B game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday morning.