When the Los Angeles Dodgers played on Sunday Night Baseball on April 7, they throttled the Colorado Rockies to complete a sweep of their division rivals and improve to 8-2 on the season. But the team went on to lose their next six games, and Andre Ethier believes the two were related.
Ethier spent his entire 12-year career with the Dodgers before retiring in 2018. He played with much of the current team’s roster and spent his final two seasons under manager Dave Roberts.
He recently returned to Dodger Stadium to attend a memorial service for the late Don Newcombe alongside many current and former Dodgers. The former outfielder also stayed around for that night’s game, a 6-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Before the game, though, Ethier voiced his concerns about what Sunday Night Baseball does to players because of travel, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“I’ll voice this out loud because I know a lot of those guys don’t: ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ needs to go away, because you can see what it does to players. Playing that late of a game, getting in that early in the morning to St. Louis and having to turn around and play the next night with an hour removed (due to changing time zones), it’s tough for players to do. I’ve been through it myself and it’s not an easy task to go out there and play games that way. … That’s what they tell ya, ‘You’re going to play a lot of Sunday night games because you’re a good team.’ It’s tough baseball to play, but I understand it’s about the fans and giving them a chance to see you on TV.”
The Dodgers were a playoff contender for the majority of Ethier’s time with the team, and won the National League West in each of his final five seasons. Although Ethier missed significant time due to injury, especially later in his career, he played in his fair share of national broadcasts.
The Dodgers just played another game that was selected for a Sunday Night Baseball telecast, defeating the Chicago Cubs to clinch a season series win. Unlike their previous appearance on ESPN, they will continue with a homestand rather than need to travel.
However, the Dodgers are in the midst of a grueling stretch that calls for 18 consecutive games without a day off.