LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier issued his concession speech Thursday after finishing second in the National League All-Star Final Vote race to Philadelphia's Shane Victorino, thanking fans for getting out the vote."The fans responded well and we put on the best effort we could," said the Dodgers outfielder, whose Bobblehead Night was Thursday. "I appreciate everyone for punching away and making it as close as we could. It was fun, but there's no recount in this thing." Ethier, voted onto the starting lineup for last year's All-Star Game, still could make a hometown appearance in Tuesday's game in Phoenix, as Victorino is nursing a bruised thumb. "I'm not concerned about that," he said. "I was excited to be in this game. Now we have to finish up the first half, find a way to get out of this funk and move on to the second half and get things rolling again." "Hopefully, Andre gets to go," said manager Don Mattingly. "Obviously, he'd be a really good representative." The Dodgers organization did all it could to get Ethier elected with a relentless campaign.
In addition to a three-day media blitz with Ethier doing radio and television interviews, the club produced "Vote Ethier" T-shirts given to each of Ethier's teammates before batting practice on Wednesday.Ethier also has received Twitter "endorsements" from George Lopez, Dwyane Wade, skateboarder Paul Rodriguez Jr. and Sparky the Sun Devil, ASU's official athletics Twitter page. They join Alyssa Milano and Tommy Lasorda, who threw their support to Ethier Monday. Combined, they represent more than four million followers. The club also held a two-day Dodger Stadium Voting Suite, providing selected fans free tickets to the game, during which they were stationed in front of a computer repeatedly voting for the Dodgers' right fielder. The Ethier Bobblehead political ad, which debuted on DiamondVision Tuesday night, went viral. It ended with an Ethier Bobblehead saying: "I'm Andre Ethier's Bobblehead and I approve of this message." Ethier said he voted for himself, but only once, even though unlimited votes were allowed. "If I lose by one vote, I'll take responsibility," he said. "I was too busy campaigning. It was fun to sit there and be the campaign man." The campaign aside, Ethier said he might spend time during the break going over the stack of legal documents sent to him and all teammates that are under multiyear contracts, now considered creditors in the Dodgers' current bankruptcy case. "I should have gone to law school," he said. "I might find myself in the ASU law library figuring out what all this means. I never thought I'd be doing this in baseball." Ethier is the third Dodgers player to be on a Final Vote ballot. Nomar Garciaparra won the balloting for an All-Star berth in 2006 and Matt Kemp was a runner-up to Victorino in '09. Following Ethier in the voting were Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies, Michael Morse of the Washington Nationals and Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks. As part of Ethier's throwback Bobblehead night, presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, his father, Byron Ethier, was to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, with Andre's sons, Dreson and Retton. Ethier ranks sixth in the NL with a .316 batting average, is tied for fourth with 23 doubles and ranks eighth with 100 hits. The Arizona native is also tied for fourth in the NL with seven outfield assists.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.