Oh my stars and garters, Andre Ethier flipped a photographer the bird

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Andre Ethier flipped the bird: During batting practice before Monday’s game against the Brewers, Ethier was snapped givin’ the finger to a photographer. And actually, the AP story uses the phrase “flipping  his middle fingers at a photographer,” so it may have been the rare but always impressive double-barrel salute. I like that kind of moxy. UPDATE: oh yeah, it was the double-deuce. WARNING: have your fainting couch handy if you click through to those pics.

The Dodgers and Major League Baseball don’t like that kind of moxy, however, so they made Ethier apologize yesterday. Though it wasn’t the most contrite apology. The L.A. Times runs his comments, and it really sounds like he’s more interested in complaining about the photographer than anything else.

Which is fine by me. I mean, sure, I suppose the photographer could retain Gloria Allred tomorrow and hold a press conference reenacting the incident, but I’m guessing he’s seen worse before.  If I were the Dodgers I’d prefer it if my players didn’t flip the bird to photographers, but given that my family — including my wife, my mom, my grandmother and everyone ever — has a habit of flipping off any other family member who ever tries to take a picture, I don’t have much room to talk.

Really, it’s uncanny. I have a picture somewhere of my great aunt Ruth flipping me the bird when she was 86 years old. Why? “Because you’re probably going to use that picture for my obituary.”  Well no, now that you shot me the bird, I can’t really do that, can I Ruchel?

Oh well. It was a lot funnier before digital cameras and bird-bombing a pic burnt up actual film.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.