Juan Uribe reported to spring training with a firmer-looking upper body and an oversized smile. He exchanged loud greetings and embraces with his teammates, then spoke about everything from the work he did to avoid a repeat of his disastrous first season with the Dodgers and to how he could miss the first few days of full-squad workouts because he is a defendant in an upcoming civil trial.

Andre Ethier also showed up at the Dodgers complex Saturday.

But Ethier wasn't smiling. His face was expressionless. He didn't say much. Whatever he said, he said quickly.

"I'm just giving you honest-truth answers," he said. "I'm not your buddy, you're not my buddy. We're not going to sit here and have a bar-top conversation."

This wasn't out of character. In his time with the Dodgers, he has been extremely curt or extremely engaging, and rarely anything in between. Last spring, he wore a friendly facade and declared his intention of becoming a team leader. The year before that, he was even less talkative than he was Saturday.

"It's just the way I want to approach the game," Ethier said. "Day to day, that's all it is. What can I do to get better today or make it better for tomorrow? That's all that my sights are set on. Head down, focus on the task. The task on hand is what today brings. It's as clear and simple as I can put it. I'm not going to look up, I'm not going to look ahead, I'm not going to look at the light at the end of the tunnel."

Ethier was particularly impatient with questions regarding his increasingly uncertain future.

The two-time All-Star outfielder tied a career low with11 home runs last season, which ended three weeks prematurely because of a knee operation. Even though he will be a free agent at the end of this season, the Dodgers signed him to only a one-year contract in the off-season. But they signed Matt Kemp to an eight-year, $160-million deal and made a nine-figure offer to free agent Prince Fielder.