Only in Kirk Gibson’s pumped-up world can a 39 point Acapulcoated drop-off in OPS+ be considered…“a better player than he was last year.”
But what about manager Kirk Gibson, the ultimate old-school grinder. He’s a gruff guy, a no-nonsense guy. Surely, Gibby must be frustrated by the “enigma,” to borrow an oft-cited term, that is Justin Upton. Surely, the dip in power concerns him, right? Surely, he thinks Upton has taken a step back in 2012, correct?
“This kid’s been over-analyzed,” Gibson says. “In my mind, he’s been a better player than he was last year.”
Wait, now, how can that be? After all, home runs are the only way to impact a game, aren’t they? And if Justin Upton isn’t hitting home runs, why does he even bother showing up?
“He plays the games every day, he has a great attitude, he’s a great teammate, he plays with energy, he never asks for a day off, he never runs from anything,” Gibson continues, barely pausing for air. “He works on every aspect of his game. He got on base [Tuesday] night, I asked him to steal, and he stole. We asked him to work on his outfield, going back on the ball, and he goes back [Tuesday] night and makes a good throw trying to get [Starling] Marte.
“He’s a much better ballplayer, all-around ballplayer, than he was last year. He doesn’t have as many home runs as last year, so everybody is asking me about it every day. But people say he’s lazy and he doesn’t work hard, and it’s all [not true].”
Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:20 AM | 4 comment(s)
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