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Thursday, August 09, 2012

MLB: Negativity surrounding Justin Upton unfounded

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].”

Repoz Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:20 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4204396)
Nice of Gibby to finally speak up for Justin after the GM and owner have thrown him under the bus all year long. I guess Gibby was waiting to see whether a good trade option emerged, now that he's "stuck' with Justin he can make nice.

he never asks for a day off

Hmm, he's the almost exactly the same player as he was last year in every way, except for his power. Maybe the nagging injury he's had that caused that power slump might have healed faster with some forced days off. That's on you Gibby, along with Towers.
   2. JJ1986 Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4204404)
I cannot believe how badly written this piece is. Every line is sarcasm. Some examples:

How dare this kid hone his craft? How dare he care?

Doesn't he know he's supposed to be a coddled superstar, a former No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft who has had everything -- including a six-year, $50 million contract extension -- handed to him, despite uneven results at the Major League level?

After all, home runs are the only way to impact a game, aren't they?

What would lead anybody to believe he'll ever be in the MVP conversation again?
   3. thetailor (Brian) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4204441)
.298/.376/.429, OPS of 805 in the last 60 days. He's fine. The power will return.
   4. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4204532)
What #2 said. The writer here apparently hates his readers. I've never heard of him, so I guess he is trying to make an impression on readers as an edgy, hip, young gun. The impression he made on me is that this jackass should find other employment. Some other gems from the article

How dare this guy come across as so relaxed, so grounded? How dare he do everything in his power to improve and earn the respect of those around him, day in and day out?

How dare Justin Upton let facts and fortitude get in the way of a good, negative narrative?

Worth noting that Upton is a major disappointment this year, regardless of what Gibson says.

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