For Uptons, fun is the plan
About 65 friends and relatives of the Uptons will be at Tropicana Field for tonight's first-ever meeting of brothers B.J. and Justin. Most noticeable will be mother Yvonne, who has a special split jersey shirt with both of her sons names and numbers that was made by a family friend.
"This is the easy part," said Manny, their father. "The hard part was making sure everybody got into town.''
B.J. and Justin both said they were looking forward to the weekend encounters, though they hadn"t yet placed a friendly premium on the results.
"Maybe I'll think of something before we come back out, but I think it's just more or less come out and have fun and play in front of your family,'' B.J. said. "We'll try to put on a show for them and make everybody happy.''
Said Justin: "It's something that we hoped would happen one day and now it's here so we're having fun with it.''
They did go out to dinner last night and while B.J. picked up that check, he said he "won't be picking up anything else" for the weekend. B.J. also said he didn't give Justin much advice on dealing with the trick Trop roof: "I just told him "Good luck,' on the ride in.''
Manny said the family will root for both of their sons and not for either team - "It'll be fun,'' he said - though he is curious to see what happens if one robs the other of a hit. "It'll be a little fussing at home when they come home for the off-season,'' Manny said. "So it'll be like playing in the front yard again.''
Although Yvonne said: "I told them they can't hit a ball near each other.''
Naturally, they definitely will be trying.
"If he hits it at me I'm trying to catch it, that's just the way it is - I'm trying to take everything from him. And I know he's not going to let anything fall out there if it's from me,'' B.J. said. "So we'll see if the opportunity comes along.''