Clear73° WeatherClear73° Weather

B.J. Upton issues playing for Tampa Bay Rays through the years

The Rays’ B.J. Upton has had a history of incidents in which he appeared not to be hustling.

Associated Press

The Rays’ B.J. Upton has had a history of incidents in which he appeared not to be hustling.

Upton issues

During spring training this year, Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton said he had matured and there would be no further incidents of being benched for not hustling, or any similar issues. "I just want to squash all of that and move on," he said. A look at incidents that have dogged him in his career:

Aug. 5, 2008: Doesn't run hard on a grounder back to the mound against the Indians. He is benched the next game.

Aug. 15, 2008: Fails to run hard to first (5.33 seconds vs. 4.3 on average for a right-handed batter) on a double-play ball against the Rangers. Manager Joe Maddon waits for Upton to take his position in center in the bottom of the inning then pulls him out, baseball's version of a slap in the face. He is benched the next game.

Aug. 18, 2008: Looks shocked when he is thrown out at second on what should have been a routine double against the Angels. He went into a trot coming out of the batter's box on a drive that hit the leftfield wall. Veteran Cliff Floyd vows, "He's going to get it right, trust me."

Aug. 19, 2008: Apologizes for his "mental lapse" on the bases the previous day, saying he doesn't want to be a distraction: "There's no excuse for it. It can't happen, especially in the middle of a pennant race."

Aug. 9, 2009: Says "it's almost like a kick in the face" to be dropped from leadoff to No. 9 in the order. He was hitting .242 with an on-base percentage of .317 as leadoff.

Sept. 9, 2009: Taken out in sixth inning against Yankees after not running hard on several hit balls, but he and Maddon say it's due to his sore left ankle: "I know some think I might be faking it or whatever."

B.J. Upton issues playing for Tampa Bay Rays through the years 06/27/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:33pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...