That guy on MLB Network? He’s B.J. Upton again

Former Rays OF makes a shift back to his more well-known moniker.
Tampa Bay Rays' Reid Brignac (15) congratulates B.J. Upton after Upton's solo home run off Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday night, Aug. 28, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Tampa Bay Rays' Reid Brignac (15) congratulates B.J. Upton after Upton's solo home run off Boston Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday night, Aug. 28, 2010, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Published January 15

The longtime Rays outfielder known recently as Melvin Upton is going back to using B.J. as his first name.

Upton announced the change back this morning during a segment on MLB Network, where he has provided guest analysis the last two days.

"You know what, it's my wife, man, she said, 'Melvin' doesn't sound right on TV and she wants me to go back to B.J.," he said. "And everybody knows, happy wife, happy life. So we're official. It's cool."

Upton, 34, was known as B.J. , for Bossman Junior, in tribute to his dad's nickname, as he came up with the Rays and played with them from 2004-12, and during his 2013-14 seasons with the Braves.

But he announced going into the 2015 season that he had decided to use his given name, Melvin Upton Jr. At the time, he said that was the name most of his friends and family used for him.

Upton last played in the majors in 2016, spending 2017 dealing with injuries after signing with the Giants after his opening day release by the Blue Jays and going to spring training in 2018 with Cleveland but being released.

During that time he did allow some longtime acquaintances, such as a certain Tampa Bay Times beat writer, to be grandfathered in and continue to refer to him as B.J.

And now he has decided to go back to that.

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