BJ Upton was not in the starting lineup last night. That marks the fifth time in the last seven days somebody else was in center field to start the game. And while some, including us, have wondered aloud if Upton should still be starting versus righties, Upton himself, is still very much in the corner of the BJ-apologists

“I thought I was an everyday player,” Upton said. “I don’t know if I’m subject to matchups now or not. I’m not going to get too bent out of shape about it, but obviously I want to be out there everyday.”

On the one hand, Upton has to see the writing on the wall. His mechanics are a mess and he couldn’t hit righties right now even if they set it up on a tee.

On the other hand, we have to lay some blame at the feet of Joe Maddon. There is no reason for a player to not know what their role is on the team. If Upton is the starting center fielder, fine, put him out there everyday. But if he is not the everyday guy, JoeMa should make that clear to BJ.

Maddon insists Bossman was never benched. And in the past week JoeMa has given numerous excuses for Upton’s absence from the lineup. Last week it was that he needed extra rest and had a sore muscle. Last night, Maddon referenced BJ’s career numbers versus Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-16).

Whatever, the excuse, it seems clear that BJ Upton is no longer an everyday player. And Joe Maddon is one step closer to his dream of platooning the entire cot damned roster.

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11 Comments

  1. Cork Gaines says:

    Thanks

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  2. McBuc says:

    Nice write up Joe, it is going to be great to have you covering the Rays now too. I hit joebucsfan everyday, so now I have another place to visit.

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  3. Joe D. says:

    If act like a part timer: not changing up mechanics when you can't a fastball down the pike, napping on first base and getting picked off, and lollygagging in the outfield... You get treated like a part timer. I don't think that it needs to be spelled out or etched in stone.

    If BJ puts fourth the effort, and the results follow, I'm sure he'd be on the line up every day. That's a privilege he needs to earn not one that should be given to him.

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  4. Gus says:

    He can spend his days off working in the cage and getting better.

    Imagine how much you could have made in 2007 betting that Zobrist would be an everyday, very good to great player and Upton would be battling for his major league life just 3 years later. Baseball is a funny game, but while raw talent may get you to the major leagues, you need a work ethic to stay there. I just don't see Upton working to make the changes necessary.

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    • Sarah says:

      I'm no Upton apologist, and I'm glad to see him benched.

      But I don't think attacks on his "work ethic" are justified. Unless you've seen him loafing at the beach while everyone else takes batting practice, you have no reason to believe he isn't working as hard as every other member of the team.

      It's certainly possible that whatever practice routine he has isn't, at the moment, very effective, but the idea that he simply needs to "work harder" is not based on any real evidence.

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      • ramedy says:

        +1 for Sarah.

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      • Don says:

        Work harder is for ditch diggers...to be a major league player you have to be "able" to hit a baseball!
        BJ seems to prove everyday that....... that is probably not possible...
        Maybe the ditch digger gig would be better with his "hard work"!

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      • Connie says:

        MLB Network once showed video of BJ working with Shelton before batting practice. I'm sure he's a working - he's just not always focused

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  5. John S says:

    Haha this is such a joke... The people defending the drug abusing bum..

    It won't matter though he and his career .240 batting average will be gone.

    I would love to know how many center fielders in this league has a career .240 average that started consistently for over three years like he has. Maybe 3 or 4. And how many on contending teams?

    Aybar was worthless yesterday, Barlett also and Pena was pretty much the same; however, if there is one thing you don't have to worry about if they have a mental collapse in a crucial spot in the game. Who knows if Ortiz hit a ball to deep center and BJ starts to jog after it and it costs us the game. We can not take that chance, not in these games.

    And BJ has done nothing than continuously show that he is an immature punk.

    Bye bye BJ don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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  6. John S says:

    Oh and 1 more thing... I WOULD LOVE BJ TO GET HIS ACT TOGETHER.. HIS RAW TALENTS ARE SIMPLY AMAZING!

    But how many free passes does he get... this would have been his 5th in 4 years... that is pathetic... and speaks to his greatly inflated EGO

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