BJ Upton Is Still Anti-Hustle

On Saturday, Ziller brought you the story of BJ Upton’s embarrassing benching by coach Joe Maddon (again), which resulted from Upton’s unwillingness to run down the line. Based on what happened in the Rays’ 6-4 win over the Angels last night, BJ still doesn’t understand the “running” aspect of the game: ↵
↵⇥The speedy center fielder, who has been benched three times in the last two weeks for not hustling, was thrown out at second base on what should have been a routine double in the fourth inning. ↵⇥

↵⇥But unlike last Friday at Texas, Upton wasn't removed from the game by manager Joe Maddon. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"That's a mental mistake he made right there. It's not a lack of effort," Maddon said, explaining why he didn't take action. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥"It's one of those situations where he assumed. We've talked about assumptions. That's an assumption on his part. That's part of his game we've got to get rid of." ↵⇥

↵
↵I’m sorry, what? So, what you’re saying here, Joe, is that Upton really was trying to give full effort (which, as we know, is somewhere in the 110th percentile), but his brain simply wouldn’t let his legs move fast enough to get to second base? That makes perfect sense. ↵
↵
↵While Maddon fights his crusade against assumptions, teammate Cliff Floyd has faith in young, sloth-y Upton: ↵
↵⇥"He's going to get it right, trust me," Floyd said. "He's going to be, in my mind, one of the best players to play the game. You don't want anybody looking at you like you really don't want it." ↵
↵Let me double-check here ... yep, that’s what she said.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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