I’m not a big fan of B.J. Upton, and I make no apology at all for that. Just like any other Atlanta Brave, when he’s playing either in the field or at the bat, I’m going to root for him to succeed, but the loyalty I have as a fan doesn’t get in the way of me wanting what I feel is best for this team. Like any good fan, I get a bit miffed when my armchair management wisdom (or lack thereof) isn’t being heeded.
The ONLY Reason?
I know he’s being paid too much, and so Frank Wren may feel an overwhelming desire to push this experiment to the limit, but in my opinion the time has clearly come and gone for B.J. Upton to show the Atlanta Braves some return on their investment. I’m amazed that the fanbase can so easily dismiss Dan Uggla as a lost cause, while B.J. Upton continues to have, seemingly, a great deal of support from both the team and the fanbase.
For example, outside of a few games where Fredi Gonzalez had B.J. Upton sit the bench, he’s been pretty much a mainstay in the 2 hole all season long. Why? My goodness, why!? He’s hitting a paltry .205, has no discipline at the plate, and no self-discipline either!
Even when Tommy La Stella was called up to replace Dan Uggla at 2nd, and began to tear the cover off the ball, I was amazed that he wasn’t a clear choice for the 2 hole. Now Tommy has been moved to the leadoff spot (which doesn’t bother me too much given that Jason Heyward has been moved down and is hitting well), but B.J. Upton remains almost permanently ensconced in the 2 hole, as if he were actually performing well enough to be there. I can only shake my head and wonder why.Our own Jeff Schafer wrote an article with a poll this morning, asking the fan base what lineup you would have for the Atlanta Braves. Looking at some early results from that, it’s clear that most of the voters so far would have B.J. Upton in either the 7 or the 8 hole (although Andrelton Simmons got most votes, and B.J. wouldn’t play at all based on votes). Personally, I want a little more prowess right before the pitcher bats, so I’d personally have B.J. in the 7 hole myself.
Despite My Objections
Of course I’m a realist, which means I’m well aware that no matter what we fans might want or see the need for, in the end it’s up to manager Fredi Gonzalez (translation Frank Wren?) who plays in that 2 hole, and checking MLB Lineups on Twitter for tonight’s game we can already see that B.J. Upton is strangely, or not so strangely, right back in that 2 hole.
6/21 @Braves lineup vs. WSH La Stella 2B B. Upton CF Freeman 1B Gattis C Heyward RF J. Upton LF Johnson 3B Simmons SS Teheran P
— MLBLineups (@mlblineups) June 21, 2014
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