Originally written on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/4/12
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PHOENIX -- It was not easy being Justin Upton this year. He suffered a banged-up thumb and a bruised ego, and he spent a few weeks on the open market in his first season after gaining national prominence during his 2011 MVP run. Uptons power numbers were maybe 80 percent of what they were a year ago because he played the season at maybe 80 percent hand-health-wise. Upton was not really himself until the final six weeks of the season, when his numbers spiked after he was able to remove a brace used to protect the left thumb he bruised sliding into second base on the third day of the season. He has steadfastly refused to use that as a crutch. In fact, you cannot get Upton to acknowledge the injury was a factor at all. If there was something, I dont regret it one second. Well just leave it at that, Upton said. Upton refused to go on the disabled list when advised by team doctors in April, lest he be considered a deserter. Friend Chris Young had been placed on the disabled list a da...
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