Found May 13, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
PHOENIX -- Kirk Gibson and Justin Upton used to run into each other before every Diamondbacks game. Literally run into each other. Bolo each other was what Gibson called it. Those who said the two did not get along did not see that.
Their meeting was less physical Monday, when Upton returned to Chase Field for the first time since the January seven-player trade that remade both the Diamondbacks and Braves.
Upton, however, still made it hurt. He basically decided the game with the kind of no-doubt home run that he was known for here, a deep drive into the center field stands in the sixth inning, just to the right field side of the batters eye measured at 440 feet. It made it 5-1.
Upton had been there before, but always with the D-backs.
The homer, his major-league-high 13th, and three other hits on a 4-for-5 night only added evidence for those who believe the D-backs should have found a way to live with Upton and the final three years of his contract.
Some liked the deal. Some hated it.
Upton received the same sort of mixed response when he stepped to the plate in his normal No. 3 hole (some things never change) in the first inning -- more cheers, but some boos, too. He grounded to third baseman Martin Prado. Of course.
The symbolism made a 180 in the sixth inning, however when Upton crushed a 2-0 pitch from Wade Miley after brother B.J. Upton was hit in the left shoulder to open the inning.
The Braves made the deal for at-bats just like that, to fortify their lineup to contend with the Nationals in the NL East. Upton was a nice fit to pair with B.J., who signed as a free agent last winter.
The D-backs wanted a player who made more contact, could move runners and was steadier in the field. Prado is that guy, even though his offense has not been there this season and his first error of the season contributed to the Braves' three-run fifth. The minor league package that the D-backs received also deepened them at shortstop, a position of strength for trading partners of the future.
Six weeks in Atlanta does not appear to have changed Upton.
He has the same infectious laugh. it filled the hallway as he approached his pregame press conference.
The same game. The same pop in his bat. The same flaws -- three outfield errors, 41 strikeouts in 130 at-bats coming in.
The D-backs were willing to trade steady for the occasionally spectacular. It is a swap both can live with, even if the early results skew toward the Braves.
Both teams are contenders, so the deal could not have been all bad.
Teammate Miguel Montero said last week that he believed Upton had gotten tired of being mentioned as a trade candidate the previous three seasons, so the trade was a good thing. Upton said basically the same thing to an Atlanta TV station, although the subject was not addressed Monday.
Even after Upton used his no-trade option to veto a trade to Seattle last winter, he said he did not expect the Jan. 24 deal to Atlanta, even though it was only a matter of time until he was dealt because the D-backs had added outfielder Cody Ross, another solid steady type.
Upton thanked the Diamondbacks for his six years at his press conference, and before going through stretching exercises on the field, he shook hands with team presidentCEO Derrick Hall and managing partner Ken Kendrick, who offered a hug. Don Baylor and Upton shared some time. Upton also hugged Gerardo Parra, former right fielder to current one.
From my perspective, the organization was going in a different direction and I wasnt a part of that. In turn, they got players that they needed that they feel like filled their holes, Upton said.
Upton has -- and made -- some good memories in his six seasons in Arizona. He played on two playoff teams, in 2007 and 2011, and was fourth in the NL MVP voting in 2011. He took off over the final four months of 2011 after a discussion with Gibson and Baylor about letting the game come to him.
I understood him because he went through a lot of what I went through when I was a young player, Gibson said.
Upton is a changed player because of his time learning the game with Gibson and Baylor, but parting was probably best for all concerned. He moves forward with a new challenge, although he would not call it a clean slate.
My past still comes with me, Upton said. "Its a new year and you get a chance to go out and put up different numbers and be a part of winning team. iIs really up to you each year to rewrite the books."
Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
BEST OF MAXIM
Video: Hit my bro and i'll hit a HR
Justin Upton won the NL Player of the Month in April
With the Braves playing the Diamondbacks in a three game series starting tonight, there are inevitable discussions and assessments about the trade that brought Justin Upton and Chris Johnson to Atlanta, and sent Martin Prado and prospects, to Arizona.
Braves manager, Fredi Gonzalez, isn’t in the business of publicly assessing...
Justin Upton had a huge night in his return to Arizona with the Atlanta Braves.
Making his first trip to Chase Field as a visiting player, Upton homered and had four hits in Atlanta's 10-1 victory over the Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Before the first pitch, he said his goal was to treat it like any other game. Turned out, it wasn't.
This three-game series against Arizona...
The Atlanta Braves B.J. Upton had to leave Monday’s game due to a contusion of his left shoulder. The outfielder is day-to-day and the injury for now doesn’t appear to be too serious. Expect him back within a few days.
The post B.J. Upton Day-To-Day With Shoulder Contusion appeared first on FFLockerRoom | NFL News | MLB News | NBA News | NHL News | Fantasy |.
Justin Upton felt a little strange entering the visitors' clubhouse at Chase Field.
That didn't dampen his excitement about returning to the place where he spent the first six seasons of his big league career.
Upton returned to Arizona with Atlanta on Monday night for the first time since the Diamondbacks traded him to the Braves.
A two-time All-Star, Upton was one of...
ATLANTA There have been and will be signs in the Chase Field bleachers this week professing the Diamondbacks fans miss Justin Upton in their own team's uniform, but it's hard to imagine they wanted to see the 25-year-old slugger play quite so well in his homecoming.
Upton, who went 4-for-5 with one home run in Game 1 of his return series, has immediately become the star...
Atlanta Braves outfielder B.J. Upton had to exit last night's contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks after being hit in the left shoulder by starting pitcher Wade Miley. The Braves are considering Upton day-to-day, and he told reporters after the game -- including Mark Bowman of MLB.com -- that he's likely to take Tuesday off to rest the sore shoulder.
Justin Uptons return Monday overshadows just about everything else going on between the Braves and the Diamondbacks as they prepare for a three-game series that opens Monday, the teams' only set at Chase Field this year.
Both teams are playing well as they are newly structured -- the Braves (21-16) are in first place in the NL East and the D-backs (21-17) are in second in the...
Justin Upton snapped a 14-game homerless drought and had four hits to help the Atlanta Braves rout the Diamondbacks 10-1 on Monday night in his return to Arizona.
Upton, the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2005 amateur draft, was playing his first game at Chase Field since the offseason trade that sent him and third baseman Chris Johnson to Atlanta in a seven-player deal.
Justin Upton put on quite a show in his return to Phoenix.
Upton snapped a 14-game homerless drought and had four hits to help the Braves snap a three-game losing streak.
''It was the Justin show,'' Braves third baseman Chris Johnson said with a smile.
Upton, the first overall pick by Arizona in the 2005 amateur draft, was playing his first game at Chase Field...
Justin Upton played his first game at Chase Field last night as a visitor. His new team (the Braves) smashed his old team (the Diamondbacks) 10-1. More telling was Upton's stat line: 4/5 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. Chris Johnson, who came to Atlanta with Upton in this winter's trade, went 3/4 with three RBI,, a double, and a homer. But it's not all...
Atlanta has gone through a terrible stretch of baseball having lost 4 of their last 6 games on the road. With just 3 more games on the road before a travel day and a return to Turner Field for a 6-game home stand, the Braves need to salvage as many of the the remaining 3 road games as possible. Taking 2 of the 3 games in Arizona would give the Braves a winning percentage for the...
After calling Chase Field home for his first six major league seasons, Justin Upton is set to play his first game there as a visitor Monday night.
Upton will try to help the Atlanta Braves break out against the Arizona Diamondbacks - his former team - in a matchup of two slumping offenses.
The No. 1 overall pick by the Diamondbacks in 2005, Upton drove in 67 runs in 150 games in...
The Braves look to break their 3-game losing streak tonight
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez puts another interesting line-up out there tonight against the Diamondbacks. Most notable is that the .153 hitting B.J. Upton will bat second and the .307 hitting Chris Johnson will bat eighth.
This will be the fifth time this season that B.J. Upton has batted second.
At first glance it...
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, looking to get more life into a line-up that has scored only three runs the past two games against the Giants, has shaken things up.
Here’s today’s batting order against the Giants:
1. RF: Jordan Schafer
2. SS: Ramiro Pena
3. C: Brian McCann
4. LF: Justin Upton
5. 1B: Freddie Freeman
6. 2B: Dan Uggla
7. CF: B.J. Upton
8. 3B: Juan Francisco