Upton drew a mixed reaction from fans in his first plate appearance after hitting a fourth-inning drive to left off Garland and breaking into a trot out of the batter's box, apparently thinking it would be a home run. Instead, the ball hit the fence on a hop. Upton casually rounded first and jogged toward second with Angels first baseman Mark Teixeira following up the line to meet left fielder Rivera's throw to an uncovered base. Teixeira fielded the ball on a bounce and made the tag just before a surprised Upton touched the bag. With the inning over, Upton dropped his head and bent over at second base for a few moments before taking his position on defense.Upton has been benched three times in the past two weeks for not hustling, a fact that manager Joe Maddon apparently has forgotten. "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." Um, what? Cliff Floyd said that he would take Upton under his wing. "I think everybody in here will do everything possible to make sure it doesn't happen again. It's not in Joe's hands any more. It's in nobody's hands but ours," Floyd said. Although I'm not sure how that's going to work in a practical sense. Large signs in the dugout reading "Run, you stupid f—-ing Upton, Run!"? Wizard Cat gives this baserunning effort zero wands. Floyd had a two-run homer and Andy Sonnanstine got his 13th win as Tampa Bay prevailed 6-4. Rays Stop Angels For 8th Win In 10 Games Despite Upton Gaffe [USA Today]
One has to wonder why the Rays didn't pull the trigger and sign Barry Bonds long ago; he would have fit in quite well. They could give him the locker right next to B.J. Upton, and together they could form the Home Run or Nothing Club. Hmm. Are storm clouds gathering above the Rays' quest of an AL East title?