Justin Upton has been through quite a bit with the Diamondbacks over the past month. First it was the booing by the home crowd fans at Chase Field. If he struck out, failed to record an RBI or if he was unable to produce anything, the boo birds let him know all about it.
Now, Upton has been involved with plenty of trade chatter. It seems that the D-backs are listening to offers for him and many reports have him linked to the Rangers, Pirates and the Tigers.
But it isn't the trade speculation that is upsetting Upton's agent, Larry Reynolds. He understands those are apart of the business. According to USA Today, it's the anonymous attacks that are irking him.
Via USA Today:
"Justin wants to stay, but I know trade rumors and trades are part of the business,'' Reynolds said. "What I don't like are the comments and innuendos made about Justin's work ethic and character, especially from those gutless people that don't want to put their name by a quote."
It seems that personnel from opposing ball clubs are slandering Upton's name behind closed doors. His work ethic has never been the issue, however. To question that would be a mistake. Upton wants to play and he wants to be successful.
The amount of pressure that has been placed on the young 24 year old's shoulders is impeccable. He is being asked to be the face of a franchise and to give his team production night in and night out from the three-hole in the batting order. That is no easy task.
It is a sight for sore eyes to see someone finally come out and defend Upton. Sure, it is his agent, but it had to start somewhere. After team owner Ken Kendrick verbally abused him on local airwaves by saying that Upton is, "certainly not the Justin Upton that he has been in the past and that we would expect of him'', a few weeks back, it's nice to see someone stand up for the young phenom.
His numbers are down this year and the consistent production hasn't always been there. Whether the Diamondbacks want to give him more time to figure things out or ship him off is their prerogative. But when team officials begin to question his work ethic and speak negatively of him as a baseball player, that is where they are wrong.
Kudos to Mr. Reynolds for sticking up for his client and doing the right thing. That is what should be done by all of those who are close to Upton.
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