- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
Justin Upton returns to Arizona in Braves uniform
His goal was to treat it like any other game.
This three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team that traded him away, will be different, to be sure, but it’s not going to define his season.
“It’s a long season. It’s a marathon and you have to put up numbers over a long period of time,” Upton said. “This three-game series is very small on the scale of how your season is going to turn out, so I don’t see that as any type of motivation. I motivate myself either way. When you’re on the field and competing, it doesn’t matter where you’re playing.”
Upton hit his 13th homer of the season in the sixth inning. He came into the game leading the National League in home runs.
The slugger received a few more cheers than boos his first time up, but there wasn’t much of a reaction from the crowd before he grounded out.
He played 43 games after being called up in 2007, when the Diamondbacks went to the playoffs, and was a two-time All-Star in six seasons with Arizona.
Upton had his best season in 2011, finishing fourth in NL MVP voting after hitting 31 homers with 88 RBIs while leading Arizona to the NL West title and earning a Silver Slugger Award.
But over the course of his final two seasons in the desert, he was the constant focus of trade speculation. The Diamondbacks weren’t openly trying to get rid of their best player, but acknowledged they were listening to offers.
Arizona tried to trade Upton to Seattle this past offseason, but he vetoed the deal.
Not long after, the 25-year-old was shipped to Atlanta in a seven-player deal that sent third baseman Martin Prado to Arizona and put Upton on the same team as his brother, B.J.
Even though the possibility of a trade was apparent, it caught Upton off guard when it actually happened.
“It’s a different feeling when you get traded, but you’ve got to take it in stride,” Upton said. “From my perspective, the organization was going a different direction and I wasn’t a part of that. In turn, they got players that they needed to fill their holes and that’s part of the game.”
Despite the ongoing trade saga, Upton left Arizona saying all the right things, having no animosity for the only team he had known.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Obama avoids 'red line' for China; prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Brain surgery victim struggles with Obamacare: 'It's scary'
- Protesters, police clash in Philippines ahead of Obama visit
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014