B.J. Upton, benched three times in the past two weeks for failing to hustle, was caught jogging on the bases again Monday night and thrown out at second on what should have been a routine double.
This time, Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon left his center fielder in the game after his latest base running gaffe.
The speedy Upton hit a fourth-inning drive to left against the Los Angeles Angels and broke 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 Juan Rivera’s throw to an uncovered base. Teixeira fielded the ball on a hop 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.
Trust me when I say that this description does not do justice to just how unbelievably atrocious Upton was on the play. I consider it to be one of the two or three laziest, most inexcusably [facepalm] moments I have ever witnessed at any level of baseball, including my old Little League team. Also, one of the most hilarious. Please find a way to catch a clip of this (it'll be all over ESPN tonight, and probably on MLB.com too). Do it for me.
Someday grizzled old grandparents will bounce their grandkids on their knee and regale them with stories about B.J. Upton, the Laziest Man of All Time. It's actually beautiful in a way: he's taking on a mythic aspect, becoming a bizarro John Henry, a monument to awesomely hilarious indolence. As I said in another thread, someday we will be telling Aesopian fables about Upton, along the lines of "The Ant and the Grasshopper," except that the grasshopper will be Upton and the ant will be Willie Ballgame.