For whatever reason, Upton is joined at the hip to this team ... and he's been the everyday centerfielder for going on nine seasons ... whether he's played well or stunk out the joint ... and there's no reason to expect that to change anytime soon. In my opininon, that's an unfortunate circumstance ... but ... as they say ... it is what it is. And, I guess, determining who actually is "the worst player on the team" would vary significantly depending on who is making that determination and what factors were under consideration.
In my opinion, I don't believe Upton, Molina and Howell bring anything of real significance to the table. Of course, others will invariably opine otherwise.
My thing with Upton is simply based on the fact that, even in light of some of his most glaring misjudgments and brainfreezes along the way, he hasn't shown any improvement in any significant ways in the nine years he's been starting for this team ... and ... his situational stats and his repetitive mistakes in all areas over all that time clearly indicate that he has NOT had a significant impact on the team actually winning games many games over the period. Beyond that ... over-rated and over-paid ... and time for a change.
But ... right now .. when nearly everyone around him is also performing very poorly ... you're right! He doesn't look as bad as he usually does!
Letting Sam Fuld take over Left ruins your argument. If we let Upton go this summer then we will need to sign someone that can actually produce offensively in the outfield.
Upton and Joyce are the only ones keeping the team afloat offensively right now.
Here is the list of available outfielders this summer. Since I doubt Mahtook will be ready, and we don't have anyone else that can produce with the stick in the system.
Michael BournMarlon ByrdMelky CabreraMatt DiazAndre EthierCurtis GrandersonJosh HamiltonTorii HunterCarlos LeeAngel PaganCarlos QuentinAaron RowandLuke ScottRyan SpilborghsIchiro SuzukiB.J. UptonShane VictorinoReggie WillitsDelmon Young
It is not a long list when you weed out those who cost too much, are too old, and will probably re-sign with their original team.
Every critic of Upton needs to put down their XBOX controller and realize that in real life players hit for a lower average and not everyone hits for 40 homeruns. Players do NOT earn attribute points after each game!
Also, averages and the number of homeruns have dropped since the end of the steroid era.
I'm not making an argument ... and I have no input whatsoever into the decision as to who plays any particular position for the Rays or who the Rays might be interested in trading or signing to play any position.
I simply believe Upton is an over-rated, over-paid and relatively mediocre baseball player in all elements of the game. He may have a hot streak at the plate here or there ... he might make a good play in the outfield now and then ... but ... overall ... I believe the totality of his performance over the last eight seasons has been low-average at best.
I believe he will be with the Rays for the forseeable future ... and I regret that some others haven't been and won't be given the opportunity to prove themselves at that position. And ... it's a statistical fact that Upton DOES NOT PRODUCE with men on base, with men in scoring position, when there are two outs, or later in the game with the game on the line. He's shown no permanent improvement in any element of his game over eight prior seasons ... and he has not shown any versatility whatsoever ... a required trait among many other Rays' players ... in terms of playing other positions or making other contributions to winning.
He's definitely got the job ... but I just happen to think he doesn't do it very well ... nor do I think that he's some kind of "irreplaceable part" of the team.
A "solution" for what?
I simply think Upton is a very mediocre ballplayer who hasn't gotten one whit better over the last eight years ... and MY preference would be to see him playing elsewhere.
Next season, I'd be perfectly happy to see Jennings in center with Fuld getting a serious everyday tryout in left ... or even Jennings remaining in left and Fuld getting a tryout in center.
(And, I don't believe in the signing expensive free agents to ridiculous contracts.)
In EVERY sport there is always a guy whose present team may feel he is under performing/achieving. Out of the other teams in the league there is usually a team that will "give him a shot". What I mean is they feel that things may be different in a new situation or "we can change him". For what ever reason he is worth more to that team than others, even the present team he is on. I think it may be best at this point to "test the waters". The Rays will be getting something of value back. I think the time may be now before its too late while he still has some value/ability...potential for some.
Calm down BJ lovers, there were a few "thinks" and "mays" in that paragraph. Don't need this bs- I already have a wife