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Grit Alert

Mar 27, 2013, 5:08 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

I can’t get enough of these kinds of descriptions of the Diamondbacks. In reference to the Justin Upton trade:

The Diamondbacks gave up on that magnificent yet inconsistent talent in a bid to transform the team into a scrappy, tough, aggressive unit that relies more on contact hitting than home runs, coupled with a solid rotation and a substantially beefed up bullpen.

Primal roars! Gnashing of teeth! Pounding of chests!

Unfortunately for Arizona, an injury has slowed the rebuilding plans.

Aww, the gritty he-men have boo-boos.

Meanwhile, Justin Upton takes a long, slow drink from a tall glass of lemonade, gets out of his La-Z-Boy, loafs up to the plate and hits a ball 567 feet.

But good work on that grit, Kirk and Kevin.

  1. mustbechris - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    how can a team that has never played a game together be described as “scrappy”? what if they’re not scrappy? what makes a team scrappy anyway? you trade a fast black dude and replace him with white dudes with five o clock shadows and now they’re scrappy?

    • bravojawja - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

      All I know about Scrappy is that Scooby-Doo was never the same once that little snot showed up and wouldn’t leave.

    • 14thinningstretch - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      I think it also helps if the white dudes with 5 o’clock shadows are utility infielders. For example:

      Justin Verlander – not scrappy
      Willie Bloomquist – scrappy

      • mustbechris - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:57 PM

        Imagine how scrappy the Phillies would be if they could just replace every player on the roster with Chase Utley clones. They’d be the best knee-less right handed pitcher-hitting cleat-sliding all star game-swearing grounding-softly-to-1st-base team in the history of baseball.

  2. proudlycanadian - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Gritty players get hurt? Who knew?

  3. steelpenbucs87 - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    See this is the devolution of baseball teams….

    It begins with “Dominant Powerhouses” with “Murder’s Row” and a “Surgical Pitching staff”.

    Then you’re a “scrappy, rugged, scratching and clawing club.”

    Then you’re a “rag-tag group of up and coming prospects and wiley veterans.”

    Then you’re the bad news bears.

    • crackersnap - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      And all along you are officially known throughout the land of baseball as the “Boston Red Sox”.

  4. El Bravo - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Kirk Gibson has a +3 G.A.R. so watch your mouth.

    • paperlions - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Are you sure that isn’t ARG (above replacement grit)….or is that only for Pittsburgh?

      • El Bravo - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Hmmmm, I must ponder this.

      • indaburg - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        ‘lions, ARG is perfect! I love onomatopoeia.

      • stex52 - Mar 28, 2013 at 8:52 AM

        No, it’s now also for Miami and Houston.

      • paperlions - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        I was thinking “ARG”, as a piratey thing….not ARG as in “damn this is frustrating”….but yeah, the multiple interpretations is a bonus.

    • DJ MC - Mar 27, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      The best part of this is your wording: by saying “plus-three” instead of just the number, you made it sound like a description of a skill from a D&D character. I’m pretty sure Gibson’s head just exploded.

      Either that or someone cast Magic Missile.

      • snowbirdgothic - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        I wonder what Willie Bloomquist’s THAC:0 (Try Hitting A Curveball) is.

      • El Bravo - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Oh man, that gave me a laugh…As a past D&D player, I shoulda noticed!

  5. xpensivewinos - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    I think if they’re slow white dudes with five o clock shadows, then they’re officially scrappy…..

    • crackersnap - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      No, those are the ones who are “gritty”. “Scrappy” is reserved for banjo-hitting, slow, white dudes who are clean shaven and under 5’7″ tall.

  6. jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Are we talking about Justin Upton, the chronic underachiever who has career highs of 88 RBI, .300 BA and 31 HR? The guy who was predicted to be a perennial 30-30 middle of the order guy? Justin is a good player, with a lot of talent, but so wasn’t J.D. Drew. Just because you are overhyped and a high draft pick does not mean you will ever realize that potential.

    So the poor Diamondbacks chose to let him and his contract go away and all they got was an all star who can play multiple positions, and prospects. Yeah, real bad deal there. Try again. Better yet, stick to your steroid articles. Those are always good for a laugh.

    • paperlions - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      First, JD Drew was actually fantastic at baseball. If you don’t think he was a great player, you just weren’t paying attention.

      Second, Upton is 25 yrs old and had a wrist injury all year last year. Wrist injuries are tough on hitters.

      Third, the “all-star” (as if that means something), had a grand total of 350 PA in the majors when he was Upton’s age, will turn 30 this year, and was given a contract that is for nearly the AAV of Upton’s remaing contract, but for 1 more year and more total dollars. So, all they got for Upton was a nice player that is older and has a far more limited ceiling.

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:15 PM

        I didn’t get his JD comparison either O.o. I’m guessing he was going for the expectation angle but JD put together some great years.

        And I totally agree with the contract issue; in addition, the Braves were not going to pay Prado what he was asking for (and received from the Diamondbacks) anyway after this season so it’s not like they ‘lost an all star’ on a gamble.

      • jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        Fantastic? Drew could have been fantastic but like Upton, was a high draft pick, had a lot of hype, and never quite lived up to it. He never did get into that conversation of ten best players which is what is happening to Upton. Prado is no slouch, and the fact that you keep talking about ceiling and Upton is my whole point. He has a high ceiling, he has NOT attained that superstar level and I am sure the D Backs didn’t feel he ever would. So you take that non hustling, under achiever, and you swap him for Prado who is a hustler, is an overachiever, and who can help at multiple positions. Also getting prospects is icing on the cake. Upton is not the player you and others are hoping he will be. He just isn’t. If he goes 30-30 and hits over 300 then he will and I will eat crow.

      • paperlions - Mar 27, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Yeah, fantastic.

        During the years of Drew’s career he was 23rd in fWAR among all position players, which is very good. He was 32nd in OBP (.384), 45th in wOBA, and 53rd in wRC+, all of which is very good offensive production. Then to that he added solid base running and elite RF defense. That all around package = fantastic baseball player.

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        A player doesn’t need to be in a nebulous Top Ten list to contribute to their team. I understand you feel Upton should have been X and was Y instead, but it’s silly to try to bring up career numbers to compare him to Martin Prado.

        For the Atlanta’s purposes he doesn’t need to be the player you think they’re hoping he is. Again, for the same average amount that Prado wanted to extend past 2013 (the amount the Diamondbacks paid) they decided to pick a player with more potential.

        I mean, even in his worst season, Upton’s numbers are comparable to some of Prado’s best. This isn’t a knock on Prado, but you can’t claim with a straight face (outside of unquantifiable words like ‘hustler’) he’s head and shoulders the superior player.

      • GoneYickitty - Mar 28, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        I think it was a good trade for both teams, but especially the Braves. I don’t understand the lack of patience with Upton … how many players would love to have one of his “bad” seasons. And he has a legitimate chance to be an absolute star. Just think, he can get another 2 full seasons under his belt and still be on the rise. His prime years are still a ways off barring injury. And he played in a crappy lineup and had some of the more intelligent at-bats I saw out of any Diamondbacks players. I think he’s going to have a huge year.

        On the flip side, Prado has a much greater value than many of you are willing to admit. As much as I don’t understand why AZ decided to quit on Upton, I am confused as to why Atl decided they wanted to get rid of Prado. They got lucky to find an equally desperate trading partner. The guy plays a difficult defensive position well and provides an above average offensive contribution at that position at the same time. Fortunately for him, instead of trying to fill Chipper’s shoes he gets to go to a team that hasn’t had a solid third baseman since the games Reynolds played before he came crashing back to earth.

    • jamaicanjasta - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      I think what’s being talked is more the “gritty and scrappy” mantra the Diamondback organization and local media bring up whenever the trade is discussed. Whether or not it’s a good or bad deal is up for debate; thus far Delgado has regressed from last year and Martin’s career bests don’t even match those of a ‘chronic underachiever’.

    • cktai - Mar 28, 2013 at 4:49 AM

      Just how unrealistically high are your expectations of Upton, that you see him as a disappointment?

      Justin has shown he is a legitimate 5 tool player. From 2009-2012 amongst all 293 qualified position players, he is 46th in OBP, 40th in SLG, and 31st in SB. Meanwhile Prado is 104th in OBP, 117th in SLG, and 115th in SB. Upton has been a lot better than Prado. And that is despite the fact that Prado was at the peak of his career, and Upton will probably only get better.

      If you look at this century, only four players (Pujols, Cabrera, Dunn, and Fielder) have hit more home runs than Upton before turning 25, only four have more RBI (Cabrera, Pujols, Wright, and Zummerman), only two have more runs (Cabrera and Pujols).

  7. fthrvic - Mar 27, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    The season hasn’t even started yet and I’m already tired of the “Dbacks gave away Justin Upton and he’s going to go out and hit 80 homers this year” garbage. Bottomline is that Justin Upton wasn’t exactly flourishing here in the desert and his perceived act of pompous “I’m better than you” swagger was wearing thin with the fans.

    I’ll take that attitude all year long….if you’re going to deliver around 80 homers with it.

  8. senorsharkfin - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    2 things Craig loves more than anything: Dreaming of Ryan Braun and writing about how stupid Kevin Towers and the D-Backs are. I wish Upton the best, but the D-Backs got the better end of the deal

    • snowbirdgothic - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      I would love to play poker with you someday.

    • nsauser - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:05 AM

      Prado is a good player but I’m not sure he’s worth $40 million. I think the Dbacks over paid for Hill and Pado as both players usually slide for 2 years after a highly productive one.

    • sportsdrenched - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      I’m a Royals fan, so trust me on this because I’ve been hearing this same crap from a PR department since I was cognizant enough to pay attention: When teams start talking about “grit”, “being scrappy”, and going about their business the right way” It’s a cover for “We don’t have anything else to talk about”. So yes, you should be concerned. Although, I think the DBacks pitching will cover a lot of this trade up.

  9. gbrim - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    When will you get tired of the ‘grit’ moniker? It was tiresome weeks ago.

  10. gunpowderjones - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Is somebody trying to discredit a 25 year old mlb player by saying his career best is 31 HRs?

    • jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      yeah, someone is trying and succeeding. He has done that ONCE in 5 seasons. He’s been around since age 19.

      So if Bryce Harper, a similarly hyped player, by age 25 has the same stats as Upton…would you think he is overrated and overhyped? Or is that too simple an analogy for you?

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

        I think our definitions of the word ‘succeeding’ must be different, because you’re not. You keep throwing out the word ‘hype’ and I’m sensing disappointment but at the end of the day what matters is if a player is productive and helping his team.

        The same hyperbole that leads you to claim that Delgado (who will probably be sent down to AAA again after regressing) and two career minor leaguers are “icing on the cake” appears in your claim that the inferior career numbers of one time All-Star reserve Martin Prado designates him as an ‘overachiever’ in comparison to Upton.

  11. Jeremy Fox - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Whenever anybody talks about the value of grit and intangibles, I always tell them to go read this:

    http://www.flotsam-media.com/2007/12/flotsam-data-special-tangiblizing.html

  12. jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    there must be like 10 Braves fans down voting anything suggesting Upton isn’t a steal and sure fire MVP candidate. No worries Braves fans, you got a good player. Just not a top ten player, or NL outfielder for that matter.

    • just1dude - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      Who exactly is your 9 better NL outfielders than Upton?

      • paperlions - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        Hmmmm….Braun, McCutcheon, Holliday, Harper, Heyward, Kemp, Cargo(?), Bruce(?)….those are the only NL OFers that are reasonable to suggest have a decent likelihood of being better than Upton this year.

        robitaille appears to be confusing logic with being a braves fan.

  13. just1dude - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    For the record:

    Justin Upton was traded for a Latino gritty player.

    Two biases killed with that statement huh?

  14. just1dude - Mar 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Ryan Braun 29.8
    Matt Holliday 25.5
    Matt Kemp 21.5
    Shane Victorino 21.3
    Andrew McCutchen 20.6
    Michael Bourn 20.3
    Carlos Beltran 19.7
    Jayson Werth 19.0
    Justin Upton 17.5

    NL outfielders since 2009 (when Justin entered the league) by WAR.

    You can scratch off Bourn, Beltran, and Victorino since all have regressed and you really cant make an argument for them compared to Upton.

    Looks like top ten to me.

    • jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Kemp
      Braun
      McCutchen
      CarGo
      Heyward
      Harper
      Holliday
      Stanton
      Bruce

      I would bet good money, most, if not all GM would take those guys over Upton. It’s not 10…but 9 for sure better OF right now. Better production from every single one of them. Here’s where Upton falls, slightly above…or among the following:

      Choo
      Hart
      BJ
      Beltran
      Werth
      Pence
      Craig

      all have had similar or better numbers than Upton. Please don’t make me go player by player proving this. Look it up

      soon to be joining that group:

      Marte
      O. Taveras
      Eaton

      Not only is J. Upton not top 10 MLB player, not a top 10 NL player, and arguably not a top 10 NL outfielder. He’s not even the best OF on his own club, and maybe the worst.

      That folks is game set and match

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:23 PM

        The best (as in worst) part of your list here is that you’re saying the imaginary GM (in this case Atlanta’s) should not take an OFer for an open position based on the fact that he has two better ones on his team.

      • nsauser - Mar 28, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Eaton? Have you been snorting the red rock from Sedona again? Eaton is an improvement over Chris Young but that’s not saying too much. We’ll have to see how he plays a full season in the majors. So far he’s starting out on the DL.

    • jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      first off, he came in the league in 2007…full time 2008. Second, you conveniently used a timeline and stats that would preclude all the younger players from the past few years. Beltran, in his ‘regression’ last season…almost had a better season than Upton ever had. Upton was thought to be same talent as Beltran…but he has failed to develop into that. Look at their careers up to the same age and experience. Beltran was already one of AL best. He got better and better. Maybe Upton will too, but in Upton’s prime he can’t outproduce a ‘washed up’ Beltran it really is making my argument.

      • jrobitaille23 - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        and Beltran played in pitchers parks for most of his career.

  15. royhobbs39 - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Final panel from this months Blogman comic: Craig is smiling at his computer with the thought bubble overhead: “Phillies fans are starting to bore me. Let’s see how easy it is to rile up those D’Backs fans…hahahaha…HaHaHaHaHa….HAHAHAHAHA!!!!”

  16. Gonzo - Mar 27, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Jeez. Yous guys get bent out of shape over everything. Bunch of whiny babies in here.

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 28, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      Well, to be fair they’re not allowed to talk back to the wife…

  17. misterj167 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM

  18. misterj167 - Mar 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    OK that didn’t take, sorry…

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