Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria acknolwedged to the Tampa Tribune on Wednesday that he may have misspoke, but he made it clear that he didn't appreciate the mentality his former teammate and Atlanta Braves center fielder B.J. Upton brought to the field.
Upton, who had been in the organization since before their winning ways, was also lumped in with James Shields in the comments.
“There was a lot of history with B.J. and Shields in this organization, and I think there were some things that were tough for them to get beyond,” Longoria said. “They were really the only ones that were left in here that were here before the Rays were in 2008 when we started to be the team that we are now. I think some of those things kind of stuck around, and as much as you try to instill the new way, some of those things, it was tough to get some of those thoughts out of their head.
“And so, I think, obviously they were great players, but as far as an overarching belief in what we try to do here, I think with the new people that we have now, it’s a completely new belief in what we’re trying to do here. I don’t know if that came out the right way. I’m not trying to be negative in any way, obviously, but I think with the personalities that we brought in, we really from Day One in spring training, were all on this same page, and same belief that now Tampa Bay is a destination where as before it wasn’t really.”
Upton is no stranger to being criticized for his attitude, but he may have benefited from the change of scenery to a team that has generated a lot of buzz, as all reports regarding the Upton brothers and the clubhouse atmosphere have been positive.
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, MLB