LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — I had a lengthy and revealing conversation today with Dan Uggla, the Braves’ often-maligned second baseman. I hope you get a chance to read it online at MyAJC.com or in Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution (the thing made of paper).
A link to the full column can be found here on MyAJC (subscription).
I’m obviously not going to copy and paste all of Uggla’s comments but he was extremely open about his struggles and the accompanying criticism. A couple of excerpts:
— On the 2013 season, when he hit a career low .179: “I was in a bad place last year. A real bad place. Somehow I hit 22 homers. Don’t ask me how.”
— His ability to stay positive amid the criticism and getting left off the playoff roster: “The last thing anybody wants to do is hear you whine, ‘Oh, I’m getting screwed.’ There’s really nothing to say. Look at yourself in the mirror. I knew what my numbers were last year.”
Gotta say, I’ve been as impressed by how Uggla has handled all of this as much as any high-profile struggling athlete I’ve ever come across. Is that any guarantee he’ll bounce back this season? No. But he certainly hasn’t given up hope, even if it’s clear many fans have.
Which leads to the poll. One question, four answers. Who has a better chance to have a bounce back season: 1) Dan Uggla; 2) B.J. Upton; 3) Both; 4) Neither.
You can vote in the poll and comment below.