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Jeff Schultz

Braves’ poll: Can Uggla, Upton rebound?

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Dan Uggla is confident he'll have a good season. Are you? Vote in poll.

Dan Uggla is confident he’ll have a good season. Are you? Vote in poll.

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.

Some recent ramblings …
— MyAJC: Dan Uggla: ‘I was a mess’ last season
— MyAJC: Braves about to find out if no move was right move
— Blog: Braves’ signing of Teheran another risk worth taking
— Blog: The Braves, spring training and travel issues…
— MyAJC: Dimitroff says he’ll judge Michael Sam on talent, not sexual preference
— Blog: Missouri’s Sam says he’s gay; how will NFL react?
— MyAJC: How They Really Stand: Annual rankings of Atlanta sports teams
— MyAJC: Paul Johnson: Perception of Tech not reality
— Blog: Tech’s talent level (just the facts, no spin)
— Blog: Signing Day advice: Proceed with caution
— MyAJC: Manning can’t even outscore Seattle’s defense
— Blog: Super Bowl Short Takes on Seattle’s rout of Denver
— MyAJC: Elway sent message when nobody on Falcons did

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