Even when one of the those employees is the $51 million face of your franchise.
When Arizona Diamondbacks majority owner Ken Kendrick openly questioned the play of his All-Star right fielder Justin Upton last week with Brad Cesmat on ‘Big Guy on Sports,’ the dark cloud which already hung over the Dbacks clubhouse got a little darker as Kendrick’s comments made headlines and flooded media outlets both locally and nationally.
He had seen enough from a team who many experts pegged as the National League West champs this spring.
Enough of the sloppy play.
Enough of the inconsistencies both at the plate and on the mound.
Maybe, at least for now, those dark clouds are lifting.
Following Sunday’s 4-3 win over Oakland at Chase Field which completed a weekend sweep of the A’s, Kirk Gibson’s team has suddenly won five of six and evened their record at 30-30 before hitting the road for a pair of tough Interleague series against the Rangers and Angels starting Tuesday in Arlington.
Since returning to the lineup Friday, Upton has gone 4-11 with three runs scored, three walks, and two RBI’s. His body language is much improved from last week’s mini-drama with the media where he said he was “upset” he wasn’t playing everyday.
Arizona President and CEO Derrick Hall told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Thursday Kendrick and Upton communicated via text and there were no hard feelings from either side.
Maybe getting the 3-day mid-week break from Gibson was just what J-Up needed to clear his head, but my guess is being called “an enigma” by the man who signs your checks is a much more powerful wakeup call.