PHOENIX - On ABC15, Paul's Call made its return to the airwaves this week and the commentary/comedy segment is back to stay. Alas, if only we could say the same about Justin Upton.
The D-backs lost their series opener against the Braves. However, it certainly looked like they lost a lot more than just a game. Translation – does anybody happen to remember a certain blockbuster trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta?
If not, the former namesake of Uptown went into beatdown mode and provided a lasting reminder with four hits, including a honkin' huge homer (440 feet) to mark his homecoming.
Perhaps the D-backs just learned a lesson – the hard way. Simply put, when you make a trade, the following applies: grit never trumps talent; quantity never equals quality. Never.
Supposedly, the D-backs traded the former No. 1 overall pick because he no longer fit their identity. As a reporter asked in the winning clubhouse: "Overall, it seemed like a pretty gritty performance?" (Note: Upton did not answer the loaded question – "I'm not getting into that.")
Thing is, the D-backs may have received some measure of grit in return. But they also got a bunch of players who don't match Upton's skill set – not even taken collectively.
As Martin Prado professed to the media before the game, he's not Upton. In fact, he called Upton a "superstar".
As the kids say: True that. Upton is indeed a superstar… for the Braves. Instead, Upton could've teamed up with Paul Goldschmidt to form the D-back-bone, if you will, of the Arizona lineup for many years to come.
As Kirk Gibson replied before Tuesday's game when asked if he'd had a chance to talk with his former franchise player yet:
"I saw enough of him on the field last night," Gibson said.