Uggla has consistently impressed with his character

When Dan Uggla last visited his friends down here in Miami, he was conjuring up memories of both Mario Mendoza and Dave Kingman.  Now as he carries a Major League-best 28-game hitting streak,  he just looks a lot more like that guy who played second base for the Marlins the past five seasons and won a Silver Slugger Award last year.

But Uggla has shown consistency this year with his actions, which have lived up to the expectations gained when Fredi Gonzalez and Frank Wren were discussing his makeup after he was acquired from the Marlins in November.

It’s long been said that you don’t truly know the character of a person until you see how they react to both adversity and success.  Well in the span of his first four months with the Braves,  Uggla has experienced some of the roughest days of his career and more recently some of the more enjoyable ones.

When the Braves acquired Uggla, Gonzalez described him as a guy who would leave everything he had on the field on a daily basis and prove to be accountable.   There was never any reason to dispute this while the second baseman hit .173 through his first 86 games.

Uggla never answered questions about his struggles in a terse manner.  Nor did he prove to be one of those players who conveniently hides from the media when things are not going well.   He simply owned up to the results he was producing on the field.

Now instead of fearing superstition or distraction, Uggla is simply having fun with this 28-game hitting streak that has brought him to the halfway mark of the hallowed 56-game streak Joe DiMaggio constructed in 1941.

“There’s no way you can’t think about it,” Uggla said. “ It’s fun.  I want it to continue just like everybody else does.”

That’s the kind of stuff you want to hear.  If the streak ends tonight or sometime next week, nobody is going to be distraught.   But if Uggla took this streak too seriously, he would be denying himself an opportunity to enjoy something he may never experience again.

The only two players in Atlanta Braves’ history with longer streaks are Rico Carty (31 in 1970) and Rowland Office (29 in 1976).  Before Sunday, no other Brave had constructed a 28-game streak since Marquis Grissom in 1996.

If Uggla gets a hit in tonight’s series opener against the Marlins, he’ll enter Tuesday with a chance to become just the 46th Major League player since 1900 to record a hitting streak of at least 30 games.

This is pretty remarkable territory for a guy who recorded hits in a total of 25 games in May and June combined.

During this 28-game streak, Uggla has proven to be as dangerous as the Braves envisioned when they gave him a five-year, $62 million contract extension in January.   Within this stretch, he has batted .355 with 12 homers,  a .413 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage.

Yeah, his batting average will never match the .263 career mark he carried into this season.  But the Braves didn’t give him that contract to concern himself with trivial things like batting average.   His role is to clear outfield walls and provide instant offense like he has over the past month.

Uggla leads the Majors with the seven homers and .727 slugging percentage produced since the streak started on July 5.  In other words, he’s proving to be the powerful threat most of you envisioned.  Within the world of sports where results trump all else, that is really all that matters.

But in the process of struggling to find consistency and constructing this 28-game streak, Uggla has proven equally impressive with a sense of accountability that only strengthens the belief that he is indeed the man Gonzalez and Wren touted him to be during the offseason.

Chipper on the Phils:  Before delivering yet another dagger in the hearts of Mets fans yesterday, Chipper Jones gave this year’s Phillies bunch some lofty praise after he was asked how they ranked against some of the great Braves teams he played for in the late 1990s.

“The Phillies are as good as any team I’ve  seen,” Jones said.  “I’d put them up against any of those Yankees clubs of the late 90s and early 2000s.   That club has got it going on and they are flat out playing like it, day in and day out.”  <p>

Given the way they’ve overcome numerous injuries and put themselves on pace for 105 victories, it’s hard to dispute Jones’ assessment.  Sure you might think the 1998 Yankees were better.  But the fact that this year’s Phillies club is even being mentioned in that same category shows you the respect they have earned over this year.

The Braves likely aren’t going to erase the 8 1/2-game deficit  they face in the division standings with just 47 games remaining, but they are in good position with a 3 1/2-game lead in the Wild Card and have already shown they can compete with the Phillies.

While splitting 12 games against the Braves this year, the Phillies have accounted for six of the 34 losses they have suffered against National League opponents this year.   They have gone 59-28 and produced a.678 winning percentage against other NL teams this season.

In other words, there isn’t much reason for you to be expecting the Braves to get much help in the division race during the season’s final seven weeks.

Odds and ends:  Freddie Freeman bid adieu to his 20-game hitting streak during Sunday’s finale.   In the process, he continued to show why his teammates are touting him as a Gold Glove teammate with this catch.

Thanks to the loyal readers who made this blog the most visited of the ones composed by MLB.com writers  during the month of July.   It might be the last time something Braves-centric finishes ahead of something Phillies-centric this season.

 

33 Comments

Good Article… Here is another one @ http://notbspn.com

“Freddie Freeman bid adieu to his 20-game hitting streak during Sunday’s finale.”

Kudos to Freddie for not putting his streak above helping the team win. Proof of this is his last at-bat. With his streak on the line and a 3-2 count, a lot of guys in the same situation would have been swinging no matter the location of the pitch. But Freddie took what he thought was ball 4 because he thought getting on base was more important than keeping his streak alive.

The name Rico Carty is a blast from the past. He finished second to Dick Allen of the Phillies for ROY in 1964. He would have won it hands down in many other years but just happened to come along the same year as Allen. While the final vote does not make it appear that it was as nip and tuck as it really was, I remember it being so.

Congrats.

“His name is Dan… Huggla.” – Joe Simpson
OK, even though I realize Constanza is the hot OF bat, I am concerned with Heyward sitting all these games. Seems like he’s the only Brave not allowed to hit his way out of a funk.

His swing looks like crap. He needs to be able to work it out in another setting besides against ML pitching though. He is young, a trip to work with Jamie would not be a bad thing.

Hey guys, just want to inform anyone who is not already aware; if u want more baseball centered talk and less attitude check out sbnation.com and join the chop talk blog. Much more in depth blog because anyone can not only comment but make ur own posts as well. The demeanor of al the bloggers is very different than those we have trouble with here. Oh and there are mediators so they don’t take no crap lol.

Well that’s great. Trying to take bloggers from MLB. You will not be missed.

U truly are an idiot. First of all I’m not giving up on this blog because I lovethe artices bowman does. I am however going to have real baseball discussions with people who are far more mature than you are. With another forum I can speak my mind in I can avoid your rudeness or at least ignore it.

Well… nc… Bill’s an ass, but this one is on you. Don’t come in here advertising other blogs, you’re just asking for it. We all have Google if we feel the need to find another forum to show the world how smart we are.

Btw bill that stat you posted about Kimbrel the other night…. incredible. How many k’s during this stretch?

So wait, nyc, ur telling me that mentioning another blog is trying to take people away from thisone? That’s by no means my intention. My intention is to help people find a place where they can share their opinion without being berated by billreef if he disagrees with it. I’m not one to sit back and not say anything when something irritates me or else I would just ignore bill. Hell, he’s usually picking on someone else other tha me. I will defend myself but lots of others won’t. Someone has to defend he meek. And the stat he posted was soooo amazing? Look bro, the stats can be found by anyone who wants to spend th time searching. Having an original idea or observation that u share with others is the real meaning of a blog. Stats are not original, thoughts can be, and bill can’t help but attack people he doesn’t agree with.

umm… im saying kimbrel is incredible. not bills ability to look up stats. My quick glance at stats only showed monthly stats but not stats from a specific date, so I asked how many k’s to get the full line. If me saying something “not negative” about bill is something that riles you up so much, I think you need to take a break.

By MLB I meant Mark Bowman of course.

If you like 19 year old stat heads, Chop Talk is the place for you.

Can you take Zippy and Brandie with you?

Lol. I’m sure everyone else would love for me to take u with me. Can u do anything other than incite trouble. I think not.

Heyward’s swing looked fine to me on his 430 ft homer the other day.

Was a great swing on that pitch, but it was in his wheelhouse.

Are we sure a 5 run lead is safe with Proctor. As I type he gives up a 2 run HR. God, he sucks.

Worse_than_the_old_nc, I think you’ve been here a couple of months and I can’t remember a single insightful comment that you have made. I went and looked and couldn’t find one either. Maybe the DOB blog where the goal is to be “First” is really the blog for you.

U must b smoking that bill reefer. Ur nothing but a smug, selfimportant lonely man aren’t u. How are your wife and kids? Wait, I forgot u probably don’t have any because no one could stand to put up with you long enough to have kids. I’m al for spitting venom back at u if that’s all you can do. Your choice. Or u can grow up an quit being a douche bag. You make the call. If you want to act likeyou have some sense and show some respect towards others I will treat u the same way. Otherwise, keep acting like an ass andsee how u like it when you have no one to call names or be degradng towards since they will all leave. If you haven’t noticed very few people have posted recently. I think I know why.

Must have struck a little nerve with the teenager.

Funny how its always Bill and someone else having childish name calling arguements isnt it. I dont blame you though not_the_old_nc. When I make any baseball comment he doesnt agree with on here he just calls me and idiot or is rude and insulting. In the end it wears you down and you just want to leave this blog/argue back with him. The truth is bill is simply a troll. The best thing to do with trolls is ignore them. When you argue back it gives the troll what he wants – a fight. Harder to say than to do though, as bills abuse wears you down. Believe me – I know.

People come and go. The blog will survive regardless. Bill isn’t going to change and isn’t all that bad. The back and forth can definitely get annoying but it’s the internet. What do you expect?

Oh and Nc-Name caller. This is the most visited beat writers blog in ALL of baseball. I guess that’s what you mean when you say that “very few people have posted recently”. Accusations in spite of the facts, kind of the hallmark of a weak mind.

90% of the posts are you shit talking like you’ve got something to prove. I saw you said you checked older posts for stuff for NC; weren’t you just too good for that last night?

If we can knock in 1/4 of the runners we’ve been stranding lately on a consistent basis, we’re gonna be fine…

We will make the playoffs now we have bourn. When Mac gets back then having bourn, prado, mac, freddie, uggla is a pretty good heart of the order. I havent included chipper because we all know fredi is going to play him only 3/4 times a week when healthly from now on.

With the way our pitching staff has been performing since the AS break, I don’t feel safe making that assumption. Making the postseason isn’t a guarantee and if we do we definitely won’t advance very far unless our pitching improves. The offense is definitely more fun to watch now though.

I’d like to see Heyward in there as well, but I’m not sitting a guy hitting over .400 in the 8 spot. If/when Constanza comes back to Earth, Heyward will be there again.

I also believe is may be time to call up Viscaino and DFA Proctor. Vegas doesn’t get lit up like he has been.

My house at Christmas is almost visible from space, and it doesn’t get lit like a Scott Proctor fastball.

I have a feeling they’ll give Vizcaino maybe another week max in Gwinnett and keep Proctor in as an emergency only reliever until that time, though he’s not even effective in that spot either. Honestly, it’s pretty mind-blowing that he is even still on the roster at this point. I know he is apparently an amazing clubhouse guy, but he’s dogshit out on the mound. Straightest fastball this side of the Mississippi.

Honestly I’m surprised he is employed in professional ball at all as a player. Usually the guys who are great clubhouse guys make good coaches. As they say, those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Maybe he should be coaching
somewhere instead of in our bp.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43,855 other followers

%d bloggers like this: