Open up the brown-guys-don't-hustle file, Mabel: we've got ourselves another case of a minority player being accused of dogging it. In this case, Rays teammates Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton tussled in the dugout when Longoria allegedly gave Upton the business for not running full speed in the outfield:
B.J. Upton had to be restrained by teammates in the dugout after having a heated exchange with 3B Evan Longoria.
That came after Upton didn't run hard to chase down a ball hit into the gap that became a triple for Rusty Ryal in the top of the fifth. Gerardo Parra followed with a two-run homer.
It appeared Longoria initiated the confrontation by saying something and Upton reacted angrily, yelling and pointing his finger, and had to be restrained by Willy Aybar.
You can see the video here (as long as MLBAM hasn't pulled it) and yes, it's true: B.J. Upton is obviously not going full speed to pick up the baseball. Also true: Evan Longoria has a duck's ass haircut. But seriously, can we get some solid evidence of a white player being accused of not hustling so I can stop playing the race card? Would it kill Chase Utley to dog it down the first base line on an easy grounder just so Jimmy Rollins get up in his face in the dugout? Let's switch it up a bit so I don't feel guilty and write about this every time it happens!
Rays manager Joe Maddon took Longoria's side, saying that Upton "didn't run as hard as he could have" and that Longoria's action was "a great example of a player taking action for the good of the team." Thing is, this was not the first time Maddon has taken umbrage with Upton's "lack of hustle". From August 2008, when Maddon benched Upton for not running out a groundout:
"When it comes down to individual effort, it takes absolutely zero talent - zero, zero talent to try hard or play hard every day," Maddon said. "I'm OK with physical mistakes. We talked about the mental mistakes, I want them to cut down and we have cut down on them a lot. I'm accepting of all that. The part I'm not accepting of is the part you can control, which is your effort."
Two years later and Joe Maddon is still trying to get his players to hustle their buns. But really, who can take a guy seriously when he shows up for work in a hoodie?