Over at Beyond the Box Score, writer Jeff Zimmerman says the B.J. Upton / Evan Longoria confrontation in the Tampa Bay Rays dugout on Sunday may have had 'an unseen racial impact' on people who watched it.
You may recall that Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Rusty Ryal got his first career triple after hitting the ball to left-center field. Upton ran over to track the ball down, but appeared not to be running very hard.â†µ
Longoria and Upton got into a heated argument in the dugout following the effort, and Upton had to be restrained by Willy Aybar.â†µ
Jeff Zimmerman says the rest of the team, the managers, the umpires, and those of us who saw it on television may forever be affected by it.â†µ
Observers of the confrontation between Longoria and Upton probably didn't even notice the race of the players, but our unconscious mind is being told something else. It is see the black player (Upton) as lazy and the white player (Longoria) as the leader and putting the black player in his place.â†µ
I think he might be on to something here.â†µ
Because AFTER the incident occurred, there were lots of people saying that B.J was dogging it.â†µ
- Joe Maddon was in the dugout when it occurred, and he said it was obvious Upton "just did not run as hard as he possibly could after the ball." â†µ
- Times Columnist Gary Shelton wrote B.J. Upton, serial lollygagger, has loafed again. â†µ
- Dick Vitale has seatson the third base line with a great view of the Rays dugout. He called Upton 'moody.' â†µ
- Great SB Nation editor Jeff Sullivand wrote and has video about the incident and the play, saying it was 'a Sunday jog.'
He finishes the piece by saying there's nothing we can do about it, except perhaps understand it, and "look in our personal lives for chances to train our brain differently."â†µ
Or perhaps next time B.J. can just hustle.