Updated Jan 24, 2013 - 7:36 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson: 'I had no problem with Upton at all'
The Justin Upton era is officially over in Arizona but despite rumors suggesting otherwise, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson did not want to see his talented right fielder go.
The D-backs traded Upton to the Atlanta Braves in a seven-player blockbuster on Thursday, but Gibson told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf it was tough to part with the team's franchise face.
"It's hard to trade a guy like Justin Upton," Gibson said. "Loved the guy, enjoyed my time with him, a great player. But when you look at certain things you are trying to do today, tomorrow and in the future, you got to trade some good guys to get some good things in return and I think all in all we made the decision as an organization to do that."
Gibson said he actually can relate to Upton's rise through the ranks and sees a lot of himself in the young star.
"I had a good time working with him. I feel like I taught him a lot. I feel like I shared many experiences with him on the way up and that he took those well," Gibson explained. "Were there times when maybe I said things that he didn't like? I'm sure there were. Sparky Anderson did the same to me. It's part of baseball. It's part of coaching. I think some things are blown out of proportion."
Gibson explained reports of him benching J-Up last season were false and that some conflict, if it can benefit the team in the long run, can do some good. Even so, he had no qualms about Upton's performance and respected the way he handled himself.
"He did not frustrate me," Gibson said. "I liked the way [Upton] played. I thought he busted his ass all the time. Did he make mistakes, yeah. But I will tell you I will never forget the mistakes that I made too trying and I will never lose the concept of that. People try, it doesn't always work out."
While the D-backs organization opted to go in a different direction, Gibson said it had nothing to do with Upton falling out of favor with him.
"I really had no problem with [Upton] at all. He had a ton of ability and I think there's a lot more left in him," Gibson said.
Daria Del Colliano, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Nationals win 9th in row, nip D-backs in 9th
- D-backs fall to Nationals in another walk-off: By The Numbers
- D-backs GM Kevin Towers will keep doing job 'until they take away my office key'
- Anderson, Diamondbacks destroyed by Nationals for fourth loss in a row: By The Numbers
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson would be 'honored' to return next season
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Friday August 15Tim Kurkjian discusses what new commissioner Rob Manfred means for Major League Baseball.
- What's on your mind? - Friday August 15Vince Marotta shares what he is thinking about this week.
- Bob Nightengale- USA Today Sports MLB columnist - Friday August 15Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports thinks Kirk Gibson could keep his job next season.