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
- Dose of Venom: Miguel Cabrera showcases MVP talent as Tigers squeak past Diamondbacks
- Detroit Tigers fend off Arizona Diamondbacks: By The Numbers
- Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson: 'We did the best we could' with Brandon McCarthy
- Dose of Venom: Collmenter, Peralta use 'the force' to help secure D-backs sweep of Cubs
- Collmenter quiets Cubs as D-backs put finishing touches on sweep: By The Numbers
- Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs first baseman - Friday July 18Paul Goldschmidt talks about the All-Star Game and his expectations for the season's second half.
- Our Guy Harry - Thursday July 17Our Guy Harry joins Dan and Vince in studio.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs president & CEO - Thursday July 17Derrick Hall on Paul Goldschmidt's leadership abilities and the future of Brad Ziegler.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday July 16ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses Derek Jeter’s impact on the MLB.
- Bickley Blast - Wednesday July 16Did Adam Wainwright intentionally give Derek Jeter a pitch to hit in Tuesday night's All-Star Game?
- Tony La Russa, D-backs Chief Baseball Officer - Wednesday July 16D-backs CBO Tony La Russa talks about Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
- Bickley Blast - Tuesday July 15Is Major League Baseball dying?