Arizona Diamondbacks president Hall: ‘Uptown’ put too much pressure on Justin Upton
When the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Justin Upton to the Atlanta Braves, management was happy with the package they got in return for their former franchise star.
But the team does think they may have mishandled the way they marketed their right fielder when he was in Arizona.
D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Wednesday the team regrets creating ‘Uptown’, a tribute they had in the right field bleachers to their rising star. The team took down the sign before Upton was dealt.
“Yeah probably wouldn’t have done it and it’s because we put so much pressure on that kid at a time when we probably shouldn’t have,” Hall said. “But we put the whole weight of the world on his shoulders and he handled it fine.”
Upton also had to deal with hearing his name in trade rumors for the past few seasons, which undoubtedly took its toll on the 25-year-old. Despite the constant chatter and uncertainty regarding his future, Hall said Upton behaved like a consummate professional.
“I have to say [Upton] handled all of this beautifully,” Hall said. “He could have been upset. He could have pouted. He could have made comments the last couple of years and he never did and I credit him for that. But that’s a lot of pressure to put on someone.”
But now that the Upton Era is over in Arizona, Hall said the team has re-shifted its focus to branding the team in a new way.
“I think looking back [‘Uptown’] was probably a mistake on our part and what’s beautiful now is it’s all about the entire team. It’s about us. It’s really going to be a theme this year,” Hall said.