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The Rays Tank: B.J. Upton Edition

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: BJ Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits his second home run during the game against the Texas Rangers on September 9, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Charles Sonnenblick/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: BJ Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits his second home run during the game against the Texas Rangers on September 9, 2012 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Charles Sonnenblick/Getty Images)
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Let's talk about B.J. Upton. Seems everyone wants to after his three home run performance Sunday. He's been the guest on local radio and has been examined by sites like ESPN and FanGraphs. The latter article talks about the changes we've seen in his approach at the plate over the past few seasons, and most notably the change we've seen over the past month. He's swinging more and walking less. While that's generally not a good thing, over the past month it's worked out nicely. He's slugging .653 over the past 30 days, yet is barely making contact on half his swings.

As Rays fans we've watched him for the past six full seasons. Nothing he does should surprise any of us anymore. National media can marvel at his roller-coaster-like ups and downs, but we've seen it all. He can be frustrating as hell one minute then the most exciting player in baseball the next. People are taking a closer look at him because of his impending free agency and more will be made of him this winter. There's no player quite like B.J. Upton. It's fun seeing the national media figure that out as well.

Links:

-With baseball's new playoff format, what happens if seven teams end the season with the same record? It could happen. ESPN's Dave Schoenfield takes a look.

-Yes, it was a terrible call, but Mark Teixeira really shouldn't have dove into first base.

-What makes a good manager? Baseball Prospectus asked players, managers, and general managers for their input.