Stranger than fiction: Dan Uggla is still killing the Braves

You can't write this stuff, folks. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

You can’t write this stuff, folks. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

You can't write this stuff, folks. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

You just can’t write this stuff, folks. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Dan Uggla entered this series at Turner Field not knowing if he’d be in the major leagues next week. He’s considered the Washington National most apt to be cut — DFA’ed, which in MLB-speak means “designated for assignment” — when Anthony Rendon returns from a rehab stint in Class AA. Uggla entered the series looking exactly like the Dan Uggla we’d come to know too well: He was hitting .114 with one RBI and two extra-base hits.

On Monday, Uggla was thrust into the game only because Yunel Escobar, once a Brave himself, was spiked by Andrelton Simmons. Uggla’s appearance drew boos from the small Turner Field gathering — Chipper Jones would take to Twitter, as Chipper Jones often does, to chastise those fans for their response — and his first at-bat was vintage Uggla, at least as we around here remember Uggla. He struck out looking.

In his next at-bat, Uggla tripled to right field to score Bryce Harper and then, when third baseman Alberto Callaspo couldn’t glove the throw, scored himself. Such an opponent-aided circuit is known as a Little League home run, and the thought occurred that it might have been the last big-league home run of any sort Uggla would ever have. But no.

One night later, Uggla — starting because Escobar couldn’t — hit another triple to draw the Nats, who’d trailed 9-1 and 10-2, within 11-10. In 1,701 at-bats as a Brave, Uggla had managed four triples. Now he’d had two in 24 hours. This was getting weird.

Then it got off-the-chart crazy. Down 0-2 in the count against Braves closer Jason Grilli, with one out in the ninth and the Nats trailing 12-10, Uggla hoisted a three-run homer with one out in the ninth that made his latest team an astonishing winner. (Since moving to D.C. from Montreal in 2005, the Nationals had never overridden such a deficit.) In two nights as a Turner Field visitor, Uggla had collected three extra-base hits and six RBIs. In the 141 at-bats before the Braves DFA’ed him last summer, he’d managed five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.

(Uggla also had a single Tuesday night. It was his first three-hit game since — pause for effect — Sept. 8, 2012. The home run was his first since April 12 of last year.)

The threat of the home run was the reason — well, that and the $13 million they were obliged to pay him — the Braves stuck with Uggla as long as they did. He once hit a lot of homers. (He hit 36 here in 2011, and 22 more in 2013, when he was omitted from the postseason roster.) The Braves kept hoping, admittedly against hope, that he would, as the saying goes, “run into one.” Last night he ran into a 93-mph Grilli fastball that was way too fat.

A night earlier, Uggla had said the Nats, losers of six in a row and holders of a 7-13 record, needed “to (man) up.” Deliverance could have come from no more unlikely man. He’d been DFA’ed twice last season — the second time by the champs-to-be Giants, for whom he’d gone 0-for-11 with six strikeouts and two errors — and seemed in the final throes of a very strange career.

But now we wonder if the end is indeed nigh for Daniel Cooley Uggla. On the night he beat the team that’s still paying him $13 million — that’s more than any man on the current Braves roster is making — for this season, it was announced that Rendon had been scratched from the Harrisburg lineup for the second successive night. The Braves play the Nats in D.C. next weekend; there’s a chance they’ll be seeing their old pal them, too.

Update: ESPN’s home page describes Uggla’s three-run shot as a “payback homer.” Pretty sure the Braves wouldn’t mind if he paid back that $13 million as well.

Reader Comments 3

46 comments
ComaToes
ComaToes

That lady known as "Miss Karma" is one fine lady, when she's on your side, but boy can she be "witchy"(with a B) and vengeful when she's not.  She has just decided she would even things out with the Braves for all their stupidity since last year, and is now lowering the boom.  We may see some other strange stuff before the year is over.  I think she must be an Atlanta citizen and despises the Braves moving to Cobb County.  I'm still wondering how many of the Braves fans are wearing their "Here sits a fool"  T-shirts to the games?

candlin14
candlin14

Uggla did this same exact thing with the Braves early in the season then ended up hitting about .170 after that. We are a joke of a franchise anyway. It's extremely laughable.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Oh, my Great Holy Jehoshaphat!


Little Marky Brat Li has written an interesting almost readable column!?


I suspect plagiarism here!


I consider the Atlanta Braves the most gutless, most opportunity peeing away organization in professional sports, so I usually love it when some player puts his spikes up the Braves collective booty.


Dan Uggla, no. Not that dude. A useless lump of flesh player sticks it to a useless, disgusting organization. They deserve each other. Too bad Uggla over the Braves isn't the games played for the first time in MLB history in a stadium closed to the public.


And speaking of deserving each other - isn't Brat Li writing a decent column about like Uggla going Keebonko at the dish?

atlfanman
atlfanman

Somehow I knew this day was coming. While in a Braves uniform Uggla could not hit a grapefruit with a tennis racket. Simply amazing and truly stranger than fiction.

BaseballFanPeopleFan
BaseballFanPeopleFan

@atlfanman Not strange at all, actually.  He was hurt.  Fans had no patience for it.  Teammates loved him and fans hated him.  Finally discovered the linkage between the concussions and the vision problem once he was liberated.

bfred
bfred

@BaseballFanPeopleFan @atlfanman Let's not get crazy here.  Uggla may have about given Braves fans a collective aneurysm over the course of a couple of games but he's still playing like crap and will probably be out of the league soon.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

The Braves did not lose that game because of Dan Uggla. They lost the game by their own doing several times before his home run, and then again with a missed strike call by the home plate umpire.


I wish Dan well, but it was time for him to move on.

Falcons2013
Falcons2013

Last night will have its mark in Atlanta sports history. We literally paid Uggla to beat us. We threw him a fast ball in the zone when he had two strikes on him and he put it way out of the park. It is up there with Leyritz home run. Put it up there with Deions return and high stepping in front of the falcons bench showing them the football yelling "my house".It is up there with Greggs wide strike zone against florida in the Playoffs and the infield fly rule call. Welcome to Atlanta sports.

As for the braves, strap in for a long summer. Hard to find a more painful regular season in your face loss than last night. Cant hold a 9-1 lead with your best pitcher on the mound. Closer gives up 3 runs when he comes in with two run lead. It is going to get fuggly.

cloudodust
cloudodust

This ain't a close comparison, but ask the Red Sox about trades coming back to haunt them...Still, glad to see Dan gone and glad to see him get at those 'fans' that paid him with their boos and cat calls. All in all, if the Braves lose the division by 1 game, this was the one. Let's not forget the Braves Bullpen here. They dished and served at the end.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@cloudodust Lose the division by 1 game? Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are!

Cousingeorgestone
Cousingeorgestone

The real story is that only the Braves and further, only a Braves team managed by Fredi Gonzalez could lose a game like this after leading 9-1!!!!    Seem familiar?   All one has to do is go back to each of the last couple of seasons and watch the Braves go circling down the drain towards the end of the season.  This game was a microcosm of that.   You just cannot lose a game you are leading 9-1 and yet the Braves find a way to do it.   Unreal, the never ending nightmare continues…..

Wilbo
Wilbo

@BaseballFanPeopleFan


You are nuts, buddy fella. The Braves have never been great. In their run of 14 straight division titles (which is kinda bunk in and of itself, they were way behind the Expos in 94 when the season was cancelled) they choked like dogs just about every postseason, and in 1996 put up one of the most disgusted, gutless championship collapses in sports...


In their last 8 World Series games the Braves are 0-8. You get that, right?


ZERO and 8!!!!


The Braves also lost what.....? 10 of their last 11, nine of their last 10...? postseason series. Some of that on the back end of the supposedly GREAT teams.


Great teams don't do crap like that. Great, my arse! The Braves choked away their opportunity for greatness, they absolutely stink and have stunk as a championship contending team. 


Pitiful, cowardly, stupid, gutless --- yes! Great --- not a chance in the Hinges of Hades that words fits the Atlanta Loserville Braves.

BruceNFairfax
BruceNFairfax

Last night was the first time ever I was not sad to see the Braves lose. Last night, as soon as I heard Braves fans at Turner Field boo, my allegiance to Dan as a fan exceeded my desire for the Braves to win. First night it was yeah do well but don't beat us. Last night I cheered the homer. His postgame interview on Nats TV was classy. Hope Dan stays hot with the bat past Rendon's return from the DL so that some other team will pick him up and he can continue to play. Would be great to see him in DC next week.

BradleyBreeze
BradleyBreeze

Uggla needs to remember last night because it won't be long before Rendon is ready and Washington waves good bye to old Danny Boy.He might last a little bit longer thanks to Simba who took out ex-Brave Urinal Escobar the other night.Escobar pissed his Atlanta career down the drain just like Danny Boy did.Now tell me how can all these so-called experts pick Washington as one of the best teams in baseball when they give up 12 runs and 15+ hits to a lowly team like the Braves?.

BaseballFanPeopleFan
BaseballFanPeopleFan

@BradleyBreeze Hmmm, bitter are we?  You think Uggla and Escobar "pissed their careers" away despite the obvious facts?  Uggla showing life for the first time in two years.  Escobar has been Washington's most productive hitter in a bad first few weeks.  I's the Barves that are circling the drain, friend.  That's why the Nats just had a 26-run beatdown party at Turner Field.  It's why the Braves will be lucky to not finish this season in last place. Or did you watch different games on your planet these past couple of days?

dawg52
dawg52

Cudos for Uggla. Class guy. Never had a negative thing to say about Braves' organization, comes back and gets to hear boos from probably the worst home field crowd in baseball?  Then steps up and bombs one to left center field for the game winner??!!   HELL YEAH!!!!

reckingball
reckingball

Speaking of Callaspo, his halfa-- lackadaisical play at third base, that ultimately allowed the inning to progress and 4 unearned runs to score by the Nationals, is what cost the Braves the win last night. A little leaguer could have made that play. He is a back breaker.

oledawg
oledawg

And if pitchers keep hitting his bat he will possibly hit another home run!  It was good to see him hit something at Turner Field...it happened in a while.  He set himself up to be booed when he signed his name on that exorbitant contract.  I don't blame him for taking the money but I also don't blame the fans for booing him.  Would they have booed a huy with a $300k per season contract? Probably not.  He is getting paid well to be booed!!!

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

Hopefully, the Braves will once again have a local owner, but until that day comes, if it ever does, I fear that what we see now is what we are going to get.  And from a corporate ownership stand point, things are looking pretty good for Liberty Media, even if not for Braves fans. 


Big article this morning in the printed paper about the Cobb County Braves teaming up with Omni Hotels in a 50/50 partnership to build a new, big, shiny, state of the art, luxury hotel that will be an important part of the Cobb County Braves new mixed use project that will surround the new ball park, all of which they will own, of course. The hotel will over look the ball park as well as what is sure to be a very pricey new bar. There will no doubt be a signature restaurant in the hotel, and the top level will have suites for entertaining clients, guests, parties, meetings, etc. And this is only one small part of the mixed use project that the Cobb County Braves will anchor. 


So, if you are Liberty Media, based in St. Louis, owning this team has put you in a very nice financial position even without considering the big discount on the new stadium. From a financial standpoint, there will be no need to pay for or to do whatever is necessary to create another championship caliber team in Atla. . . . in Cobb County. What is coming in Cobb County is going to turn a very, very nice profit even with player salaries now very low i.e. even if the Braves stink. No need to take any more big risks with GM's trying to make a name for themselves recklessly throwing around the corporation's money, making questionable trades, and ratcheting up salaries up again. 


Of course, they will need to keep some level of hope and interest alive to keep the fans coming, so they do need to make he team a little better and  not sink to their current level again going forward. A nice equilibrium should be the goal here. Say . . . winning the Division -- which has already taken root under Fredi's  tenure as the annual team goal, and is now well established).  Getting into an "exciting" race to win the Division should be continued. But, you don't need to be taking any risks or doing what it takes to win an NLCS or a World Series, or re-establish annual MLB dominance . . . in order to make lots and lots of money. 


So, just forget about caviar, folks. Liberty can serve tuna salad instead and still make money with their mixed use project up in Cobb County regardless of what the Braves do.  One draw back could be how to handle the traffic and parking --  problems still not yet solved. But, with Liberty's team running the Cobb County Commission, some thing will get worked out. 

Buckhead Vol
Buckhead Vol

I am glad to see him doing well, but obviously not at our expense and not dancing and prancing around like the jerk Bryce Harper does.  Good riddance to him and Nat's.  Braves were expected to suck, Nats expected to excel.  


One game nor does one series make a season.  

JackClemens
JackClemens

Payback? He was treated bend over backwards well by the Braves. He has nothing to get payback for.

jerunamo
jerunamo

Every Buice comes back to haunt Atlanta sports teams. Especially the Braves

partlycloudy
partlycloudy

Does this mean Uggla was paid by the Nationals when he was wearing a Braves uniform?

And is he related to the UGA mascot?  LOL.  

sad news.  But hey the Braves are moving to Cobb where they will stiff all the Cobbles with big taxes for that complex.  They had better win over there.

Gman84
Gman84

Vintage Atlanta sports week


Hawks in full playoff choke mode and now this. It's only Wednesday, plenty of time for additional indignities 

JackClemens
JackClemens

@Gman84 Yeah, the Falcons started mini-camp, so there's sure to be a flood of ACLs at Flowery Branch.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

I have tickets for Friday night but unless something fabulous happens or the fireworks is the greatest ever, that is probably going to be it.

I don't need to pay for a group that thinks us bad fans if we boo those who are not earning their multi-million annual pay.

Free agency has totally gotten out of hand. 

Ersatz
Ersatz

Uggla was also seen killing some brewskis, tater skins, and babyback ribs at the 27-story Applebee's in barvesworld.  The barves front office hogs and cobb political fat cats saw how he stole a win from under the barves noses, and it reminded them of how they embezzled all those cobb taxpayer dollars that they slide under the table while watching barves shutout losses.  At this rate, they'll run out of everything but mozzarella sticks and Buffalo wings when Uggla comes back after beating the barves' butts in the next game.

KatieR620
KatieR620

Didn't he do the same thing to the Phillies early last year?  Similar game?

TPCP
TPCP

It's time to bring back Chief Noc-a-homa simply to give Braves fans something to cheer about. Oh, I'm sorry. That would be a politically incorrect thing to do ... What a pitiful game this was! If this is a fore-shadowing of what summer is going to be like, then it's time to head to the Chatohoochee and float our troubles away. Or maybe Dan Uggla would allow all us to swim in his downtown, penthouse pool. After all, we're paying the bill. You got the right chlorine-level Dan? 

Termigator
Termigator

Uggla has beat the Braves everywhere he has played; including Atlanta.

Rickster_
Rickster_

Like the guy used to say on the old "Hee Haw" show, "Fact is stranger than fiction."

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

This game answered the question who doesn't try to get a batter to swing at a pitch out of the strike zone at 0 and 2 with the game on the line in the ninth?

Grilli (advised by AJ).

A fast ball with that count is just plain dumb.

Uggla takes us for 60 million dollars and gets revenge on us too.

Since Freddie and Chipper evidently do not realize than not all of us are grossly overpaid, yea I guess they would have problems, somehow, with booing someone who did not earn his pay as a Brave.

Oh I forgot.

Dan hustled so all should be forgiven.

I have to give the Nats' GM credit for exploiting our GM's mistake.

Little to lose with us paying the full amount.

MLB needs contracts like the NFL has.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

@Jeff Randall @JacketDetective

Nothing really. He owes us. But try telling that to any of our spoiled athletes.

With their money, they should be building gyms for the high school where they grew up or in Uggla's case, one in Georgia.

Freddie and Chipper not likely us booing the guy shows how the entitled mentality fits them all.

Ridiculously overpaid?
Not their fault.

MLB GMs are nuts to pay 5 years or longer contracts. 

Pujols and ARod for ten are now also greatly regretted.

Few are worth it yet dumb GMs continue to throw millions away.

If Wren had just limited the deals to 3 years, the mistakes would not be as bad.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

14 thousand plus attended this game. I wonder how many will be back after a game that slapped them all in the face.

It reminded me of the Falcons loss to the Lions; both games were games that should not have been lost.


Trackbacks

  1. […] But that wasn’t the only wild anomaly we saw from a player that struggled for nearly his entire stint in Atlanta. Uggla has hit two triples in the first two games of this series. According to Mark Bradley of AJC.com, he had just four triples in 1,701 at-bats as a Brave. […]

  2. […] inning only because Yunel Escobar, yet another alum, had been spiked. Over the next 2 1/2 games, Uggla would go 5-for-11 with eight RBIs and three extra-base hits, the most notable a game-winning three-run homer with one out in the […]

  3. […] April 28, the Atlanta Braves lost to the Washington Nationals on a ninth-inning home run hoisted by Dan Uggla, of all people. On Aug. 18, the same Braves — actually, by now they’re rather different […]