COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Free agent second baseman and former San Francisco Giant Dan Uggla visited an area jewelry store on Monday, a visit the one-time Florida Marlin made in anticipation of the Giants requesting his ring size after the team’s historic run to a World Series championship last month. Sources indicate the fitting, which lasted nearly as long as Uggla’s tour of duty with the Giants, was not done at the request of the reigning World Series champions, who reportedly have no intention of giving Uggla a World Series ring or playoff share after the erstwhile University of Memphis standout’s brief yet infamous tenure with the team earlier this season.
“I just want to have all of my information ready when Sabes calls me and asks for my ring size,” Uggla said in reference to San Francisco Giants General Manager Brian Sabean, who signed Uggla to a minor league contract days after the former All-Star was cut by the Atlanta Braves, only to release the underperforming middle infielder 10 days later. “I’m so excited to get that World Series ring and to have been a part of something so special.”
Uggla’s visit to The Jeweler’s Bench on Trotwood Avenue shortly after sunrise on Monday morning was somewhat surprising to the 2010 Silver Slugger Award winner’s family and friends, many of whom admitted they did not have the heart to tell the unemployed nine-year veteran he was unlikely to get a World Series ring after his abbreviated stint with the Giants in 2014. That stint lasted just four games, during which Uggla was hitless in 11 at-bats, striking out six times while also committing three errors in the field.
“I just … I just couldn’t do it,” said Uggla’s boyhood friend Earl “Skeeter” McGrue. “Danny is so excited to get that ring, and I just can’t break it to him that guys whose only legitimate contribution to a team is being so bad as to spur one’s near-immediate release by that team usually don’t get rings. I mean, if they give one to Danny they might as well give one to ol’ Skeeter, right? After all, I didn’t waste 11 of their at-bats or lazily boot any groundballs.”
Reports of Uggla’s excitement come at the onset of Major League Baseball’s much-hyped “Hot Stove” season, when free agents visit potential suitors and rosters begin to take shape for the coming season. But none of the considerable buzz generated by an already memorable offseason, in which Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a record contract worth a reported $325 million, has thus far focused on Uggla, whose batting average has failed to crack .180 in each of the last three seasons.
“I think this delusional act of being fitted for a championship ring no one in their right mind would consider awarding him might be Dan’s way of sheltering himself from the fact that no teams appear to desire his services,” said noted sports psychologist and longtime Atlanta Braves fan Dr. E. Carlton Hargitay. “Much like a sharply hit yet playable grounder to his left, a slow dribbler hit directly to him or a relatively routine double play ball up the middle, the demise of Dan’s once-promising yet clearly and foolishly overvalued career appears to be more than he can handle. So he’s doing in life what he did so often on the field: making an error, this time in judgment, that others, especially those who are making far less money and who are much less likely to negate the fruitful efforts of their teammates with sloppy fielding and undisciplined hitting, would not make.”
But Uggla, who has struck out at least 150 times in six of his nine big-league seasons, remains steadfast in his unreasonable belief that he will one day return to his previous All-Star form, a comeback the 34-year-old former 11th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks feels will be fueled by a fashion accessory he is certain the Giants will be shipping his way come springtime.
“A World Series ring has a way of commanding respect and fueling confidence,” said Uggla, who has more career strikeouts than hits. “And it’s just the boost I need to get back to flubbing grounders, killing rallies and just being the Dan Uggla the Braves so deeply regret signing to such a lengthy and financially crippling contract extension.”