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Upton's talks with helmet seem to work

Upton's talks with helmet seem to work

LOS ANGELES -- Yes, Justin Upton was in fact talking to his helmet Monday night in the dugout.

Following a flyout, television cameras caught the D-backs outfielder holding his helmet up to his face and talking to it before putting it back in the helmet rack.

"Yeah, I was," Upton said somewhat sheepishly.

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What were you saying?

"I was saying I'm not going to throw you, helmet, I'm not going to throw you," Upton said.

Upton is not adverse to firing a helmet or bat when he makes an out. Lately, though, that has not been a problem as he has been on a tear at the plate.

The footage of Upton and his helmet received plenty of airtime on ESPN over two nights.

"I think people channel their frustrations in different ways," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's an emotional guy that expects a lot out of himself. I wouldn't imagine that it would be as big of a deal. But I'll tell you this year he hasn't talked to his helmet very often based on his production. Whatever the helmet is saying back, either verbally or whatever way a helmet communicates, is correcting a lot of behavior the next time when he gets a hit."

Indeed, given the results Upton has gotten, maybe this talking to a helmet thing could catch on. In his first at-bat the night following his conversation with the helmet, Upton hit his first career grand slam.

"Maybe I'll go over and talk to the helmet," Hinch said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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