The K Zone

Andy McCullough blogs about the Royals and baseball

The secret (to the) sauce behind the Royals' success

06/21/2013 3:55 PM

06/21/2013 4:14 PM

Athletes are a superstitious bunch, so it’s no surprise that there are rules to the Royals’ Rally Sauce.

Since Billy Butler brought his barbecue sauce to teammates on June 5, the Royals have won 11 of 15 games. With each win, the sauce became more prominent in the celebration. It’s gone from a Twitter reference by Jeremy Guthrie to players mugging for the camera in the dugout with a bottle in their hands to it replacing Gatorade in a walk-off victory.

Butler was at the Zarda Bar-B-Q location on Friday in Lenexa, selling the sauce and Rally Sauce T-shirts, with the proceeds going to the Bishop Sullivan Center. He also signed autographs for fans and talked about the ritual behind the sauce.

“It’s almost like you can’t touch it,” Butler said. “Me and Jeremy are the only ones who can touch it, you only get to touch it when you do something good: drive in a run, score a run, all those things. Don’t touch it. Leave it where it’s at.”

A bottle of the barbecue sauce has been positioned at various places in the dugout to achieve maximum good fortune.

“We’ve had the most success with it when it’s near the top step of the dugout,” Butler said. “We’ve tried different areas to get it going. It’s not good in other areas, but the top of the dugout usually.”

More than 300 fans came out to get the sauce and T-shirts and to meet Butler, first baseman Eric Hosmer, second baseman Elliot Johnson and pitchers Tim Collins and Greg Holland.

“It’s taken off to extreme levels and it’s great and it’s great to see that all of it goes to charity,” Butler said. “It’s not going to me, it’s not going to Terry (Hyer, Chief Operating Officer for Zarda), it’s going to help the hungry people of Kansas City and we’re having fun along the way with it. That’s really all it is.

“It’s great to see everyone out here excited about what we’re doing, about what the Royals are doing and we’re playing good baseball. If we’re not playing good baseball, nothing gets taken to this level.”

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