The San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday that former Royals designated hitter Billy Butler missed the last two games of the Oakland Athletics’ series at the Chicago White Sox because he was injured in an altercation with another former Royal, and current A’s teammate, third baseman Danny Valencia.
Citing anonymous sources because “no one in the Oakland clubhouse would discuss the matter on the record,” the report intimated that the two tangled Friday night.
But no one was talking about their supposed altercation over the weekend.
“What happens in the clubhouse,” Valencia told the Chronicle, “stays in the clubhouse.”
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Asked Saturday about Butler’s absence, Oakland manager Bob Melvin said only that Butler missed the game with nausea and vomiting. Asked if Butler had the flu, Melvin ruled out that possibility but did not elaborate.
Valencia did not play Sunday in the last game of the series in Chicago, but that could’ve been, as the Chronicle report noted, because he’s a career 2-for-20 against the pitcher he would’ve faced that day, Jose Quintana.
Butler and Valencia played together in Kansas City during the 2014 season. One of the more beloved and accomplished Royals in recent years, Butler signed with the A’s after the 2014 season.
Valencia played in KC for part of 2014. He was traded to Toronto for pitcher Liam Hendriks and catcher Erik Kratz on July 28, 2014, and was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays a little over a year later.
He was claimed off waivers by Oakland on Aug. 3, 2015.
With the A’s, the pair “are known to engage in a great deal of loud banter in the clubhouse and on the field,” according to the Chronicle report.