For Pete's Sake

Billy Butler looks like the bad guy as details of A’s scuffle come to light

Oakland Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler.
Oakland Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler. jsleezer@kcstar.com

Well, this doesn’t make Billy Butler look good.

The San Francisco Chronicle got the details on the scuffle between Oakland’s Butler and Danny Valencia (both former Royals) that resulted in Butler having to miss a number of games.

Valencia has declined to comment specifically on the incident, while Butler hasn’t responded to requests from the Chronicle. However, the newspaper pieced together what happened from a pair of teammates who didn’t want to be identified. Apparently, the fight happened Friday in Chicago after a representative from an equipment company asked Valencia about spikes from a different company in his locker.

This is from the Chronicle report:

Valencia told the representative he uses the spikes only during pregame workouts. According to multiple sources, Butler, who has an equipment endorsement with a different company, jumped in to tell the equipment rep that Valencia was lying and regularly uses the non-standard spikes.

Butler allegedly told the representative that the company should drop Valencia’s endorsement deal. ...

After the rep departed, the witnesses said, Valencia confronted Butler and told him, “Don’t you ever loud-talk me in front of a rep. That was wrong,” and walked aggressively toward Butler, who turned, took a couple of steps toward Valencia and, according to both witnesses, said, “I can say whatever I want, and your bitch ass isn’t going to do anything about it.”

After that, the Chronicle reported, the two went after each other.

While Valencia was undoubtedly wrong for allegedly punching Butler, it sounds like the whole thing could have been avoided if Butler hadn’t stuck his nose into the conversation as it was reported. And Butler crossed a line when he allegedly suggested that the company should end its endorsement deal with Valencia. You’re talking about another person’s money.

It will be interesting to hear what Butler has to say when he opens up about the fight.

The A’s fined both players for the incident.

The East Bay Times reported that the team photo is being taken today. Here’s guessing the two players won’t be next to each other.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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