I’m sorry Billy Butler. I’m sorry I ever doubted your place in Kansas City Royals’ lore. I’m sorry I doubted your ability to be a viable member of World Series contending team.
A couple of years ago when Robinson Cano was still a Yankee and Kauffman Stadium played host to the All-Star Game, Butler was at the center of a snub of sorts. Cano, who was that year’s captain of the Home Run Derby team, failed to select Butler as a member of the team. The KC fans were quite displeased and booed Cano lustily whenever he came to bat. At that time, I took a few cheap shots at Butler referring to him as “Billy Bats” and writing that he should thank Cano for making him a household name if only for a few days.
Look at Billy Butler now. He’s playing in the World Series. He’s playing for a team on an amazing run that very few baseball pundits predicted. His two singles and two RBIs were critical to the Royals’ game-two victory. He’s hitting .273 in the postseason with seven RBIs, the third most on the team.
Cano, as incredibly talented and well rounded a player he is, has never carried a team in the playoffs. Even in 2009, when he was a member of the Yankees team that won the World Series, his postseason line was .193 BA/.266 OBP/.281 SLG. Plus, during the 2012 postseason Cano went hitless in 29 straight at-bats.
Not every player grabs his moment in the postseason. And not everyone that does seize the moment is named Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera. Sometimes they’re names only true fans remember. Sometimes they’re names like Luis Sojo or Alcides Escobar.
I don’t know how this year’s World Series will end. Since the Yankees aren’t playing, I hope it goes to seven games simply because I want the baseball season to last as long as possible. (Apologies to my friends who are Royals fans who just want to see a KC championship.)
I do know that, win or lose, Billy Butler is making the most of his playing time in the postseason. You go, Billy Bats. You go.