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Your home for Royals recap,, rants, news, and fantastic stories about our beloved Boys in Blue.

23 May

Royals Complaints and Fat Slow Billy Butler

Published by Ryan Landreth

Royals fans have absolutely every right to complain – every one. In the midst of the longest playoff drought in North American sports history (28 years and counting), every feasible complaint is understandable from these great fans of Kansas City. These are some the things that fans complain about that I can tolerate:

We can’t hit home runs – this is very true. The Royals are currently last in baseball with 20 home runs thus far in 2014, and finished 28th in 2013 and 26th in 2012 – and no, it’s not the ballpark.

Dayton Moore is an incompetent general manager – absolutely agreed. He’s terrible at his job and it’s insulting to any hard-working American that he’s still getting extensions after seven years of crap.

Ned Yost is the worst manager in the history of baseball – Ah, Royals Facebook. Ned is not a particularly great skipper, but no manager is responsible in directly determining the outcome of more than five or six games each year. There are people on Facebook who seriously believe that without Ned Yost, the Royals would win 100 games. Get real, people. In reality, we get “Yosted” a lot less than people think.

Ned Yost and “fire the hitting coach/bring back Brett” are two of the most popular three complaints I encounter among Royals fans. However, there is one thing that absolutely grinds my gears, and I can’t stand to listen to people complain about. Something that is so fantastically factually inaccurate that anybody who thinks this should undergo drug testing.

Billy Butler is fat, slow, terrible and should be sent to Omaha/cut.

…Wait, what? Really?

Let’s get one thing out of the way first. Billy Butler had a down year in 2013, and that continued into a frustrating first month or so of 2014. Yes, he grounded into a lot of plays (an AL-leading 28). You know who led baseball in double plays the year before? Miguel Cabrera. I’m getting off track, but any hitter batting in the three or four hole is bound to ground into at least 20 double plays per year. It has nothing to do with his speed, or lack thereof. Additionally, Billy is slow and we are in trouble if a game ever depends on him beating a throw to the bag.

Okay, now I’m going to give you two stat lines. The following are two sets of numbers from a couple of players’ first seven complete years in Kansas City.

Player A: .298/.364/.459, 118 HR, 562 RBI, 244 doubles, 1015 games played.

Player B: .318/.368/.497, 98 HR, 579 RBI, 244 doubles, 1002 games played.

Pretty similar stat lines, right? Player A is Billy Butler, and player B is George Brett. You may have heard of him, right? Those stats even include Brett’s incredible 1980 season in which he hit .390 and had a jaw-dropping on base percentage of .454.

I am in no way saying that Billy Butler is a better player than George Brett, because we all know that’s not true. However, Billy Butler is one of the best players in Royals history. He’s 28 years old, and is already seventh on the team’s all-time hit list. He’s in the top eight in RBI’s, games played, doubles, RBI’s, and home runs as well. Billy Butler is the best player the Royals have had since Carlos Beltran. People want to get rid of him – quick, who led the Royals in RBI’s in 2013? The answer is Billy Butler. 2012? Yup. 2011? Sure. 2010? Yes. 2009? Still Butler. Also, in regards to the claim ‘Billy Butler isn’t clutch’, his career average with the bases loaded is .314 with 52 RBI’s in 77 plate appearances. So much for that claim.

I get it, the offense is lousy and there's no denying it. However, if anybody thinks getting rid of the five-time-reigning RBI leader of this team is going to help the offensive struggles, they need help. Billy Butler does ground into double plays, he is slow on the bases and he’s a one-dimensional player. The Royals NEED him more than they need any other player on the roster. I hate to disappoint you, but there is no way that the Royals will not pick up on Butler’s $12.5 million option for 2015. Before everyone starts complaining and telling me how fat and terrible he is, think about it – he’s led the team in RBI’s the last five years in a row and he’s on pace to pick up career hit #3,000 when he’s 38...and you want him gone?

Sports fans in Kansas City are excellent. They’re passionate and overdue for some success to cheer on. However, the attitude on Billy Butler is ridiculous, and he continues to make more and more people look stupid as he heats up from a disappointing first 40 games of 2014.

Comment on this post

Lerref123 05/24/2014 03:35

Regarding the article itself, yes, I am extremely tired of the BS I read or hear every day about Butler being a trashy DH (unequivocally false prior to this year-- and he is turning it around it looks like).While their is plenty of complaining in this fanbase, they don't seem to like to blame the players. It is always the manager or some other boogyman. Is Dayton Moore a problem? Well, that depends on one's perspective of things. However, blame the players first. It isn't just Dayton Moore who thought this team should be better offensively than it has been.

Ryan Landreth 05/24/2014 07:39

I love James Shields more than God loves offering plates.
I hate that trade more than God hates people who don't put money in the offering plates.

Sarah Davis 05/24/2014 04:04

No, sir. You don't. That trade was a bust. Although some people (Ryan) think that acquiring Shields was the best thing that has happened to KC in a while. While that's true, we give up 6 years of control for Myers, who has produced pretty well for TB, and Odorizzi, who hasn't done too shabby for TB either. What did we get? A great pitcher in Shields, but for only two years, and a mediocre pitcher in Wade Davis. And something called Elliot Johnson.

Lerref123 05/24/2014 03:59

That, Sarah, is exactly why I am frustrated with Mr. Moore. The FA acquisitions have either been overpaid or nonsensical. At least with Vargas they can semi-justify it with how much 1 WAR will cost by the end of the contract. As for the trades? Well, I don't think I need to explain the folly of the Myers trade around here.

Sarah Davis 05/24/2014 03:56

How about all of the terrible things he's done for KC? Like Trading Myers/Ordorizzi for Shields/Davis/Johnson? Or the Chris Getz fiasco? Or signing Yuniesky Betancourt... Twice? None of those are very good moves. Awful, I would say.

Lerref123 05/24/2014 03:45

I don't disagree about the GM taking too long. I know people will argue until they are blue in the face about how he has revitalized the minor league systems, which is kind of true. HOWEVER, the thing that matters is success at the ML level. Looks kind of shady right now.

Lerref123 05/24/2014 03:28

While the UZR of this team is outstanding. The offense is abysmal. How do I know this? The Royals position players rank 15th in fWAR despite being near the bottom in oWAR. They aren't even a terrible crop of position players, they just happen to be really good defensively, and thus far at least, really bad with the bat.

The good news is that some of these hitters will probably hit better than they have. For example, Billy Butler... It won't be a HR hitting team, but if they go back to something vaguely resembling their career numbers who aren't named Cain or Escobar on offense, then the Royals should be tolerable. May even luck their way into the postseason.

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Your home for Royals recap,, rants, news, and fantastic stories about our beloved Boys in Blue.