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tyton75
03-15-2008, 11:08 AM
I figured any national press for the Royals right now is kinda cool

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10709857

Mr. Laz
03-15-2008, 11:12 AM
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Royals' Butler born to hit -- and just kept right on going


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</td> <td> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr valign="top"> <td width="50">http://images.sportsline.com/images/author/1839.jpg</td> <td nowrap="nowrap"> March 14, 2008
By Scott Miller (http://www.sportsline.com/columns/writers/scott_miller)
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Tell Scott your opinion! (http://www.sportsline.com/columns/writers/scott_miller)
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Royals: Five things to know (http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10709865)

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- You've heard of a player who could fall out of bed and collect four hits?
That's not Billy Butler (http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/584800). Nope. Way too pedestrian.
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</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="175"> As a rookie last season, Billy Butler hit .292 with 8 HRs and 52 RBI. (Getty Images) </td> <td width="15">
</td> </tr> </tbody></table> Our guy could fall with a thud from the top deck of a bunk bed, land in three feet of water because the roof had been leaking during an overnight thunderstorm, pick himself up, carry his wife, dog and several pieces of furniture to safety, all with his left arm ... and then get four knocks swinging Wonderboy (or whatever his silver-gilded bat is going to be fondly referred to by future generations) with just his right arm.
"The joke in here is, some guys say if you're throwing stuff around the clubhouse, be careful of throwing it too close to Billy, because he'll hit it," Kansas City left fielder Mark Teahen (http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/490439) says.
Yes, the Legend of Billy Butler, which had been swirling up from the dust of Kansas City's minor league fields since he was an 18-year-old babe in Idaho Falls in 2004, is taking root.
He introduced himself to pro ball in '04 by winning the short-season, rookie-level Northwest League batting title with a spectacular .373 average (he also led the league with 68 RBI and 74 runs scored).
He motored along at .348 the next season at Class A High Desert, then won the Double-A Texas League batting title at .331 as a 20-year-old in 2006.
As a rookie in Kansas City last season, he hit .292 with eight homers and 52 RBI in 92 games, including a blistering .340 average against left-handers with a .404 on-base percentage.
He hits at night. Hits during the day. Hits in hot weather or cold, big cities or small, with major league fans screaming from their seats or minor league coyotes howling beyond the outfield fences.
As Baseball Prospectus notes Butler is only the third player in Kansas City franchise history to bat 300 times in a season at age 21 or younger.
He's in pretty good company. The other two are George Brett and Clint Hurdle, which, I guess, means Butler also has a bright future either as a Hall of Famer or manager of the Colorado Rockies.
"That's jumping way ahead to even be compared to those two guys," says Butler, 21 and still wide-eyed. "It's an honor to even be mentioned with them.

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"I respect them all. George in the Hall of Fame, Clint managing Colorado.
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</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="3" height="10"><spacer type="block" height="10" width="1"></td></tr> </tbody></table> "At least I'm in the game, still."
Says Royals general manager Dayton Moore: "The success he's had as a youngster ... he could have been playing for the University of Florida last year, and here he was, having success in the major leagues. The fact that he's performing validates everybody's evaluation of him.
"He's a good kid. There's a lot of innocence about him. Billy gets more than his fair share of razzing.
"He's just a ballplayer. That's what he is."
Billy Butler. Ballplayer's name, too. Close your eyes, and you can see a kid with that name in grass-stained jeans with a bat in his hand. Certainly not someone with pencils and a pocket protector.
"That's all I wanted to do my whole life, since I was 6," Butler says. "Play baseball. Hey, I'm living my dream now. I'm never going to take this for granted."
Growing up in Jacksonville, Fla., Butler and his father spent most afternoons after school at the local batting cages three miles from the family house. His father's work schedule as a mechanical engineer was flexible enough that dad, now a manager at Boeing in Jacksonville, spent time with Billy at the cages nearly every day of the year.
While there is no official designation, the Legend of Billy Butler probably first began to germinate in eighth grade, when he made the Wolfson High School varsity baseball team. Yes. It was a K-through-12 school and, well, all those hours in the batting cage? Young Billy could hit.
"Did really well that year," he recalls. "Tied for the league and city home run title with nine."
Then and now, Butler, Kansas City's first-round pick in the 2004 draft, revels in baseball the way snowbirds soak up the Arizona sun.
"I'm just having a blast," he says. "I couldn't be any happier in my life. I'm doing all I can do never let it go."
That eighth-grade varsity experience was the start of something else, too: As the kid arrived at most stops only minutes after his legend, he has been the youngest player on his team at almost every level.
That, combined with his effervescent enthusiasm and constant chatter, makes him an irresistible target. Walk through the Kansas City clubhouse and the phrases "Shut up, Billy!" and "Give it a rest, Billy!" are nearly as common as the ritual of posting that night's batting order.
"He gets hammered," pitcher Gil Meche (http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/27190) says, chuckling. "Last year, he came in here as a 21-year-old and did a lot of talking. He has fun. It doesn't bother me. If a guy can hit, it doesn't matter to me what he does."
"He looks around and adopts things others are doing," Teahen says. "He sports boat shoes all the time. That's his idea of big-league shoes."
Only thing more priceless than that is Teahean actually using the word "sports" in a sentence like that.
Perhaps Butler owns a boat?
"I'm pretty sure he doesn't," Teahen says. "Nor does he live by the water."
Butler, who married Katie Nov. 10, is having a house built in Idaho Falls -- his first minor league stop. Meanwhile, the Butlers are quite the popular couple this spring with some of Kansas City's minor leaguers: They regularly invite the guys -- most of whom Butler played with down on the farm -- over for home-cooked dinners.
"He's definitely small-town and down-to-earth," Teahen says. "He's still learning a lot. I've never heard him say an unkind word about anybody."



That doesn't stop some critics, however, from saying unkind things from time to time about Butler's defense. Alas, there is a flaw in the Legend of Billy Butler. Even narratives like his come with a wart or two.
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</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="3" height="10"><spacer type="block" height="10" width="1"></td></tr> </tbody></table> He was a third baseman when he was younger, played outfield and now the Royals are hoping to make him into a first baseman. Defense does not come naturally to him, and at 6-1, 240 pounds, he doesn't exactly glide like a cat.
Kansas City dispatched him to the Dominican Republic to hone his first-base skills during winter ball for a month last November, and truth be told, he probably will wind up as a designated hitter. But he's only 21, and the Royals aren't going to put him in a box and sell him short. Time will tell.
"He's a tremendous worker," Moore says. "There's no question Billy will work at his defense. He's shown a lot of improvement so far. He cares a great deal, so we know he's going to work."
Says Butler: "Absolutely. I'm putting more time into my fielding than my hitting right now. I just take pride in it, and I'm not satisfied. I'm trying to become a complete player."
Until then, as long as he keeps swinging, odds are pretty good that the Royals will keep smiling.
"I remember the first time I met Billy in Wichita after I became the general manager," Moore says. "He came up to me and said, 'Look, we're going to win here, and I can't wait to be a part of it.' It was a good initial impression. He was certainly on a different track mentally than a lot of guys his age."
Hey, as Butler says, he's living the dream, having a blast. Heading into his first full season -- he started '06 at Triple-A Omaha, was summoned to the majors on May 1, went back to the minors on May 15 and returned to the majors for good on June 19 -- he is equal parts legend, Saturday morning cartoon character, hit man and country roads.
"He impresses me for the simple fact that, last year when he came up, for a guy his age, I've never seen a guy take control of every at-bat like that," Meche says. "He never looked bad.
"Whether he has a plan or not, it always looks like he does. He has a lot of confidence in himself. He's going to do some things for a long, long time."

Deberg_1990
03-15-2008, 11:15 AM
Dude can jack.

Too bad it appears hes a DH fo life.

Ari Chi3fs
03-15-2008, 11:17 AM
Thats cool. I dig Billy Butler, in fact, I have talked with him a bit on Facebook. Seems like a real down to earth guy. Im certainly pulling for him.

tyton75
03-15-2008, 11:24 AM
Yeah, I think he is a great kid... just hoping that he can get SOME work at 1B so he would be more valuable..

Sure-Oz
03-15-2008, 11:43 AM
nveermind

Mr. Laz
03-15-2008, 11:48 AM
Dude can jack.

Too bad it appears hes a DH fo life.
totally unfair to already give up on him at 1st base.

you've been listening to the media too much

Sure-Oz
03-15-2008, 11:48 AM
Thats cool. I dig Billy Butler, in fact, I have talked with him a bit on Facebook. Seems like a real down to earth guy. Im certainly pulling for him.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=784227626&hiq=billy%2Cbutler

is that him?

Fish
03-15-2008, 12:10 PM
Billy "Butterball" is my new favorite Royals player.....

I always try and start a "Biii-lly.....Biii-lly...." chant when he's at the plate...

Sure-Oz
03-15-2008, 12:11 PM
Billy "Butterball" is my new favorite Royals player.....

I always try and start a "Biii-lly.....Biii-lly...." chant when he's at the plate...

hes one of my favorites too, i am hoping to get that jersey april 12th

Fish
03-15-2008, 12:18 PM
hes one of my favorites too, i am hoping to get that jersey april 12th

Yeah.... I'm there... and I'm damn sure gonna be inside in time for a Butler replica....

Debut of Powder blues..... I'm pumped....

eazyb81
03-15-2008, 12:22 PM
totally unfair to already give up on him at 1st base.

you've been listening to the media too much

I agree, kid's still only 21 years old, and 1st base isn't exactly shortstop.

He'll probably never win a Gold Glove, but I have no doubt he has the ability to play a passable 1st base if he continues to work at it.

keg in kc
03-15-2008, 12:56 PM
We survived with Mike Sweeney at first, and Butler will be a better hitter than he ever was.

ChiefsCountry
03-15-2008, 01:08 PM
Its worked out pretty good for Boston as Ortiz as DH only.

Ari Chi3fs
03-15-2008, 01:11 PM
Sure-Oz Yes.