Sunday, September 27, 2009

Butler hits 50th double in Royals loss

Game Date: September 26, 2009
Minnesota @ Kansas City
Twins 11 Royals 6 / Box Score
WP: Baker (14-9), LP: DiNardo (0-2)
KC Home Runs: Pena (6), Callaspo (11)
Royals Record: 63-92 / Record in September 13-11

It’s always interesting to see what will happen when two hot teams run into each other for a series. In this case, the Twins are simply taking it to the Royals. In the middle of the Twins five-run fourth inning was All-Star shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt making yet another error. Yes, I’m being facetious.

Putting that aside, Billy Butler gives us a good reason to get serious. He picked up his 50th double of the season. He’s closing in on Hal McRae’s club record (54), set in 1977. Coming into this season, I was growing skeptical of Butler. That probably wasn’t fair, but we’ve seen so many guys come through here who are supposed to be the next big thing that it causes one to be slower to accept the fact that we might actually have one of those guys.

I saw an interview with him earlier this season in which he said he wanted to be like Mike Sweeney. He wanted to make an impact in the community and he wants to carry himself as a teammate like Sweeney did. Those are big shoes to fill, but his recent answers to questions about his breakout season sound a lot like something Sweeney would say.

The Royals are planning to call Cooperstown to see if they want some artifact from Butler since only six previous players have had 50 doubles in a season before their 24th birthday (Hank Greenberg, Enos Slaughter, Stan Musial, Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera). Last night, when a reporter mentioned this to Butler he said:

“I just play baseball, I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. I let other people worry about it and just go out and play the game. I’d rather be remembered as a guy that plays hard, not a guy who had a lot of talent and didn’t respect it. That’s what I care about it.”

Can’t you just hear Sweeney saying that in a similar circumstance.

The truth is, there was only one Mike Sweeney, just like there’s only one Billy Butler, but if Butler is going to model himself after any other player, he’d be hard pressed to find a better guy than Sweeney.

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