TODAY, 6:08pm: Butler will also receive a fine, GM David Forst told reporters including MLB.com’s Jane Lee (via Twitter). The veteran DH is headed to the 7-day concussion DL as well.
5:14pm: Valencia will be fined for his role in the ruckus, Slusser tweets.
4:04pm: Slusser now reports the full details of the altercation, which you can find here. In essence, it seems, both players engaged in a verbal dispute after Butler made comments that may have interfered with an endorsement deal for Valencia. It escalated to the point of physical contact before Valencia struck his teammate with one or more punches.
While Butler initially reported being fine in the immediate aftermath of the dust-up, he began exhibiting nausea and vomiting thereafter. Neither player agreed to comment on the matter.
Notably, Slusser adds, Valencia could end up being punished later today. She suggests that he could be suspended or even given his release. The team’s handling of the matter will certainly be closely watched, as it could impact Valencia’s future in the organization and availability to other teams — though clearly this incident hasn’t increased his appeal.
YESTERDAY: 9:48pm: In an update to her original story, Slusser reports that the dispute between Butler and Valencia stemmed from Butler informing “an equipment representative that Valencia had not, in fact, been wearing the spikes that Valencia had told the representative that he was using.”
6:45pm: Billy Butler missed the Athletics’ last two games due to injuries suffered in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia on Friday night, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Butler was absent due to nausea and vomiting, and neither Melvin or Valencia was willing to comment about the alleged incident. As Slusser writes, “no one in the Oakland clubhouse would discuss the matter on the record, but no one denied that it occurred, either.”
The exact nature of the altercation isn’t known, though since Valencia played on Saturday, one could conclude that the A’s didn’t consider it major enough (at least not immediately) to warrant punishment. Valencia didn’t play on Sunday, though Slusser notes that could also have been a baseball decision given Valencia’s poor career numbers against White Sox starter Jose Quintana.
Clubhouse issues have plagued Valencia in the past, which could in part be why he wasn’t dealt at the trade deadline when the A’s unloaded several other veterans. Valencia wasn’t even expected to get regular playing time as Oakland focused on younger players, though he has gotten the bulk of starts in right field in August since he is still swinging a solid bat. The veteran has 15 homers and a .302/.351/.478 slash line through 387 plate appearances this season, and is currently on a streak of two hits in each of his last six games.
Valencia would seem to be a prime August trade candidate if he can clear waivers, though this latest incident isn’t likely to help his reputation around the game. The 31-year-old is eligible for arbitration this winter before hitting free agency after the 2017 season, and his good numbers will earn him a raise from his $3.15MM salary from 2016. It seems like the A’s will pursue a trade against this winter, and a non-tender could even potentially be in the cards (despite Valencia’s strong season) if the club wants to clear the roster for younger talent.
LOL I knew something like this could happen
Just Another Fan
Sounds like an overreaction, these guys are friends who horse around a lot and always loudly talk to each other on the field. They were probably wrestling or something and Butler hit his head on accident.
Oakland’s clubhouse does have a reputation for being very loose though, too loose in this case.
A guy with a history of toxic clubhouse behaviour, reports that Butler was injured in the altercation, and no one within the clubhouse willing to go on record to discuss what happened…shouldn’t give anyone much confidence that this was two guys having fun.
You’d make a good political PR person, at least.
You’re really going to sit there and act as if you know the ins and outs of the A’s clubhouse?
And “on accident”…really dude? smh
Company pays you to wear their equipment.if you dont ,they may pull your contract and there goes a lot of money…and shoes. You still think they were messing around?
Didn’t Valencia also get into an “altercation ” with Lawrie?
Wow I’m guessing this has something to do with his dfa last year. Someone said he was a clubhouse problem but I never heard anything. To bad, he was one of my favourite players
How is someone who has only appeared in over 100 games twice and only once since 2011, in which he was only in 105, in his career one of your favorite players?
Why do you care?
Can’t figure out how it is possible absent a familial relationship.
He raked in Toronto, liked him before that, and seemed like a good guy on Twitter
There must be some footage of this somewhere …too soon?
Check out @DSzymborski’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/DSzymborski/status/767809110746292225?s=09
This is the exact reason why he is still with the A’s. His selfishness is known throughout the league. Someone will probably take a chance on him because he definitely has ability but he comes with documented clubhouse chemistry risks.
Great players just not the best season overall…
If the A’s non-tender Valencia in December, that may well be the dumbest move they could make. I personally don’t understand why they brought Healy up before trading Valencia because that killed Valencia’s value. What difference does 2-3 months make when you aren’t competing. 2-3 extra months in AAA is not going to kill a player.
Poorly handled situation
Valencia is as bad as Papelbon in terms of club house presence. No one really likes the guy
I haven’t read much nice things about Billy Butler in the clubhouse either. He is apparently kind of a hothead. At least Valencia is a good player.
You’re assuming a team wanted to trade for Valencia. It’s highly probable that no one wanted to take him – considering even before this incident, he was widely known to be a clubhouse cancer.
A’s tried to trade Valencia before bringing up Healy but got no offers. Even with teams that need a 3b the A’s got the cold shoulder. Healy was more than ready to come up and his defense is much better than Valencia’s.
I agree 100% but the A’s weren’t playing Valencia full time even before Healy was there, which is odd because he’s arguably their best hitter and given the A’s are terrible they maybe could of moves him to get back Adam Rosalez (it’s been a while since we trotted that clown out onto the field)
it’s billy butler..
For what it’s worth, Valencia’s bad rep started in the low minors with Twins and never went away. Really arrogant and bigger than the game seemingly from day one.
I think he may be pissed because he puts up decent numbers and even those numbers warrant playing time, he doesn’t get it for some reason.
When I had read reports saying that Butler was a better contact hitter this season, this is not what I thought those reports meant.
Did somebody really post great players?
Honestly, if one of my teammates ratted on me about my equipment, I think I would be pretty upset too. I’m not necessarily defending what Valencia did, but I can understand it. You shouldn’t run your mouth about something that isn’t even your business.
Especially when it’s cleats, who cares what kind of shoes the guy wears.
The manufacturer’s rep does.
The game in which Billy Butler hit the HR off Tomlin & did his ‘Walk” around the bases Indians play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton said that’s why the Royals don’t miss him.. Hamilton also made a comment when Butler was batting later on that he had a “big ego” that irritated the Royals players/front office. I personally think Valencia has a bad reputation because Minnesota really has unrealistic high standards for their players (thus always giving up too soon on their players). Valencia got stuck in Boston/K.C./Baltimore/Toronto with no opportunity to play & on the bench. I think Valencia could of been a great player if Minnesota showed patience & let him mature.
Butler acted like that because Gimenez was saying things to him while he was batting. So Butler tried to show him up with his slow home run trot.
Why would Valencia have to lie about his cleats?
Most seem to be quickly blaming Valencia it appears, they must not realize how much of a tool Butler is.
Just Another Fan
Ding ding ding
A’s need to DFA them both and move on.
Just from looks alone, Butler looks like a complete jackass and d-bag.
Whichever party was to blame doesn’t really matter. Either one person rattled on another for not wearing the right cleats, or the other guy got upset by somebody rattling on him for not wearing the right cleats. That might be the lamest clubhouse bust up of all time.
Snitches get stitches
A popular catchphrase and clothing line in B’more….(not kidding).
Just Another Fan
As if the A’s nightmare with Butler is bad enough (overpaid and underperforming to the point where he’s a platoon DH), but now the stories about what a jerk he is are starting to flow….great work Beane, you almost had Nelson Cruz but instead sunk your team by hiring this clown.
If someone cost me endorsement money by snitching to the cleats manufacturer, I’d want to pop him too.
If I was being paid to endorse a shoe, I’d wear the shoe, then nobody would be able to snitch.
This is one of these things where they’re equally wrong. Doesn’t matter what the details are. It’s like working with third graders dealing with some of these d-bags.
So MLB players fighting over a 10-20k endorsement deal? Should be chump change to them.
Check out Valencia’s salary. Considering Butleris quite overpaid, maybe he should back off?