APRIL 3: Buttrey has released a statement via Instagram explaining his reasons for stepping away from the game, posted to Twitter here by the Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya. Buttrey made his decision for his own personal happiness, saying that “My whole life I’ve played the game for everyone else. I just wanted to prove everyone wrong….As time went on, baseball became more of a business and less of a game. I couldn’t help but notice that my love and passion for this game had started to diminish.”
Initially driven by the challenge of overcoming his doubters and making a good living for himself, Buttrey grew increasingly dissatisfied, saying “Unfortunately, money and proving people wrong are short-term motivators, especially when you never actually loved the game you dedicated the last 24 years of your life to. I dreaded every aspect of the process to become the best, but who the hell throws away 24 years of work? I want to finally be known as just Ty, not Ty, the baseball player. I completely lost the drive to continue doing something that I didn’t love because in my mind, I already accomplished it. It was never my dream to make it to the Hall of Fame, win a World Series, or become an All-Star. In my head, I accomplished what I wanted, to prove people wrong and accomplish something extremely hard.”
“I couldn’t be any more excited to finally become just Ty. I love my family, my close teammates, friends and especially Halo Nation. I’m tired of not being there for my loved ones, and I’m tired of pretending and lying to the best fan base in the world. Life is super simple. Find your true passion, find people you love and don’t give a damn what any person outside those lines thinks. People love to have control over others.”
“It’s time for Sam [Buttrey’s wife] and I to start living the life we really want. I am beyond excited to finally be a normal, hardworking dude, that loves his family and friends. Life is short so just do what you love and don’t ever look back! I’m going to miss the fans more than I’m going to miss the game. I want to thank everyone who has supported my wife and I throughout my entire career and the Angels organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity.”
APRIL 2: In surprising news, Angels right-handed reliever Ty Buttrey has chosen not to report to the team, manager Joe Maddon told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register and other media members. Buttrey is walking away from the game, at least for now, and the Angels have placed him on the restricted list.
Buttrey joined the Angels in a 2018 trade with the Red Sox for second baseman Ian Kinsler, the year the hurler debuted in the majors. He has since pitched to a 4.30 ERA/3.70 SIERA, averaged 96.1 mph on his fastball, and logged a 24.8 percent strikeout rate against a 7.5 percent walk rate in 115 innings. However, Buttrey posted career-low numbers in 2020, when he notched personal lows in ERA (5.81) and strikeout percentage (16.1) over 26 1/3 frames. The 28-year-old hadn’t been due to become eligible for arbitration until after this season.
Despite last year’s downturn in performance, Buttrey looked like a good bet to occupy a spot in the Angels’ remade bullpen when the spring started. The Angels optioned Buttrey earlier in the week, though, leaving him out of their season-opening picture.
“He’s going to be a big part of how we conclude this year,” Maddon said when the Angels demoted Buttrey (via Daniel Guerrero of MLB.com), but it’s now possible he won’t pitch at all this season or ever again.