KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Designated hitter Billy Butler believes if the Royals could somehow have flipped about five or six tough losses into wins, they not only would be barking on the heels of the Tigers, they’d also get a little more respect in regards to All-Star selections
It seems likely the Royals will once again have just a single representative at the upcoming All-Star Game.
It has been that way since 2003 when the Royals last had multiple selections — Mike Sweeney and Mike MacDougal. It is no coincidence that 2003 also was the last winning season for the Royals.
“Our record doesn’t indicate how good we are or how good we’ve played,” Butler said. “We’re actually deserving of more All-Stars than at any time I’ve been here. Just look at that list of guys — James Shields, (Ervin) Santana, (Greg) Holland, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez.
“If we were winning more, we’d have more than just one guy. No doubt. But that’s how a team in our market kind of suffers, at least in the voting. You don’t get the recognition and without the great record, you don’t get multiple guys.”
The Tigers, the division leaders, will have numerous representatives.
“The Tigers went to the World Series last year, and it’s Jim Leyland’s (All-Star) team,” Butler said. “It’s going to be hard to argue with who he takes off his own team. That’s understandable.”
Butler said he would be hard-pressed to single out just one Royal right now for selection.
“Offensively we’ve struggled,” he said. “If you put somebody offensively, you could put Gordo on there or Salvy. Probably the most deserving is Sal. He’s hit around .300 and been great defensively.
“But you’ve got the pitchers in Shields and Santana and Holland. Any one of them. Should be all of them.”
Though his numbers are similar at this point to what they were last year, Butler knows he probably won’t be the choice from the Royals. But he still relishes the memory of last year when he was chosen.
“It was an honor just to get that chance last year, especially at our own ballpark,” he said. “It was such a special week. A lot of guys have good careers and yet they never get that chance at an All-Star game. I’m honored.
“I’m just focusing on winning games. I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter. Sure it matters. You focus on team goals but the All-Star game is very special and if I can get there multiple times in my career, I will feel awfully good about that. I’d be happy for it.”
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org