Robinson Cano, the team captain of the American League’s Home Run Derby, was in hostile territory in Kansas City during the event.
As Cano stood to be announced by ESPN’s Chris Berman, the Yankees' second baseman was showered with boos and jeers. Why was Robinson Cano booed out of the building?
Apparently, he isn’t a man of his word.
Cano allegedly said he would select a player from the Royals if a position player was added to the roster. Royals' DH Billy Butler was chosen, and Kansas City fans wanted him to participate at this year’s Home Run Derby.
Unfortunately, Butler was not selected. Cano chose Angels 1B Mark Trumbo, Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista and Tigers 1B Prince Fielder.
The Royals fans wanted to see their slugger competing in the Derby. They didn’t get Butler and thus let their voices be heard.
This decision affected the All-Star second baseman and the Home Run Derby event.
Every Royals fan let Cano hear their displeasure. Every time he was shown on the big screen at Kauffman Stadium, boo birds began.
When Cano took the plate, the jeers grew louder. When the screen showed Billy Butler, the crowd roared.
Cano once again had his father, Jose Cano, to pitch to him in an attempt to recreate their magic from last year’s Home Run Derby. Everyone could tell the magic would be harder to duplicate.
The fans booed Cano during his turn at the Derby. Cano would go scoreless.
Every out he made was received with a huge ovation from the crowd. The fans cheered when Cano left home plate. Maybe he should have picked Billy Butler after all.
Billy Butler’s stats may not be as attractive as some of the other competitors in the Derby.
Butler has only 16 home runs for the season. He’s not in the top 10 in the American League in this category. Other All-Stars have more home runs than Butler, such as Josh Hamilton (27) and Adam Jones (20)*.
However, this isn’t about stats. This is about giving the fans what they want.
This also happened in last year’s Derby, when Prince Fielder didn’t select Justin Upton for the National League Team.
Cano had a chance to pick Butler when David Ortiz declined to participate. Cano told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News: "Ortiz just wanted to rest."
This would have been the perfect time to pick Butler, but he didn’t. Cano decided to pick Trumbo to replace Ortiz.
When it comes to these fun competitions, it’s not just about winning and stats. It’s about appeasing the fans in the stadium as well as those watching around the world. It would have made sense to add Butler to satisfy the crowd.
The Royal fans wanted a representative from their team. When Butler wasn’t selected, they let Cano know he made a mistake.
It doesn’t matter if Butler would have done well at the Home Run Derby. What matters are the fans attending getting their money’s worth.
Even though the Derby was an exciting event, the Kansas City fans in attendance were angry with Robinson Cano.
Maybe next time the National League team’s Home Run Derby captain will select a player from the Mets for next year’s event at Citi Field.
*Stats are from baseball-reference.com