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Billy Butler, Danny Valencia Fined by Athletics After Physical Altercation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2016

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Billy Butler #16 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Danny Valencia #26 after hitting a two run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum on September 26, 2015 in Oakland, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Oakland Athletics 14-10. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Oakland Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia got into a fight Friday, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

As a result, Butler was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, and both players were fined, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle

According to Slusser, Valencia took exception to Butler speaking to a representative from a sporting equipment company after the representative had asked Valencia whether he was wearing cleats from another brand.

Slusser detailed what apparently irked Valencia:

Valencia told the representative that he only uses the non-issue spikes during pregame workouts. According to multiple sources, Butler, who has an equipment endorsement with a different company, jumped in to tell the equipment rep that Valencia was lying and regularly uses the non-standard spikes. Butler allegedly told the representative that the company should drop Valencia's endorsement deal.

[...]

After the rep departed, the players said, Valencia confronted Butler and told him, "Don't you ever loud-talk me in front of a rep. That was wrong," and walked aggressively toward Butler. Butler turned around, took a couple steps toward Valencia and, according to both witnesses, said, "I can say whatever I want, and your b---h ass isn't going to do anything about it."

Slusser reported Valencia and Butler squared up, and after they engaged in a shoving match, Valencia punched Butler in the head.

The two players have not spoken to each other since the altercation, per John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group. Valencia has also yet to talk with manager Bob Melvin about the incident, but doesn't believe there will be any repercussions, according to Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area. 

Butler's locker was moved to the "far end" of the A's clubhouse, distancing him from Valencia, per Hickey.

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Valencia's former teammate, and A's outfielder Coco Crisp came to Valencia's defense:

Eric Hosmer @TheRealHos305

Don't understand all the negativity towards Danny Valencia. One of the better teammates/friends I've had in this game.

Covelli Crisp @Coco_Crisp

I feel the same, Danny has been one of my favorite teammates as well. Solid guy and a hard worker. https://t.co/Bt7f3GAlCY

Valencia has played with six different teams in his MLB career. In a June interview with USA Today's Bob Nightengale, A's first baseman Yonder Alonso said the third baseman's personality can rub some the wrong way:

He's a guy that if you're not his team, you may not like him, and you want to beat him. If he's on your team, you want this guy playing every single night, helping you win. And if you're in a fight, you want him right next to you.

He's as truthful as it gets and doesn't mind hurting your feelings, knowing that at some point you will appreciate what he told you is the truth. Honesty is refreshing these days.

Butler missed Oakland's three-game series against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, while Valencia played Friday and Saturday before sitting out Sunday.

Slusser noted Butler was not scheduled to play Friday and that manager Bob Melvin said Butler was out of the lineup Saturday and Sunday with nausea and vomiting.

The non-waiver trade deadline has already passed, so the A's could have trouble moving one of Butler or Valencia in the event the two can no longer coexist.

Butler and Valencia were Royals teammates in the first half of 2014. Butler signed with Oakland before the 2015 season, and Valencia joined the team off waivers in August 2015.

Valencia has one more year of arbitration remaining before free agency, while Butler is signed through 2017 and will earn $11.7 million next year, per Spotrac. Valencia is hitting .302/.351/.478 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 97 games, while Butler is hitting .286/.338/.419 with four homers and 30 RBI in 79 games.

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