I do not like Robinson Cano. He is a Yankee. I am a Royals fan. Therefore, I cannot, I will not, I do not like Robinson Cano. I am predisposed to booing Robinson Cano and his pinstripe brethren.
That is not, however, why I booed Robinson Cano on Monday night.
It's not even about the fact that Robinson Cano said he would pick a Royal for the Derby. I didn't boo Robinson Cano because he went back on his word. I don't know Robinson Cano, I have no reason to trust him. Besides, he's a Yankee, there's no reason to believe what he says.
I did not boo Robinson Cano because he went back on his word.
Booing Robinson Cano is NOT about Robinson Cano.
He stood up for us during the last days of Greinke. Billy has never been an outspoken guy, preferring to quietly go about his business of hitting baseballs extremely hard, but in that case he came out and said what we were all thinking, but couldn't say. He said what we felt - if you don't want to be here, you can just leave. That moved him up our list.
And then, last year after the All-Star break Billy started hammering the ball. Went to Boston and just attacked the Green Monster. Came back this year and kept crushing balls. That towering shot he hit in St. Louis to tie it in the 9th, yeah, that was the Billy Butler we had always wanted to see. Billy has arrived.
Billy Butler is OUR GUY.
Our guy is an all star, and the All Star game happens to be in our city, on our field. The Derby is the big show of the All-Star game. We wanted to see OUR GUY. Except Robinson Cano decided otherwise. He decided we would get to see Trumbo, Bautista and Fielder instead. All three hit majestic shots, but none of them are our guys. Royals fans aren't going to the yard just to see guys from other teams swing for the fences. We wanted OUR GUY and Cano had just disrespected our guy, deciding he wasn't deserving of a spot in the Derby.
So we booed. Every time someone approached Cano with a mic, we booed. Every swing, more boos. Every foul ball, every out was cheered. Kansas City let Robinson Cano have it all night long. But it wasn't just for him.
Those boos were to let Billy Butler know that we had his back. We aren't going to let anybody, especially not some Yankee come into OUR house and disrespect OUR guy. KC sent a clear message. You disrespect one of ours, you will be bathed in boos.
The national media didn't get it. They still don't. They talk about midwesterners being so nice, and so polite. They forgot that we are also loyal - fiercely so. Billy is OUR GUY and we are going to stand up for OUR GUY. Every time the big board showed Billy we roared our approval, then switched back to boos when the camera cut to Cano.
The message was clear. Billy stood up for us, stuck with us, signed long term with us and now we were going to stand up for him in front of the entire baseball world, Robinson Cano be damned. That was a message we wanted to send to Billy just like we sent a message to Alex when we cheered him on opening day, and Alcides, and Salvador for signing their long term deals.
It's also a message to Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers, and Jake Odorizzi, and Danny Duffy (#burymearoyal), and Yordano Ventura, and all of the other prospects in our system. You're our guys, and if you have our backs, we will have yours.
I don't know what's down the road for the Royals. I don't know if that means any of those guys will sign long term because of those boos, but I do know the cheers we have waiting for them if they do. And that's why we booed Robinson Cano.