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Billy Butler: Zack Greinke “didn’t want to be here”

Dec 20, 2010, 8:10 PM EDT

Greinke throwing

While Billy Butler told Matthew Leach of that he had no ill will towards his former teammate Zack Greinke, he sounded downright relieved that the team wouldn’t have to begin the 2011 season with a distraction.

“There’s no surprise,” Butler said Monday. “This has been a controversy ever since Zack had that article that came out and he was wanting out. Whenever you do something like that, the organization has no choice but to trade you. I’m just happy that its behind us now, because if it would have kept lingering on any longer, I think it would have affected the team.”

“You don’t want somebody to be somewhere they don’t want to. That being said, Zack made it public that he didn’t want to be here anymore. As the Kansas City Royals, you don’t want that around. It’s not good for your team. I hope it works out for Zack in Milwaukee. I think we got some great pieces that came over.”

It’s nice to see Butler, who has essentially inherited the role of “face of the franchise,” come out and talk so bluntly about this issue. While we can debate about whether the Royals got enough in return for Greinke, it was pretty clear from Butler’s comments that, similar to the Johan Santana situation in early 2008, something had to be done before spring training.

  1. jamie54 - Dec 20, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Sorry, but who really DOES want to be there? KC, I mean, come on, KC already. Sheesh.

    • steve1900 - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:24 PM

      Hey Jamie, have you ever even been to kc?? Have you ever seen a game there or maybe a football game at arrowhead?? I remember when Kc was the place free agents wanted to come, even before the Yankees!! Yes its been a long time but go check EVERY report of mlb teams minor league systems and you will see the the royals have now built the farm system back to be by most reports number 1 in baseball..The next few years you will see just what that means!! Mark my words!!!!!

      • sfchamps2010 - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:14 PM

        Steve that’s all fine but when no one goes to the games you have no money and then you can say bye bye to any top prospects who want big money cause KC has no money

      • phukyouk - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:31 PM

        I cannot stand when ppl say “mark my words” it always comes back to bite em in the ass. mark my words!

      • Old Gator - Dec 21, 2010 at 12:11 AM

        Steve, I’m pretty sure Jamie meant the franchise, not the city per se. I’ve been there many times and it is a great town, and it’s unquestionably one of the great music towns in the country, especially for jazz. Nevertheless, you can’t blame Greinke for wanting to go to a winner.

      • mtner77 - Dec 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM

        “Nevertheless, you can’t blame Greinke for wanting to go to a winner.”

        Milwaukee is a “winner”? Um, ok.

    • BC - Dec 21, 2010 at 11:24 AM

      The steak places are awesome out there.

      • Old Gator - Dec 21, 2010 at 6:09 PM

        In KC? Yeah, they are. My favorite was The Majestic. The jazz band there was lead by the nonpareil bassist Lucky Wesley and the steaks were as juicy as his low notes. Ohboy.

  2. buddaley - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    For a long time KC was the model franchise. Its recent history is sad partly because it was so good for so long. It would not surprise me if someone discovered a direct link between the great number of wonderful baseball writers to come from KC and the inspiration provided by the enlightened leadership of that franchise.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 21, 2010 at 6:11 AM

      Recent history? It’s been 26 years since the Royals have appeared in the post season. They have has exactly 6 winning seasons during that time the last one in 2003 when they went 83-79 and the one before that was 1993 when they went 84-78. Considering the Royals have been in existence sine 1969 and they have been mired in mediocrity for nearly 3 decades it’s a stretch to say they were “so good for so long”.

    • BC - Dec 21, 2010 at 11:26 AM

      The Orioles were the model organization for a long time too, and with the exception of a couple years in the 90’s, they’ve sucked pond water since the early 80’s.

  3. jhorton83 - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Someone already made the comment, but it’s worth reiterating: Who the hell does want to be with the Royals? Masochists?

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 21, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    Remember when the media was roasting Michael Young for not being a ‘team guy’ when he didn’t want to move of SS to go to 3B? How about Greinke whining to the media that he doesn’t want to be in KC, throwing a baseball for $13.5MM. Poor guy, it’s tough to be him. Then, per Tim Brown, he admits to essentially tanking his performance to make sure he’s prime trade bait in the off-season ( You know what happens in any other part of life if you behave that way? Fired with no paycheck at all.

    All this for a headcase with one really good season to his credit….

    • uyf1950 - Dec 21, 2010 at 8:52 AM

      Well said. I can just see the comments here if a Yankee player made those same comments. They would be all over him and the Yankees.

  5. pisano - Dec 21, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    We all should have gotten a clue when the Yankees in need of a quality starter turned the trade of Montero and Nunez for Greinke down. If you think about this trade it should have been a no brainer for the Yankees. There may be more problems with Greinke than KC wants to deal with. Time will tell, but that trade would have been highly tilted in the Yankees favor.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 21, 2010 at 11:41 AM

      I have to disagree with you this time, my friend. First there is no evidence that Greinke ever wanted to go to NY. In fact there is a piece today on Yahoo Sports that the Yankees tried to get Greinke last July at the trade deadline and he wasn’t interested in going to NY. Besides and I know some fans won’t or don’t agree with me but I believe that if the Yankees were/are going to trade Montero, Nunez and potentially add in another player they could do better the Greinke. I’ve said this before, he’s had one very good year and several average years. Add on top of that, that he either didn’t feel comfortable going to NY or the NY did feel that he was a good fit and you have a receipt for disaster. Had the trade been made I believe it would have not worked out well for either party.

  6. dyn11 - Dec 21, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    I really don’t get how anyone can fault Greinke here. He didn’t tell Kansas City he wanted out. He told them he wanted to be part of a franchise that was taking steps towards winning and showing a commitment to winning; something the Royals never showed.

    He was never disruptive either. Butler’s comments are out of frustration. Do you really expect Greinke to waste away on a team that wont be good for another 4 or 5 years (best case scenario –assuming all the prospects that they think will be great actually pan out — and that is a risky assumption at best seeing how some of them have developed — like Alex Gordon).

    I see nothing wrong with what he did at all and as a Royals fan i will be rooting for him in Milwaukee.

  7. jamie54 - Dec 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    Not a knock on the city, no way, just the direction the Royals are going, how long will it really take to get there and once they do will it generate the results they want? Such a crap shoot these days for the lower revenue teams to be able to compete and finally put winners on the field only to come up short against teams like the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox. Minnesota seems to be getting there year after year but then again get shut down by the Yankees. Just a feeling of frustration for players out there that hey while the money is good, that’s not an issue anymore, it’s is the franchise willing to once again reload what seems like year after year after year, get your shot and fail, then reload again for another run at futility in a couple years, repeat, etc. Frustrating. Best thing, as a fan in a small market, is that some of the players you get back in these trades can contribute towards winning and have a respectful year.

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