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Billy Butler improves from “portly” to “lumbering” overnight

May 9, 2012, 8:52 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals Getty Images

I wish I had taken a screen cap of it last night, but believe me, the first version of the AP game story from the Red Sox-Royals game called Billy Butler “the Royals’ portly designated hitter.”  Sometime overnight it was amended:

The lumbering designated hitter’s three-run shot in the eighth inning Tuesday night boosted the Kansas City Royals a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox …

Not sure how I feel about that. “Portly” isn’t the kindest thing to call a guy, but there is a weird dignity to it. Winston Churchill was portly, after all. He owned that look. The young Orson Welles had a bit of portly heft to him but looked like a million bucks. A portly man, properly attired, can be quite a nice package of goods assuming he is likewise charming, confident, funny and kind of spirit.

But “lumbering?” Ah. Denotes more than a physical shortcoming, suggesting a laziness in one’s character. A lumbering man all but requires a tuba soundtrack as he attempts to run. A portly man can still be sneaky-fast.

I think I’d rather be called portly, if I had to choose, not lumbering. I’m not sure I’m in the majority here. I think more people would pick “lumbering” due to the suggestion of movement.  But I gotta go with my, well, gut here.

  1. Gobias Industries - May 9, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Can I throw a third option into the mix? Husky.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 9, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      Pleasantly plump perhaps

    • tmohr - May 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM


    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      Thick and rotund.

  2. l0yalr0yal - May 9, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    I don’t know, man. If one can be portly and sneaky-fast at the same time, that’s definitely not Country Breakfast. He couldn’t sneak up on anyone in a machine shop during an earthquake, and he’s certainly not fast. Defensively he is sub-par, and lumber is really the only thing he brings to the team.

    On another note, I would like to commend you on selecting such a fine picture. It’s been going around lately that he has been making an O-face this year (Oh, Oh, you guys know what I’m talking about, Oh). This picture definitely does justice to the aforementioned rumors.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Please God tell me his nickname really is Country Breakfast?

      • cur68 - May 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

        Possibly “Waffle House”?

      • l0yalr0yal - May 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        You bet your perpetually outraged congregation it is. It stemmed from this beat writer out of St. Joseph, MO on twitter. We started bouncing it around like a beach ball at a nickelback concert. Three days later, which was during a span last year in which he went yard in three or four straight games, ESPN used it on air. Also, in MLB 12 The Show on PS3, if you create your own character, Country Breakfast is one of the nicknames you can use.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        That’s awesome, sounds like an old school nickname which are far better than most of the current ones.

      • nightman13 - May 9, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        What do you mean Church?

        Current nicknames are awesome, you just take a first initial and a syllable from the last name and then pound it into the ground 156,487 times until it sticks. Or the even more creative first initial combined with the last initial.

        What’s not to love?

        Can we start a nickname revolution?

    • - May 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      And piggy backing off Country Breakfast we have started calling Jonathon Broxton “Country Kitchen”

    • nightman13 - May 9, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      What about Kirby Puckett?

      • mgv38 - May 9, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        Country Buffet,

  3. aceshigh11 - May 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    In a related story:

    The Red Sox devolved from “merely shitty” to “historical atrocity” overnight as well.

    • - May 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      I thumbsed down only because there is no possible way a Red Sox fan knows what a “historical atrocity” is when refering to a baseball team.

  4. nategearhart - May 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM


  5. professorperry - May 9, 2012 at 9:09 AM


  6. number42is1 - May 9, 2012 at 9:19 AM


  7. rooney24 - May 9, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    In regard to the comment that a portly guy can still be sneaky fast, a former acquaintance came up with a more positive spin. Instead of “pretty quick for a big guy”, it is “you’re pretty big for a quick guy”. It puts the emphasis on calling you a quick guy rather than a big guy. Feel free to use it on anyone you know (or yourself) that is big for a quick guy.

    • l0yalr0yal - May 9, 2012 at 10:38 AM

      I see what you did there. and I like it.

  8. hushbrother - May 9, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    How about “corpulent?”

    “Kansas City’s corpulent DH Billy Butler gave the Royals the lead with a 3-run homer in the eighth. Butler, not a shy eater, connected off Boston’s Matt Albers.”

  9. nategearhart - May 9, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Butler signed off on it too, and the tshirts are awesome.

  10. crashdavis99 - May 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Wording was changed after Butler threatened to “eat” the writer.

  11. leerosenthall - May 9, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    If Billy Butler is portly and/or lumbering, what does that make Prince Fielder, zaftig?

    • heyblueyoustink - May 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      Big humongous?

    • wendell7 - May 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM


  12. ksbuff - May 9, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Nothing about Quintero being refereed to as “plodding?” It’s like the writer was a grumpy Red Sox fan that decided to take some jabs at the winning team.

    Funny, funny stuff! (*no sarcasm intended)

  13. - May 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    As a big man myself I would have gone with:

    The clydesdalesque designated hitter’s three-run shot in the eighth inning Tuesday night boosted the Kansas City Royals a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox …

  14. mgv38 - May 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM


    MMMM, Reuben . . . .

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