Oakland A’s designated hitter Billy Butler suffered a concussion in a fight with teammate Danny Valencia on Friday after the third baseman punched him in the temple, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.
While details of the fight have not been revealed publicly, the Chronicle reported Monday, citing multiple sources who were present, that it began before batting practice over what Butler apparently said to Valencia while an equipment representative was in the clubhouse.
According to the Chronicle, Butler had interrupted Valencia’s conversation with the equipment rep to say Valencia regularly uses spikes that are in breach of his contract, adding that the rep’s company should terminate Valencia’s endorsement deal.
“Don’t you ever loud-talk me in front of a rep,” Valencia said to Butler after the equipment representative had left, before walking swiftly toward him, according to the Chronicle report. “That was wrong,”
“I can say whatever I want, and your b—- ass isn’t going to do anything about it,” Butler reportedly replied.
Valencia punched Butler in the head before the brief fight that followed was broken up, the Chronicle reported.
Butler and Valencia have been fined an undisclosed amount by the team, and Butler was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Monday. Butler missed Oakland’s games Saturday and Sunday with what manager Bob Melvin said was nausea and vomiting.
According to the Chronicle, Butler and Valencia have yet to speak since the incident.
“I have respect for him,” Valencia said Monday. “I hope he has respect for me.”
A’s general manager David Forst said he wasn’t concerned with the situation. Catcher Stephen Vogt said “this happens in every clubhouse in America.”
Butler and Valencia have been teammates in both Kansas City and Oakland in parts of 2014 and 2015 and all of 2016.
Valencia has had the better season of the two, batting .302 with 15 homers in 97 games, while Butler in 79 games is batting .286 with four home runs.