Billy Butler and Danny Valencia got into an altercation which was bad enough that it caused Butler to miss the past two games against the Chicago White Sox, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Slusser reports Butler was injured after an incident on Friday night involving Valencia, his Oakland Athletics teammate. The Athletics’ designated hitter has been out of game action due to nausea and vomiting. Sussler pointed out the symptoms could be due to a concussion, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin threw cold water on the idea.
Neither player have been publicly suspended for the altercation, but both did miss Sunday’s matchup against Chicago.
The reported incident is another bump in a forgettable season for the Athletics. Oakland has struggled all season, posting a horrendous 53-71 record, along with a -101 run differential, the worst in the American League. Butler is in the midst of a disappointing season, despite a .286 batting average and .338 OBP. He’s hit just four home runs with 20 extra-base hits in 79 games – which is mediocre for a player at his position. Valencia, meanwhile, is enjoying an impressive season with 15 home runs, 44 RBI, a .302 batting average, and a .351 OBP. The A’s could use all the offense they can get, so losing Butler and possibly Valencia for any amount of time hurts.
Teammates are going to have disagreements throughout the season and are prone to get into verbal altercations, but it’s not a good sign if teammates are injuring each other. No team in MLB likes to lose players because of in-house fighting. It’s a horrible look.