All-Star notebook: Prince Fielder wins Home Run Derby
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com July 9, 2012 10:12PM
Updated: August 11, 2012 6:25AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It might be quite some time before Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano forgets the name Billy Butler.
Cano was in charge of picking the American League team to compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday, and despite Kansas City being the host city, Cano bypassed Butler, a Royals fan favorite.
A sold-out Kauffman Stadium didn’t let Cano forget that, either, booing him when he was introduced, then cheering wildly for every out Cano made — 10 of them without a homer. After becoming the first Yankees player not to go deep in the annual Home Run Derby, the fans started chanting “Billy Butler’’ over and over again.
Cano got the last laugh, however, as his selections for the AL team, led by Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista, dominated.
Fielder beat Bautista 12-7 in the final round.
Not a Rizzo-free zone
If Bryan LaHair thought spending the All-Star break in Kansas City would put an end to the constant Anthony Rizzo questions he has had to endure since spring training, think again.
It’s a topic that’s beyond stale.
“Yeah, that was getting pretty old,’’ LaHair said. “I think I answered one Anthony Rizzo question a day for almost a month or two. But I’m glad to be his teammate. We’re good buddies, and he’s a great talent. He’s going to be around for a long time, and I’m excited to have him in our lineup because it makes us better.’’
That’s all that matters to LaHair — that Rizzo has made the Cubs better.
“It’s another left-handed power bat that’s in the lineup, can drive in runs, can hit the ball out of the park,’’ LaHair said.
Indians closer Chris Perez is no stranger to ticking off fan bases. That includes his own. Maybe that’s why Cleveland had a member of its PR department stand by Perez for most of the 45-minute media session.
That didn’t stop him, however, from going on the attack with Royals fans.
It was Perez who earlier in the year angered Kansas City when he made fun of the Royals’ slogan for this season, “It’s Our Time.’’ He wasn’t about to back down from that.
“You can’t blame the players,’’ Perez said. “That came from the front office, and I know some players hated it. It’s like, ‘It’s Our Time,’ really?’’
As far as the boos he was expecting? “Hey, if they boo me, like Reggie Jackson used to say, ‘They don’t boo you if you’re a nobody,’ ’’ Perez said.
Chris Sale was scheduled to pitch Sunday in the loss against the Blue Jays, but he was pushed out of the spot so he could get some extra rest and pitch in the All-Star Game. The Sox had better hope they don’t need that game at the end of the season.
“They’ve said from the get-go that they want me to throw in this game,’’ Sale said. “They’ve said that from when it was first announced. I’m very fortunate because if it were up to me, I would have pitched against Toronto.’’
Sale said he was instructed that he only could pitch one inning at the most.