Royals Fans, Cano Feud Highlight Monday at All-Star Game
Mike Hammett - Tue 07:56 AM 07/10/2012
The boos are still ringing in my ears.
I was seated in the middle of the front row of the extra temporary bleachers brought in for media in right field. While the media isn't allowed to cheer (well, at least you're not supposed to), I simply laughed at the entire scene as Royals fans showered the American League Home Run Derby captain, New York Yankee Robinson Cano, with boos.
Over a month ago, Cano was quoted as saying it would be the right thing to have a player from the host city in the Home Run Derby. As things turned out, the Royals' lone All-Star, Billy Butler, is worthy of being included in the Derby. Cano decided not to go with Butler, but instead chose eventual champion Prince Fielder of Detroit, runner-up Jose Bautista of Toronto and Mark Trumbo of the Angels.
Fans of the Royals took exception to his snub of Butler, and they let him hear it.
What made the entire thing enjoyable for me, is it felt like at one point, ESPN was trying to keep the fans on their toes, cutting away from Cano's at-bat to a shot of Billy Butler amongst the rest of the AL players. Butler was met with some of the loudest cheers of the night.
But the loudest of the loud cheers was left for each out Cano had in the Derby. If you're not familiar with the Derby, an out is recorded every time a hitter swings the bat but does not hit a home run. Cano fouled off the pitch on his first two swings, and each fly ball was greeted with cheers when it was clear it didn't have the distance. His few shots off the wall and the 10th and final out were the loudest cheers of all. Cano, the defending champion in the event, was shut out in Kansas City after snubbing Billy Butler. With the way the crowd reacted, you would have thought the Royals had just clinched a playoff bid after 27 years.
As for the rest of my experience with All-Star Monday, I enjoyed sitting in on media conferences with Texas manager Ron Washington and former St. Louis manager Tony LaRussa, the two managers for tonight's game. They were joined by their starting pitchers, Justin Verlander of Detroit for the American League and Matt Cain of San Francisco to the National League.
Following that media conference, all of the American League players were available in an adjacent room. I made my way to talk to Royals manager Ned Yost and Butler. I didn't have time to include any audio from any other players in my show, but I walked through the room to see every All-Star. Some had bigger crowds around them than others. I thought it was neat to see the players outside of their element. You normally don't see them not on the ball field, but this was a different chance.
Next was the media conference for the Home Run Derby that evening, with all eight players in attendance. It was interesting to hear Carlos Beltran talk about his early days in Kansas City, and Cano try to explain why he didn't put Butler on his team.
Finally, the National League players were available next door. It seemed like the crowd of media was larger by then, and I still didn't have any extra room in the show for them, but I took the chance to still walk through the room and take it all in.
By that point, I made my way to the stadium to record Monday's version of In The Zone. Once I got there, I found out my seat did not come with a table top in front of it, as it had on Sunday. It was quite interesting to sit in the sun and try to hold everything on my lap to get the show done, but I made it work.
By then, it was time to sit back and enjoy the Derby. Kansas City continues to do a great job hosting this event, and they managed to get their point across to Cano. There's mixed reactions on what to do tonight when Cano steps up to the plate again. Some say to simply cheer (not a standing ovation) for him tonight, as he took his punishment well last night, and now he plays for the American League. Others say it would look bad to waffle on the decision to boo Cano. I'm looking forward to that reaction, and the game itself tonight. My favorite part of the game has always been the introductions, and I'm looking forward to seeing those tonight as well.
For now, it's off to Fan Fest for most of the day before hitting The K one final time tonight.
Check back for more tomorrow morning, and I'll be back on the air tomorrow morning. For more frequent updates, follow me on Twitter by searching for @mchammett.