Major victories do not come often for the Royals. As far as relatively recent history goes, we mostly just have that time we swept the Cardinals in St Louis. The next best thing is for the Yankees to lose. If we are the ones to beat them then so much the better, but watching the Yankees lose when it really matters almost literally leaves a sweet taste in one’s mouth. There are many things to hate about the Yankees: their arrogance, their selfishness, the fact that they think they are entitled to victories and the fact that their glory hunters fill Kauffman Stadium every time they come to town. Robinson Cano recently added another one by snubbing Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby. Billy is not quite a bona fide home run hitter it is true, but he is having a very good year and has actually hit more home runs than Prince Fielder right now. More importantly, however, the Home Run Derby is there to put on a show for the fans and the show would have been a lot nicer with Billy Butler playing in front of his home town crowd. It does not matter which league wins, in fact more than a few Royals fans were cheering for Carlos Beltran of the National League!
But Cano, after hinting that he might choose Butler, chose Mark Trumbo instead. He decided that his league winning a meaningless contest was more important than entertaining the fans who were paying to watch. It was a very typically Yankee thing to do; he may as well have actually stuck two fingers up at the fans. But Royals fans are a mostly knowledgeable bunch. They recognised the snub and responded appropriately: they booed Cano in batting practice, they booed Cano when he was announced and they booed him when he came to the plate whilst mixing in some ‘Billy Butler’ chants. All that was to be expected, but where they really shone was that they never let up. It would have been easy to throw some boos at him and then return to ‘normal service’, but they did not. They booed every pitch to him and roared every time he failed to hit a home run. It clearly got ot Cano who stepped out twice to towel himself off and take another drink of Gatorade. No other player had stepped out at all as far as I had seen. His reception continued and Cano did not manage to hit a single home run, the only player to so fail. Cano snubbed Kansas City and was brought to his knees by our fans. It almost tastes as good as Alex Rodriguez striking out to end the Yankees season last October. I have never been prouder to be a Royals fan; we may be few but we are the best in baseball.