KANSAS CITY -- Good thing the New York Yankees aren't coming into Kansas City again this season. Robinson Cano's eardrums might not survive the booing this time.
Cano got the treatment from Royals fans last year at the All-Star Home Run Derby after he failed to put local favorite Billy Butler on the American League's team of swatters.
When Cano, the Yankees' second baseman, was again named captain of the AL's Derby team for this year's contest at New York's Citi Field, he was asked if he'd pick Butler this year to make amends.
"No chance," Cano said.
Cano smiled when he said it, but Royals fans weren't laughing and neither was Butler, who thought Tuesday's comment was off base.
"I respect Robinson as a great baseball player and I don't feel like he has to make those type of comments, really," Butler said. "The situation had nothing to do with me, I was just a guy that was a part of it. I'd like for him to respect me a little bit more with his comments. There's no reason to say 'no chance' or that kind of stuff."
Butler spoke on Wednesday afternoon in a happy Royals clubhouse after a 10-inning, 3-2 walk-off win over the Tigers.
"I felt like I handled it as a professional during the All-Star break and treated him with respect, let him know it was OK, it wasn't me. I have no ill will toward him," Butler said. "That kind of stuff upsets you a little bit because it has nothing to do with me."
Cano's slight was well-remembered by miffed KC fans when the Yankees visited Kauffman Stadium on May 10-12, who roundly booed Cano whenever he came to the plate. Their mood didn't improve when the Yankees swept the three-game series.
"Obviously, Robinson is still affected by what happened last year and I told him that it had nothing to do with me, it was the fans. The fans ran away with it and everything like that," Butler said.
As much as anything, Butler was surprised by Cano's remark.
"Robinson is just trying to stir the pot again," Butler said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.