Oakland Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler apologized for his role in the clubhouse scuffle with teammate Danny Valencia that landed Butler on the seven-day concussion DL, calling the incident "something that could have been prevented on both sides."
"First off, I want to say to my teammates, I want to apologize for putting them through this because they didn't deserve this," Butler said Wednesday when speaking to the media, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "This was an issue between me and Danny.
"They didn't deserve this, the coaching staff didn't deserve this, the organization didn't deserve this."
Butler suffered a concussion in a fight with Valencia on Friday after the third baseman punched him in the temple, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.
While details of the fight have not been revealed publicly, the Chronicle reported Monday, citing multiple sources who were present, that it began before batting practice over what Butler apparently said to Valencia while an equipment representative was in the clubhouse.
According to the Chronicle, Butler had interrupted Valencia's conversation with the equipment rep to say Valencia regularly uses spikes that are in breach of his contract, adding that the rep's company should terminate Valencia's endorsement deal.
Words were exchanged between the two players, and Valencia punched Butler in the head before the brief fight that followed was broken up, the Chronicle reported.
"It was one of those things, we both had equal fault in this," Butler said Wednesday. "I definitely said some things you shouldn't, I definitely stepped in an area you shouldn't. That wasn't my business."
Butler, 30, said he apologized to his A's teammates individually, along with manager Bob Melvin and the front office. He did not have time to speak to Valencia, 31, ahead of Tuesday's game against Cleveland,but planned to make it a priority.
"I know I regret what I did, I think he regrets what he did," Butler said. "By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion, I think that's fair to say."
Butler and Valencia have been teammates in both Kansas Cityand Oakland in parts of 2014 and 2015 and all of 2016. According to Butler, the two players "go back and forth on each other every day, and some of that is me some days, some of that's him some days, most of the time it's in good fun. Whenever you're doing that on a consistent basis, sometimes you get offended, sometimes you're having fun."
Butler is eligible to come off the DL on Monday and is expected to take a concussion test over the weekend in St. Louis.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Billy Butler apologizes for role in clubhouse fight with Danny Valencia