Jose Bautista threw out Billy Butler at first base from right field (GIF)

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There’s on a roll and there’s whatever it is the Toronto Blue Jays are on right now.

The Jays came into Thursdays game winners of nine straight and 15 of their last 20. To say things have been going well of late for Toronto would be a bit of an understatement.

Edwin Encarnacion hit two more home runs on Thursday, giving him 16 in May. Mark Buehrle has won five of the six starts he’s made this month with a 2.48 ERA in the process.

bautista-throw-billy-butlerAt the end of April, the team was 12-15 and in fourth place in the American League East. After Wednesday’s victory, they were in first place with a 32-22 record.

When the baseball gods are smiling on you, even would-be base hits by the opposition turn into outs. On Thursday, Jose Bautista fielded a ball that made it through the infield off the bat of Billy Butler and threw him out at first base from right field.

Heck of a throw by Jose Bautista or serious lack of speed by Billy Butler?

Billy Butler upset with Robinson Cano over Home Run Derby diss

Billy ButlerFor the second year in a row, there is tension between Robinson Cano and Billy Butler over the Home Run Derby.

Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad last year and upset Kansas City Royals fans by leaving Butler, the Royals’ top hitter, off the team. The All-Star Game was being played at Kauffman Stadium, and many felt that including one of the home team’s top players would have been a nice reward for the home fans. Cano felt differently and left Butler off the squad. The fans in KC protested Cano’s decision by booing him mercilessly during the competition and supposedly going after his family.

This year’s All-Star Game is being played at Citi Field, and Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad once again. When asked if he would make amends by picking Butler for this year’s squad, Cano answered, “no chance.”

Butler found Cano’s “no chance” comment to be disrespectful.

“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 on Wednesday, per MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel. “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 accused Cano of stirring the pot with his “no chance” remark.

“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. “Robinson is just trying to stir the pot again.”

Look, Butler is a very good player and has been a very good player the last four seasons. The Yankees would love to have him on their team. But as good as he is, it needs to be recognized that he is not the kind of slugger fans want to see in a Home Run Derby. He only has five dingers this season. Sure, Cano could have answered the question in a more diplomatic way, but there really is no chance that Butler should be in the Derby. And if it makes you feel any better, Billy, you have killed the Angels this season and I would love to have you on my team.

Royals fans upset with Robinson Cano for not picking Billy Butler for HR Derby

Royals fans are unhappy with Robinson Cano for not choosing Billy Butler to participate in the Home Run Derby, and they expressed their displeasure by constantly booing the Yankees All-Star.

Cano was named captain of the American League Home Run Derby team and the defending champ selected Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, and Prince Fielder as his teammates. The fans in Kansas City booed him when he took batting practice and when he was introduced for the derby.

Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City even bought an airplane banner to complain about Cano’s selection:

Of course the funny part about the whole situation is how out of touch Royals fans are. While we love the support they’re showing Butler, Cano’s sanity would have been questioned had he selected the Kansas City DH.

Butler is a very good hitter — one that any team would want — but he’s not a slugger. His career high for home runs in a season is 21. We appreciate the homerism by Royals fans, but let’s be real — nobody except them wanted to see Butler in the Home Run Derby.

At least Royals fans got their way when Cano was shut out in the derby. The only time they cheered him was when he failed to hit balls out.

Photo credit: Big League Stew