It’s been a long time since Kansas City fans had something to get truly excited about. The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since 1993 and the Royals’ last postseason appearance came all the way back in 1985.
But with the MLB All-Star festivities on their home field at Kauffman Stadium this week, the long-deprived K.C. faithful finally have reason to cheer... and boo, too.
The fans on hand for Monday’s Home Run Derby cheered the tomahawk swings of two-time defending home run champion Jose Bautista and the pure power of 22-year-old Mark Trumbo. They applauded former Royal Carlos Beltran’s bombs and Prince Fielder’s moonshots into the fountain. And then they booed the living daylights out of American League captain Robinson Cano.
They booed Cano so hard you would have thought he’d ripped down the George Brett statue on the center field concourse or drained the fountains.
The result? Cano failed to hit a home run, triggering the loudest ovation of the night.
“I expected that (reaction),” Cano said. “I was criticized even before I got here. When you play for the Yankees, everywhere you go you get booed.”
That’s a fair point. But you don’t usually get booed like this. And the boos began during introductions when a plane flew over the stadium with a sign that read, “You Blew It, Cano.”
To be fair, Cano’s squad came out swinging. Three of the four AL picks came into the night with more home runs than Butler (16) and the one who had fewer, Fielder (15), ended up winning the event for a second time with a massive power display.
“It was a tough decision,” said Cano, who became the first player since Brandon Inge in 2009 to go homerless. “Adam Dunn has 25 home runs, Adam Jones has 20, Edwin Encarnacion has 23. The thing is, you get to pick three guys and it’s a tough decision.”
Bautista and Fielder were the last men standing, which gave Cano enough consolation after his early exit.
“I picked the right team — we won,” he said. “The American League ended up with the trophy.”
As for Butler, who is the Royals’ lone representative for Tuesday night’s Mid-Summer Classic, he doesn’t have any hard feelings.
“I’m not upset at all,” he said. “I was happy to be out there. I had a great time with my family. ... There’s nothing negative.”
Sure, tell that to the fans in the stands, who will give Cano another warm reception when the American League starters are announced tonight.
What did you think of the booing? Was it warranted? Did the fans go overboard? Did it reflect poorly on the team and it’s fanbase or was everyone just having a little fun at Cano’s expense?
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