The Travesty Of Naming Billy Butler The 2012 Silver Slugger At DH

By Thom Tsang
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Sorry, Billy Butler.

You had a pretty nice season for the Kansas City Royals in 2012; probably your best, in fact. For all of that hard work, you were named the best DH in MLB baseball this season and given a Silver Slugger award last night – congratulations.

Except…well, I don’t know how else to put this, Billy, but you’re not the best guy.

Not even close.

That you were given the award was but a hilarious oversight from the voters, who apparently forgot that they play baseball up in Toronto, Canada, and that the Toronto Blue Jays have a guy named Edwin Encarnacion.

See, this Encarnacion guy, he was the DH for the Blue Jays for 82 games out of the season – splitting the rest of his time at first base, kind of like you did! Yeah, I know, he didn’t play as many games in the DH as you did; but Aubrey Huff only played 98 games at DH in 2008 too, and nobody seemed have a problem with him being a Silver Slugger at DH then.

Now, I know you’re probably wondering – how did you and Encarnacion stack up?

Not very well for you, I’m afraid. Now, I don’t mean to point this out to be vindictive, but the thing is, Encarnacion has you beat in just about every offensive statistic out there: he hit more home runs than you did (42 v. 29), had more extra-base hits (66 v. 62), scored more runs (110 v. 107), collected more RBI (110 v. 107).

Oh, and all of those numbers? He got those in 35 fewer plate appearances than you did, too.

Wait, Billy, I’m not done here. Encarnacion also had more walks than you (84 v. 54), and struck out fewer times (94 v. 111). He posted a better OBP (.384 v. .373) and OPS (.941 v. .882) too…and yeah, I’m sorry to have to say that even those crazy newfangled sabermetric numbers don’t really side with you, either, with Edwin putting together a better wOBA (.396 v. .377) and a wRC+ advantage of 152 to 140.

It’s not a total loss, though. You did manage a better average (.313 v. .280), and notched more overall hits (192 v. 152); that’s…two whole categories, Billy! Even if you were behind in uh, all of the other ones!

Now look, I don’t want to sound like I’m holding the award against ya. You’re probably a smart guy, and you probably keep track of who is doing well on other teams from time to time during the season. I’m just saying that maybe you want to do the right thing here, and pass that award on north of the border to its rightful recipient.

Okay, so maybe you don’t want to do that – how about a brief phone call congratulating the rightful winner? It should have been Encarnacion’s first, after all.

Just because the people who decided the winners of these awards made a laughable blunder, doesn’t mean you have to.

Think on it, Billy – that’s all I’m asking.

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