KC at Bat: Butler tries his hand at TV interviews

Affable Billy Butler was testing his skills as an interviewer  in the Royals’ camp on Monday, hoping to take over the “Mark Teahen Show” which had been shown on the Kauffman Stadium video board and on the Royals Insider TV show.

With cameraman Stephen Spiegel trailing him, Butler accosted teammate David DeJesus who was just finishing up an interview with several reporters. Butler jumped in with a burning question: “What’s your favorite color?” DeJesus was quick with his answer: “Royal blue.”

Butler merrily asked questions of other players and this reporter who just as merrily gave him a “no comment.”

The Teahen production was a whimsical, mostly nonsensical series of give-and-take with teammates. But now that he’s gone to the White Sox, the job of host was open.

Or was it? With the Royals Insider TV show canceled this year, Butler may be auditioning for a gig that no longer exists. That would be too bad. Billy seemed to be having a ball.

Catcher Jason Kendall joining the Royals after his father, Fred, had been a coach in KC prompted the topic of other father-son combinations with the club. There were three combos as players: Hal and Brian McRae, John and Dusty Wathan and Floyd and Brian Bannister. There was the manager-player combo of Tony Pena and Tony Pena Jr. and, of course, Hal McRae and John Wathan also were Royals managers. Royals staffers Colby Curry and Curt Nelson dug into the matter. Nelson, director of the Royals Hall of Fame, noted there were other Royals players who had big-league fathers including Bob Boone (Ray), Chris Haney (Larry), Kurt Stillwell (Ron), Mel Stottlemyre Jr. (Mel) and Danny Tartabull (Jose) although the dads didn’t play with the Royals. The only brother combination to play for the Royals apparently was George and Ken Brett. . . . Umpires supervisor Steve Palmero dropped by the Royals’ camp to meet with manager Trey Hillman, coaches and staff about proposed rules changes and interpretations. As usual, Palmero is interested in ways to speed up the game, one of his pet projects. . . . Former Royals infielder Tony Graffanino visited ex-teammates in the clubhouse. He’s retired now after 13 Major League seasons with seven teams, bowing out last year in a brief stint with Cleveland.

–Dick Kaegel

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