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Report: Billy Butler injured in clubhouse “altercation” with teammate Danny Valencia

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Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Athletics DH Billy Butler was injured in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia. Butler has been absent for the last two games and Valencia was not in Sunday’s lineup, either.

The Athletics have been pretty mum about the issue, as expected. Valencia would only offer a “no comment,” and added, “What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”

Manager Bob Melvin told the media on Saturday that Butler was out with nausea and vomiting, but specifically said that he wasn’t suffering from the flu. Slusser then notes that nausea and vomiting are symptoms of a concussion.

Slusser also points out that Butler and Valencia, who were also teammates with the Royals in 2014, are “known to engage in a great deal of loud banter in the clubhouse and on the field.”

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we should soon hear more details about what happened. Right now, it’s not a good look for the Athletics.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?