Butler brings his quest for a World Series title to Bay Area
By Cash Kruth
Last season ended oh so close for Billy Butler, as his Royals team came up 90 feet short of tying the Giants in Game 7 of the World Series.
Now, Butler's ready for a new season in a new place, as he begins his first season in Oakland.
"I'm looking forward to a clean start this season," Butler said, "because coming up 90 feet short of [tying] a World Series, you're looking forward to playing that first game and getting that last memory out of your mind and getting another season started."
Butler signed with Oakland as a free agent, after spending his entire eight-year career in Kansas City. He's a .295/.359/.449 career hitter, with five seasons of 15-plus home runs.
"I was brought in to be a middle-of-the-order bat and to be a force in the lineup -- to drive in a lot of runs," Butler said. "Extra-base hits are big for guys in the lineup. [While I'm not aiming for] any certain numbers ... run production is a big part [of] me contributing to this team."
Butler had another productive season in 2014, as he hit .271. But his power numbers dipped, as he belted just nine homers. Butler will be looking to increase those power numbers this season -- and also looking forward to another chance to face the Giants.
"I'm out to prove that I'm a valuable piece [of] a championship team," Butler said. "I'm a little sour the Giants beat me in the World Series. It's the Bay Area, [so I want to] go get the [Bay Bridge Series] when we play them this year. So I'm excited for that."
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.