Butler lands on 7-day DL after altercation

Butler lands on 7-day DL after altercation

OAKLAND -- A's designated hitter Billy Butler was forced to go on the seven-day concussion disabled list Monday following an altercation with teammate Danny Valencia in Chicago last week.

Both players were disciplined and fined but not suspended, A's general manager David Forst said.

"We're moving past it. That's it," Forst said Monday afternoon. "I wasn't there, Billy [Beane] wasn't there, the manager didn't see it. I'm not getting into he said-he said recounting what happened, so from the organization standpoint, it's resolved and we're moving past it."

"I think this is the easiest way to move forward," manager Bob Melvin added.

Butler declined to speak to the media on Monday, while Valencia was short with his words, noting he has not spoken to Butler. When asked about their relationship, he responded, "He's just my teammate. I have respect for him. I hope he has respect for me. That's it."

"What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse," Valencia said. "We've handled it internally, and we're going to move on from this point. There's really not much else to it."

The Friday incident is said to have stemmed from comments Butler allegedly made to an equipment representative involving Valencia, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Butler took batting practice Friday but was held out of the lineup Saturday and Sunday because of nausea and vomiting -- often symptoms of a concussion.

The scene underscores ongoing clubhouse chemistry issues with the club, which began last year. The A's worked to rectify the problem when organizing their roster during the offseason, but it has seemingly only worsened during another losing season.

"Well, it's not great," Forst conceded. "Look, it's something we're constantly addressing. Again, there's a little bit of a chicken and egg thing. Winning and good chemistry and losing and bad chemistry. But it's something we're always talking with Bob about and will constantly address."

The A's entered the day a season-high 18 games under .500, having dropped 16 of their last 22 games.

"It's hard," said Melvin, who spoke with the club without Valencia and Butler present on Sunday. "It's been a really difficult season, but no one ever said it was going to be great every year."

"This is not the first time guys have gotten in a fight in the clubhouse," Forst said. "Unfortunately when you're having the kind of season we're having, it's a big story. If we're winning, it would be colorful, but we're not, so guys will move past it. Those guys in there are professionals, all 25 of them."

Forst said Melvin will dictate playing time for Butler and Valencia moving forward. Valencia was not in the lineup for Monday's opener with the Indians but was expected to play Tuesday.

"I just didn't feel like today would be the right day," Melvin said. "He had to listen to a conversation today about some discipline."

Valencia did not issue an apology but offered, "You'd like to handle things differently. But we're handling it in here. It's pretty much it. So you move on from there, finish the season strong."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.