Butler: 'We had equal fault in this'

Veteran discusses altercation with teammate Valencia

Butler: 'We had equal fault in this'

OAKLAND -- A contrite Billy Butler addressed the media on Wednesday for the first time since a clubhouse fight with Danny Valencia last Friday left him with a concussion, expressing remorse for his role in the altercation while also saying he believes he can co-exist with Valencia moving forward.

Butler was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Monday, the same day Valencia briefly addressed the incident. Butler said he has spent the last several days individually apologizing to teammates, as well as manager Bob Melvin, executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst.

Butler and Valencia have not spoken as of Wednesday morning, but Butler said they plan to. Both players were disciplined and fined but not suspended.

"This was something that could've been prevented on both sides," Butler said. "We had equal fault in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn't have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn't my business."

Friday's altercation resulted from a comment Butler made to an equipment representative about Valencia, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Butler called the incident a "reaction," saying both players regret what occurred.

"By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion," Butler said. "This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team."

Butler noted he and Valencia have a history together as teammates dating back to their time with the Royals in 2014. It's not uncommon for the pair to trade back-and-forth barbs in the locker room, which Butler said "most of the time is in good fun." He believes the two players will move on from it, saying he respects Valencia.

"To say that we're enemies is not right," Butler said. "To blame this all on one side is not right either."

Butler's unsure when he'll return to the field, but he is encouraged by his progress in the last 24 hours. He'll travel to St. Louis on the team's next road trip, where he could take the necessary test to come off the concussion DL and is eligible to return Monday.

When Butler does, he'll return to an A's team that Forst acknowledged on Monday has dealt with chemistry issues over the past two seasons. Butler said his actions weren't acceptable from the standpoint of being a team veteran, but he doesn't believe there will be issues moving forward with his teammates.

"I've talked with them," Butler said. "I've apologized to them and everything like that. I'm not trying to speak for anybody else. I don't see it being an issue. I don't think they really had an issue with me at all, to begin with, on this. Besides the fact I brought a distraction that brought away from the attention we're trying to get better on the field, I think that's not good from a veteran standpoint."

Butler also said his opinions of the incident with Valencia have changed over the past three days, saying he would've addressed the incident differently with the media earlier this week, adding "that wouldn't have been good for me."

"I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this," Butler said, "because they didn't deserve this. "This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn't deserve this. The coaching staff didn't deserve this. The organization didn't deserve this."

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.