Stories You May've Missed: Royals' All-Star Butler Close To Getting Snubbed Twice

July 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; American League designated hitter Billy Butler (16) of the Kansas City Royals waves his cap to the crowd as he is introduced before the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

Royals' All-Star Game representative Billy Butler was left out of the Home Run Derby competition, and it was getting pretty late in the Midsummer Classic itself before his number was finally called.

Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox was the only American League position player not to get into the 2012 MLB All-Star Game Tuesday night. Dunn is a designated hitter like Billy Butler of the hometown Royals. Dunn ostensibly told AL manager Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers, who some may not know was a product of the Royals' Baseball Academy in the early 1970s, that he could use the extra rest and didn't need to play if that would make room for some of the young players, like Butler.

It was also reported prior to the game, by MLB Network, that Boston slugger David Ortiz was going to bat the first time through the order and then relinquish his DH spot to Butler. As we now know, that didn't happen, but Butler did get in the game as the DH, replacing Ortiz in the order, in the seventh inning. The Kansas City DH got two plate appearances in the game and went one for two, grounding out to third in the seventh and striking out in the ninth.

Watson Playing In His 38th British Open

When they tee them up beginning next Thursday for the 141st Open Championship (formerly the British Open) at Royal Lytham in Scotland, five-time British Open champion and Kansas Citian Tom Watson will be in the field, probably as the oldest participant, at age 62. Watson's titles in the UK's major championship have come on five different courses - Carnoustie (1975), Turnberry (1977), Muirfield (1980), Royal Troon (1983) and Royal Birkdale (1985) - but never at Royal Lytham, site of this year's rotating Championship.

A couple of weeks ago, during the Royals' weekend series against I-70 rival St. Louis in Kansas City, Watson was being interviewed by Rex Hudler of the Royals' broadcast team and told the story of a conversation between baseball Hall-of-Famer Mickey Mantle and legendary golfer Sam Snead.

The two iconic sports figures were challenging each other on which man's game was the better, more competitive sport, Watson said. Mantle said to Snead: What is so difficult about golf? You hit a stationary white ball that's sitting up nice and fat for you to swing at, and then you chase after it and do the same thing all over again. That can't possibly be as difficult as hitting a thrown baseball that is jumping all over the place coming at you at 80 or 90 mph. Yeah, Snead said, but we have to play our foul balls.

Call-Up Status For Royals Prospects: Meyers Maybe, Odorizzi No, GM Moore Says

In an interview earlier this week with WHB 810 Sports personality Kevin Keitzman, Royals' general manager Dayton Moore said there is a good chance the team's best minor league prospect, outfielder Will Meyers, will get called up to the big league team before season's end, but he said pitcher Jake Odorizzi would probably finish out the year at Omaha, the Royals Class AAA affiliate.

Meyers, a homegrown Royals player, has 27 home runs in the first half of the minor-league season (14 with Class AAA Omaha and 13 with Class AA Northwest Arkansas). He drove in three of the U.S. squad's 17 runs in the Futures Game last Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Meyers also got some notoriety for hitting a foul ball during the game that shattered the lens in the ESPN home-plate camera. Later in the week, Meyers was two-for-three with three RBI in the Class AAA All-Star Game in Buffalo, N.Y. He was named the PCL Star of Stars in that game.

Odorizzi, acquired from Milwaukee and one of the players in the Zack Greinke trade, also played in the All-Star Futures game, is 5-0 with an ERA of 2.83 in nine games at Omaha.

Both players are considered top prospects in the Royals' farm system.

Pitching Prospect Mike Montgomery Going The Wrong Direction

Once considered the top minor-league pitching prospect in the Royals' organization, left-handed starter Mike Montgomery has been sent down by Omaha to the next level down, Class AA Northwest Arkansas to work on his delivery and regain his confidence. Montgomery had gone 0-4 in his last six starts, allowing 36 runs in 30 innings. He is 8-17 in 45 games over the last two seasons, and his ERA has bloomed to 5.46 over that time.

"We just felt that we needed to reset some things and get him back to some of the basics, " Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore said. "We think it's the best thing for his development right now."

Montgomery was ranked the 19th best MLB prospect overall by Baseball America in 2011.

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