KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Already with a crowd and perhaps a city against him, Robinson Cano turned to his dad for salvation. It didn't help.
After frustrating Royals fans by not picking hometown favorite Billy Butler to participate in Monday's Home Run Derby, the Yankees second baseman and American League Derby captain became the lone contestant not to hit at least one home run. It was a far cry from last season, when Cano, receiving pitches from his father Jose, won the contest and the hearts of fans around the nation.
Jose Cano was on the mound again Monday, but he didn't bring his magic pitching touch to the Midwest. And the Kauffman Stadium crowd loved every minute of it.
Cano originally pledged to pick a Royal for the Derby since it was in Kansas City. But he eventually decided against it, a move that didn't sit well with Royals fans.
Even before Cano batted, the crowd chanted, "Billy Butler! Billy Butler!" in reference to the Kansas City All-Star, and then alternated loud boos with cheers as each ball Cano hit fell short of the wall. The loudest cheers of the night came when Cano's 10th and final out fell hopelessly into the grass in short center field.
Earlier in the evening, a plane made several passes above Kauffman Stadium pulling a sign that read, "CONGRATS BILLY! YOU BLEW IT CANO 810 WHB." A local Kansas City sports talk radio station apparently footed the bill.
Butler, the Royals' lone All-Star, has 16 home runs at the All-Star break. He was cheered loudly when shown on the video board while Cano batted.