Ty is an interviewer’s dream. Thoughtful, responsive, gives full answers and will answer anything. As a result, we hit some topics that go beyond the surface and the interviews run a little longer than usual.
Getting back to how pitcher roles are evolving. The Angels are using an opener quite a bit. Do you embrace that strategy, prefer the old strategy, or not really care as long as we’re winning?
“I don’t mind it. I think if it helps us out and guys like it that’s all that matters. If guys aren’t happy with it and it’s something nobody’s on board for it, then I would not be for it but guys seem to like it so I like it.”
And back to you being the fire stopper, the high leverage guy. The arbitration panel, people in the media, they get hung up on saves rather than Leverage Index and new metrics. That is something they need to catch up to or else guys like you are going to be underpaid. Is that something you want to go into or is that better left for your agent?
“I think, and I don’t want to get into the money aspect of it, but it is an important role and I do think teams are starting to realize that and I think the media is starting to catch up to that.
Just the way the game is and the awareness that these high leverage guys, later innings...we have 3 or 4 guys coming in in the 6th, 7th, 8th inning in big situations. If you can put a fire out in the 7th inning and give your closer a 3 run lead rather than giving up a couple runs and handing over a 1 run lead, there’s a lot to be said for that.
I do think that these later inning guys, people are starting to catch on, and I do think it is going to start getting guys paid the right amount. Without going into specifics, we go out there and our job is extremely hard sometimes.
Look, we’re obviously very fortunate with the lifestyle and all the things that come with being a Major League player but at the same guys want it to be fair. It’s just human nature to want things to be fair and I think it is moving in that direction.”
As far as the lifestyle, is there something either big or small that makes you just think ‘wow, I really am in the Major Leagues’? Travel, hotels, something that you still notice, like ‘man, we didn’t have this in the minors.’
[Chuckles] Yeah, I honestly find myself saying that every single day. Even after a couple of months. It is human nature to take things for granted and honestly I haven’t done that yet. It is everything.
Like with the travel, the hotels. Every time we step into a nice hotel it is surreal because I’m so used to staying in a room, sharing a room with the water leaking and the blinds hanging halfway off the wall. I spent seven years of my life doing that.
So it’s just nice to see the hard work finally pay off.
And the staff, the entire Angels organization. Just having them around, especially our traveling secretary. These guys really cater around us and they do an amazing job.
Because this job can be challenging at times, to have those people is everything. If I had an emergency and had to text somebody at 4 in the morning, they would pick up right away.
And the Angels, they treated me like family when my brother-in-law passed away. I guess it is just the first class treatment. They really try to go the extra mile.
Boston, I was in the minor leagues. They treated us well, they treated us really well in the minor leagues but there’s also just the crap you have to deal with in the minor leagues and I say that because everybody who went through the grind can say that.
It’s a nice feeling.”
And when you aren’t traveling, how much have you been able to get out in Southern California and what are some of your favorite things that you’ve done?
“This All Star break trip I just had has probably been the best, the most needed break that I’ve had to spend time and enjoy California. I think it just, when we have an off day we get in at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and then we sleep until 2 or 3 and we don’t really get going. And some times the off days are on the road. This year we had a couple of rain outs that screwed up our travel.
To be honest, Jeff, I haven’t really been able to get out and enjoy California as much as I wanted because of the schedule. Its a demanding schedule.
I would say probably getting out to the beach and some restaurants. Newport Beach, Laguna Beach. Getting out there on an off day is fun. A lot of times on Sunday we can go out for a good dinner because we’re done by 4 or so. So, yeah, the beaches and restaurants are probably my favorite things that we’ve done so far but I’m staying in Orange County this off season and look forward to doing a lot more.”
Well, Ty if you like restaurants and Newport Beach I’m organizing a charity dinner at a friend of mine’s restaurant in Newport for Halos Heaven and would love to have you join us.
“Really, cool. My wife and I are big into doing charity things. We went to Simmons charity dinner just a while back and had a great time.”
I saw that on your Instagram.
“Yeah. It was fun. Let me know when your dinner is when it gets closer and if my schedule is free I’ll try to make it. If not, we can talk about doing another one.”
We’d love to have you, Ty. All you’d need to do is show up, take some pics with fans, and let me buy you dinner.
“Ha ha, cool.”
Again, thanks for the time Ty, we really appreciate it.
“Anytime, Jeff. Just let me know when you want to do it again.”
So, there we go. Another great chat with Ty Buttrey, Angels fire stopper and all around great guy.