KC Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino directly addresses Byron Buxton dirty play accusations

Kansas City's first baseman cleared the air regarding Tuesday's collision.
David Berding/GettyImages

The KC Royals are struggling in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Twins, but their winning chances took a big hit when first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino took one himself.

Early in Tuesday's contest, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton clipped an outstretched Pasquantino on a play at first base. Buxton's knee hit Pasquantino's lower leg, sending him crumpling to the ground. It was not a pretty play and quickly drew the ire of Royals fans.

Many, including this writer, felt the incident looked intentional on Buxton's part. The speedster ran far outside the basepaths, and trying to curl back into his lane caused the contact. Whether reckless or ill-willed, the play still added insult to injury in Tuesday's 4-2 loss. The AL Central rivals are in the thick of the playoff hunt, still trailing the division leader Cleveland Guardians by multiple games.

The KC Royals first baseman did not mince words regarding Byron Buxton.

Pasquantino took some time ahead of Wednesday's contest to address why he was missing from the lineup. The first baseman thought himself "fortunate" not to be more seriously injured following the play and seemed emphatic that he was available off the bench. Regarding Buxton and any possible dirty play, Pasquantino cleared the air.

"“First off, Byron is a good dude. I have played against him for a while, not a crazy long time, but enough to get to know him a little bit. He’s not a dirty player by any means. So I know for a fact that is not something he is trying to do by any means.”"

Vinnie Pasquantino

Pasquantino also said he watched the play back a few times, concluding Buxton "wasn’t over the base, by any means." If that is how the first baseman feels and evaluates the play, there is no point in harboring ill feelings toward Buxton.

The Royals announced Pasquantino's status midway through Tuesday's game. It was some welcome good news and was the best outcome for the first baseman.

Utilityman Nick Loftin started at first base in Pasquantino's sted, his fourth MLB start there. Pasquantino clarified his availability, so Loftin starting at first may be a one-off. Catcher Salvador Perez moved to first after Pasquantino's exit Tuesday but returned behind the plate on Wednesday.

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