Angels pitcher Ty Buttrey says he abruptly quit baseball in the middle of a promising career because he was playing for the wrong reasons: Money and to prove other people wrong.
“I’m tired of pretending and lying to the best fan base in the world,” the 28-year-old Buttrey wrote on social media. “Life is super simple, find your true passion, find people you love and don’t give a damn what any person outside those lines thinks. People love to have control over others.”
A former fourth-round draft choice of the Red Sox, Buttrey was dealt to the Angels as part of the Ian Kinsler trade in 2018.
Buttrey appeared in 115 innings over the last three seasons with the Angels and became one of the most dependable options in Los Angeles’ bullpen.
But Buttrey surprisingly was left off the Angels roster when spring training broke and did not report to the alternate site for minor-leaguers. He is walking away from a $600,500 salary in 2021 after salaries of at least $545,000 in the previous three seasons, on top of his $1.3 million signing bonus after the draft, according to spotrac.com.
Buttrey finishes his MLB career 8-11 with a 4.30 ERA in 115 innings.
“My whole life I’ve played the game for everyone else,” wrote Buttrey, who also thanked the Angles and their fans for supporting his decision. “I just wanted to prove everyone wrong. When I wouldn’t make a team, I worked 10 [times] harder to avoid being perceived as a failure. As time went on baseball became more of a business and less of a game. I couldn’t help but notice my love and passion for this game started to diminish.”
Buttrey singled out an unidentified teacher in his life who told him his chances of reaching the major leagues were slim and he should lower his expectations to a more realistic career goal.
“I always thought baseball was a cool job,” he wrote. “I also knew that same job paid extremely well. What young kid doesn’t want a cool job that pays well?
“I hyper-focused on every aspect of this game. I increased my level of commitment to make a lot of money and say I have a cool job and to prove to every motherf—– who didn’t believe in me and doubted my ability to become an MLB player that I could do it.”
Buttrey continued, “I made the decision to leave baseball,” Buttrey said. “I contacted the Angles and they asked me to give it some time and think about it. Part of the process was to be optioned [to the minors], which I accepted. I took the additional time to make sure my thoughts were clear. I re-contacted the Angels and told them I was leaving the game for my own personal reasons.”
Buttrey did not specify his next step other than for him and his wife to “start living the life we really want” as a “normal, hardworking dude that loves his family and his friends.”