Was Brian Butterfield dismissed by the LA Angels for this polarizing reason?

Sep 28, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels infield/third base coach Brian Butterfield
Sep 28, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Angels infield/third base coach Brian Butterfield / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Some controversial news on LA Angels 2021 third base coach Brian Butterfield was just released, and it may have revealed why he was dismissed by the team.

It's that Butterfield is unvaccinated for COVID-19. Why is this notable? Among multiple reasons, the biggest one is that he has not been able to be hired by the New York Mets due to his vaccination status.

It's surprising because he was expected to be hired by the Mets' new Manager Buck Showalter. They were Minor League teammates in 1982 for the Yankees AA team (Nashville) then, and was his first base coach for two years under Showalter as a coach for the Yankees when Showalter was the Manager. He followed Showalter to Arizona as well.

Showalter will not hire Brian Butterfield due to him refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Brian Butterfield, who was the LA Angels third base coach for two years, does not believe in the coronavirus vaccine.

“It comes down to what I believe in,” said Butterfield. “The stuff that I’ve felt for years about our Food and Drug Administration, everything that goes on behind the vaccinations, I have real strong feelings about not wanting to put that into my body.”

Showalter spoke on what would happen if Butterfield would finally get the shots.

“I love him to death,” said Showalter. “If he called me tomorrow and said, ‘I’ve changed my mind and I’ll come,’ I’d figure out every which way I could to get him.”

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Showalter expressed that Butterfield has a bit of a stubborn personality at times, and therefore arguing with him isn't going to change his mind. Here's an excerpt from Rosenthal's piece:

"Showalter said he did not agree with Butterfield’s opposition to the vaccine. But he recalled his former coach’s stubborn streak on baseball matters from their days together with the Yankees and Diamondbacks, and was not about to get into an argument with him. “I know him too well to try to talk him into something like that,” said Showalter, who regards Butterfield as the best infield coach in baseball, adding that the Phillies’ Bobby Dickerson, Mariners’ Perry Hill and Braves’ Ron Washington are also among the elite and that he might regard Mets new third-base coach Joey Cora just as highly once he gets to know him better."

Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

It all begs the question of whether this was the reason Butterfield was let go from the Halos. After all, if a very accomplished manager in Showalter says he's the best infield coach in baseball, why else would he have been let go? For what it's worth, Butterfield refutes this, but also doesn't have any explanation as to why he was dismissed.

“There were some other things," said Butterfield. "I’d rather not talk about that. It was a little bit of a difficult situation.”

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After all, Rosenthal did report that a "club source" said the same thing. Regardless, it's possible, and unfortunately this decision has cost Butterfield to continue staying in this great game.