Luke Scott has never been a guy that’s beaten around the bush with regard to where he stands on many issues. In fact, there’ve been many times where he’s put his foot in his mouth on numerous issues and topics such as politics. Nevertheless, the great thing about America is that we have the right to express our opinions for the most part without fear of retribution from the government. Again, not one to be soft-spoken, Scott’s done it again. Now a member of the Tampa Rays, Scott spoke to mlb.com’s Bill Chastain regarding the magical closing to the 2011 season. Scott called it the “greatest night in baseball history.” I’m not 100% sure about that one, however I do agree that it’s up there. It’s one of the “coolest” moments I’ve ever been a part of for sure as a person that follows the game. To say the least, anyone at either game (in Tampa or Baltimore) or who watcher either on television will not soon forget that moment.
Scott went onto tell Chastain why he felt it was such as special moment. Needless to say, his opinion of the Red Sox and their fans isn’t exactly high:
Just their arrogance,” Scott said. “The fans come in and they take over the city. They’re ruthless. They’re vulgar. They cause trouble. They talk about your family. Swear at you. Who likes that? When people do that, it just gives you more incentive to beat them. Then when things like [the last game of last season] happen, you celebrate even more. You go to St. Louis — classiest fans in the game. You do well, there’s no vulgarity. You know what? You don’t wish them bad.”
I’ve attended many Orioles/Red Sox games at Camden Yards as a fan in the past, and I know exactly what Scott is saying. Nobody can fault Red Sox fans for buying tickets in opposing ballparks, however some of the behaviors I’ve seen by some of them is downright repugnant. I’ve seen Boston fans defiling Oriole memoabilia, taunting and harrassing Oriole fans, swearing at Oriole players, and even having the nerve of believing that the retired #8 at Camden Yards was for Yaz (that one bothered me). These same scenes have undoubtedly unfolded over the years at Tropicana Field as well. So while Scott has probably made some enemies in Beantown this week, he can also probably eat for free at any restaurant in Tampa or Baltimore!
On the flip side, I’m not sure how good of an idea it is for a player to be calling out fans (of any team). That’s the PR side of me talking I suppose, because deep in the pit of my stomach I agree with Luke Scott. Quite frankly I’m glad that someone actually said something about this. However this game is for the fans, just as all sports should be. So is Scott doing a disservice to the game and his new team by talking like this? It’s tough to say. One thing is for sure though, a player going off on opposing fans is probably not going to make them stop and think about how they’re behaving. If anything, it’ll probably make things worse.
As I said above, Scott has made no friends in Beantown this week. However read into what he said; he didn’t call out the fans at Fenway. I’ve been to Fenway Park, and I can honestly say that the fans that attend games there are some of the best, most respectful, and most knowledgable fans in sports. Most of them have had tickets in their families for generations, which is part of the reason why it’s so difficult to get into a game there. Most of the people about whom Scott’s talking are people that go on the road with the Red Sox because they can’t get or can’t afford tickets at Fenway. In fact, many of the Red Sox “fans” at Camden Yards aren’t even from Boston, nor do they have any ties to Boston. There’s no doubt that the Red Sox have a national fan base, however my point is that there’s a big difference between the Fenway faithful and the people that follow the Red Sox on the road.
So I suppose what I’m saying is that I do agree with Luke Scott. There was a big part of me that laughed at the Red Sox fans that were crying last September as well. However I just wish that it was something that remained unspoken or at least not as boisterously put as Luke Scott said it. In no way did I feel sorry for the Red Sox fans I heard calling into national radio shows the next day that seemed to feel they were entitled to go to the playoffs. I heard one caller on a show even say that he felt the Orioles had no business playing those games as seriously as they did given that they had nothing to play for. Those are the folks for whom I have no sympathy, and exactly the ones that Luke Scott’s calling out with his comments. I just didn’t think it was something that needed to be said. So in saying that he shouldn’t have said that but then saying that I agreed with the sentiment, am I passive-aggressively saying that I’m glad he said what he said? There’s always more than meets the eye!
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