Though he never had the chance to wear the cartoon bird on his cap day-in and day out, former Orioles outfielder and current Tampa Bay Ray Luke Scott is doing his best to, well, remain a cartoon character with his new ballclub -- and he’s still endearing himself to Orioles fans while doing it.
“As a baseball player, going [to Fenway Park] to work, it’s a dump,” Scott told Scott Chastain of MLB.com earlier this week. “I mean, it’s old. It does have a great feel and nostalgia, but at the end of the day, I’d rather be at a good facility where I can get my work in. A place where I can go hit in the cage. Where I have space and it’s a little more comfortable to come to work.
“You’re packed in like sardines there. It’s hard to get your work in. ... You have to go to their weight room if you want to lift. From a fan’s perspective, it’s probably pretty cool to go see a game at a historic park. But from a player’s point of view, it’s not a place where you want to go to work.”
If we populated these pages with everything Luke Scott said that was somewhat inflammatory, comical, or both, there would be no room for much else. But given Orioles fans’ disdain for teams whose fans try to take over Camden Yards, I bet many will find it satisfying that he’s needling the Red Sox and all who adore their 100-year-old ballpark.
Scott, a career .265 hitter, is right around his career average for games in Boston. He’s batting .257 with one home run in 22 career games at Fenway, according to Baseball-Reference.com, so it’s not like he’s biased because of his own performance.
There’s even the spot that he’s speaking rationally and for the majority of ballplayers who don’t like donning the road grays at Fenway, though I’m not sure who will claim Scott as a spokesman.
But a word to the wise. A similarly opinionated baseball name in Scott's new home state by the name of Ozzie Guillen also developed a reputation for speaking off the cuff. Then the new Miami Marlins manager spouted off about Fidel Castro -- a subject matter the locals are understandably passionate about -- and was finally held accountable for his words.
Though Scott’s new home is a long way from Boston, he should still be careful. When a team in Tampa Bay is signing your paychecks, you might want to temper any talk that being advanced in years -- be it an older ballpark or an elderly person -- is a bad thing.