Orioles OF Luke Scott (above) is an oft-mocked figure at CSTB, be it for his habit of invoking a Higher Power, prominent role as a 2nd Amendment advocate, and public questioning of President Barack Obama’s place of birth. Sunday, the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck caught up with Scott and along with repeatedly stressing that some of the latter’s best friends are Latinos (“Scott’s locker is positioned in the Orioles spring clubhouse between his best friend on the team, Felix Pie, and newly acquired superstar Vladimir Guerrero…he probably speaks as much Spanish in the locker room as English and he clearly prefers the company of his Latin teammates”) argues Scott isn’t “some kind of cardboard caricature” of a right wing kook. Though he also insists “Scott is — proudly — everything you think he is. ” Yeah, I’m confused too.
Scott’s two worlds collided earlier this spring when he took Pie, minor league shortstop Pedro Florimon and a female ESPN reporter out to shoot at the local gun range. (Somewhere, Andy MacPhail just spit out his soup.)
The Latin connection isn’t just the result of an eye-opening winter ball experience. Scott started picking up Spanish when he was growing up in DeLand, Florida, just outside the Ocala National Forest.
“I began to speak Spanish growing up in my neighborhood,” he said. “When we studied it in school, I just made an effort. It was before professional baseball.”
“When I signed, I always lived with the Latins,” he said. “The other guys, the high school players from the United States, they were used to their parents taking care of them and I don’t deal well with people being irresponsible. Truth is, my Latin teammates were more like me. They loved to cook instead of going out to eat. We worked together. We cleaned up together.”
The daily interplay with Pie isn’t always politically correct, but you won’t hear anything but praise from his young protégé. Pie credits Scott with smoothing his assimilation in the O’s clubhouse and helping him grow into a major league player. By all appearances, they couldn’t be more different, but they have bonded in a very special way.
“I’m a right-winger,” Scott said, “but I’m also a Christian man. I don’t judge people by their culture or the color of their skin. If you look around the world, it’s obvious that God likes variety. If he wanted everyone to be a certain way, he would have made us all the same.”