First, before I get started: I'm here to talk baseball. I have a certain set of political viewpoints and the less AN gets to hear about them the better. AN is a baseball blog and political discussion is to be avoided unless absolutely necessary. I may talk in generalities when needed, but that's not my main point here.
Actually, this is my main point: I really think we should make a play for Luke Scott.
If you haven't heard, go to this FanShot and follow the link. Luke Scott said some things to a reporter that were less than genteel about our commander in chief and in general painted himself fairly red. There's some talk that the journalist, knowing Scott's views, entrapped him into saying those things, but that is inconsequential. Even though baseball is a very political sport, it's usually not smiled upon to bring up one's viewpoints the way a boxer would. This is THE PASTIME, everyone is supposed to leave their political loyalties at the gate, and Luke Scott's crime was disrespecting that line and nothing more. Even so, the Orioles are distancing themselves from Scott's viewpoints and in my little opinion here, they might just dump him off on the first team that'll give them anything in return.
I really, really, really, really want the A's to be that team.
It's a perfect situation for an A's front office which has struck out too many times already this offseason. We have questions at RF and DH, Scott has the glove and the bat to work at either position. He is very similar to Cust's value from a wOBA standpoint; a few less walks, less K-ing, a few more hits, solid power. However, he acquits himself far better with the glove than Jack, rating out to an average to slightly-below-average outfielder over his three years in Baltimore. How does an outfield of DDJ, Crisp and Scott sound? Awesome? Yes.
Luke Scott is a good baseball player with a deteriorating reputation that has nothing to do with his ability to play baseball well. If his "problem personality" makes him cheaper, then I see no reason not to make a play for him because I personally don't see the problem getting in the way of his production. I don't really see it as a problem at all, people have all different sorts of political viewpoints out there and Luke Scott has a right to his regardless of what I think about them. And hey, if we don't like him, he's a FA next year anyhow and we can let him go and probably take some draft picks for our trouble.
One question remains: If you don't agree with his politics (necessary disclaimer: I don't), is he harder to root for? And I think it does make him a little harder to like. But I'm just surprised this sort of clash doesn't come up more often with ballplayers. Here's a guy who grew up in rural Florida who is now playing baseball in a large metro area adjacent to the nation's capital. The possibility for cultural and political difference in that transition is absolutely massive, even ignoring the demographic tendencies of the respective areas.
And I've always found it incredible how I feel about a player once I see him producing in my team's uniform, and this interview will slowly slip into memory and give us interesting late night conversations about the politics of ballplayers and entertainers, with each Scott dinger making us care just a little bit less about how right he is of center. After all, don't our massive political differences sort of dissolve when at the ballgame?