Luke Scott: “Obama does not represent America … he was not born here”

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Yesterday Orioles’ DH Luke Scott came into the media room here at the Winter Meetings. No real reason, it seemed. He was with Buck Showalter when Showalter was doing his manager availability, and was kind of standing around. I snapped this picture of him because I thought it was pretty sweet that he was walking around with a new beard, a trucker’s cap and an 8×10 glossy of deer that he killed.

After I took the pic Dave Brown of Yahoo! went over to talk to Scott. For those who don’t know, Dave is a fantastic interviewer, with his Answer Man columns easily topping any Q and A out there.  He always manages to elicit fun stuff from his subjects.  I’m not sure what he got out of Scott can be classified as “fun,” however. More like “nutsy, unhinged crapola.”

After a lot of conversation about hunting, Scott made some comments about socialism. Dave asked him what he thought of the job Obama is doing. Scott launched into outer space:

Obama … hmm … Obama does not represent America. Nor does he represent anything what our forefathers stood for … He was not born here. That’s my belief. I was born here. If someone accuses me of not being born here, I can go — within 10 minutes — to my filing cabinet and I can pick up my real birth certificate and I can go, “See? Look! Here it is.

At which point in the column Dave provides a link and an image of Obama’s birth certificate. Because it exists and it is valid and people who argue to the contrary are either idiots or liars or sheep or all three.

So, Luke Scott: excellent hitter. Polite fellow in person. Complete nutjob.

Audio of Scott’s comments is available on this MSNBC report.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.