Luke Scott is coming back from shoulder surgery and Rays manager Joe Maddon said today that he won’t play the field at all during spring training, sticking strictly to designated hitter duties.
That isn’t such a big deal, as Scott is slated to be the Rays’ regular DH, but it does indicate that he’s not fully recovered from the operation to repair a torn labrum in July.
Scott was non-tendered by the Orioles in December following a career-worst season that saw him play just 64 games while hitting .220 with a .703 OPS. He got a one-year, $6 million deal from the Rays that includes a $6 million option for 2013, and the 33-year-old Scott posted an OPS above .800 in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Maddon and the Rays have so far laughed off Scott’s various headline-grabbing quotes and behavior, but his outspokenness probably won’t be so amusing if it doesn’t come with 25 homers.
Luke Scott made headlines last year for his comments about Barack Obama and already this week he’s brought seven-foot-long, pig-killing spears into the Rays clubhouse and expressed his hatred for communists, so today he shifted his attention to Red Sox fans.
He doesn’t like them either, as Scott told Bill Chastain of MLB.com:
Just their arrogance. 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.
When it comes to people who should be lecturing other people on civility I’m sure Luke Scott is near the top of everyone’s list.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times had an interesting note about new Rays designated hitter Luke Scott, who in addition to being a good baseball player is well known for hunting large animals and saying controversial things about Barack Obama:
Scott brought the two 7½-foot spears that he has used to kill wild pigs to the clubhouse, showing them off to inquiring teammates (and reporters). “Guys were asking me about them,” he said. “Take a look, see what you think, come out (hunting) if you want.”
Topkin’s article also includes this quote from Scott:
You don’t have to worry about me unless you’re a criminal or a communist.
Scott and Rays manager Joe Maddon seem like a … well, let’s say “interesting” match. Of course, if he hits like he did prior to 2011 something tells me Scott and Maddon will get along beautifully no matter what.