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.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

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The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.