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Luke Scott Immature in Poking Red Sox Fans: A Fan’s Take
Given the sheer size of last season's collapse and the exposure of the chicken and beer clubhouse culture, it has become increasing easy to pile it on to the Boston Red Sox. From fans of both other teams and the Red Sox alike, it has become almost second-nature to include a reference to the epic decline of last year's squad, both on and off the field. A collapse of that magnitude is just cannon fodder and will not soon be forgotten.
Still, with all the noise from those in the stands and in front of their televisions, there has been little chatter amongst the players outside of those Red Sox players owning up to their part in the collapse. For the most part, opposing teams have taken the high road and kept it professional.
Until now that is.
In a recent interview with MLB.com, newly-signed Luke Scott of the Tampa Bay Rays has anointed himself the voice of the people and vocalized just how delicious the polarization of Red Sox Nation was to him and his former Baltimore teammates. Maybe Scott is taking a page from the book of his former manager, Buck Showalter, who made a point of digging his heels in against the Red Sox last season. Or maybe it is a bit of attitude and interview skills learned from former teammate Kevin Gregg, who famously plunked David Ortiz last season in a statement that the Orioles were not afraid of the Red Sox.
In his interview, Scott was quoted as saying, "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."
Well, as a fan of the Red Sox, of course I am going to be heartbroken and take it hard after watching my team collapse in that manner. It was tough to watch. Still, I don't wish that on a fan of any team, no matter how passionate they are.
Furthermore, as a fan I can understand that players are going to relish the role of the Cinderella and spoiling another team's chances by playing it out to the very end, as they should. A team like last year's Orioles should have enjoyed their victory and treated it like their own little playoff celebration.
Of course, Scott feels like he can talk trash to the Red Sox, as he owns a lifetime .295 batting average with 9 home runs and 24 RBI in the 28 games he has played against them, but taking shots at the fans is just low. If he has a problem with the traveling Red Sox fans taking over, then he shouldn't be lashing out at those fans being passionate about their team, regardless of venue. He should be focusing on getting the home fans to engage the team, show the level of passion that a home crowd should, and drown out the visiting fans, something that Baltimore fans have struggled with in recent seasons due to the team's perfomance. Then again, that is not an excuse for Scott's new team, as the Rays have struggled to get fans to even show up for the games, regardless of the team's sustained success over the last four seasons.
No, Scott instead pokes at those that cannot defend themselves, those who do not have the ear of a beat writer looking for something to run in his next column. He specifically mentions Cardinals fans as the pillar that all fans should strive to be, and rightfully so, but he fails to note that there are fans of the Phillies, Mets, and Yankees that are all equally as passionate about their teams and not entirely receptive to opposing teams either. He will find those fans in every market he plays in, but he will also find hospitable, good natured fans of the game that are also incredibly passionate about their teams.
If Scott wants everyone to be warm and fuzzy to him, then perhaps he should start by not poking them with a stick. We Red Sox fans are a fickle bunch and if you set a fire under us, you can bet we'll show our teeth.
And we get 18 opportunities, both in Boston and in our second home in Tampa, to show those teeth.
The author is a lifelong, passionate Red Sox fan and proud of it. He also has an inkling who Josh Beckett will be throwing in on next season.
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