What in the world is Bobby Valentine going to say about this? So far, he has tweaked the likes of Terry Francona, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and others with his rapier wit. Now, he might be on the verge of sparring with a man who owns the biggest arsenal of guns and fishing spears in Major League Baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays slugger Luke Scott, who not 48 hours ago confined his enemies to "criminals and communists," forgot one. Fans of the Olde Towne Teame, the Boston Red Sox.
Scott, reminiscing about his time sitting injured in the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse watching the Red Sox collapse and the Rays rise up against the Yankees on the final day of the 2011 season, said his teammates were pulling for Tampa Bay all of the way. Why was he, MLB.com asked? Because Scott really dislikes Red Sox fans.
"Just their arrogance," Scott said. "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."
Luke might want to check with Cubs fans on that last point, but OK. Further, there's no sense in arguing, intellectually, that one fan group is "more" vulgar than another. I do like the "ruthless" smear, though. It's probably the one complimentary nugget Scott tossed Boston's way. Scott obviously doesn't like Red Sox fans, but he's also acknowledging that they are a force with which to be reckoned. Hey, at least he didn't say they're all from Old England instead of New.
[ Related: Video: How will Bobby Valentine impact Red Sox? ]
Now, the other side: Can we just let Luke Scott have an opinion about this with impunity?
It's not like manager Joe Maddon said it, or Evan Longoria, or even ... James Shields. Luke Scott will be an important guy for the Rays in 2012, but this isn't a discussion about politics, automatic weapons or the origin of the president of the United States.
I've seen comparisons to Karim Garcia on Twitter. Pedro Martinez famously had the comeback of a lifetime — "Who is Karim Garcia?" — after the pseudo-anonymous outfielder made some disparaging remarks about Pedro back in the day.
Does our guy Luke Scott have the cachet (not the weapons cache — we know he's got that, but the street cred) to launch these word bombs? Well, the Rays do. They've finished ahead of Boston three times twice since 2008. So they can talk. And Luke Scott is on the Rays. So, by the transitive properties of trash talking, he's cleared. Barely.
Big BLS h/t: CBS Eye on Baseball
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Video: Yankees are team to beat in AL East | Play fantasy baseball
• Video: Robert Griffin III reflects on how combine helped his draft stock
• Twitter's logo is named after NBA legend Larry Bird