March 04, 2008

Smokey, My Friend, You Are Entering a World of Pain

Let me take you back to December 2006, when ESPN did a long investigative piece into athletes' infatuation with their guns -- weapons, not biceps, though probably either one could apply. Luke Scott, in particular, stood out for his... ah, enthusiasm:
"An athlete gets paid a lot of money," he said. "And someone who is after that, a thief, a mugger or someone who steals from people, they are taking a chance with the law that if they get caught, they are going to jail or face some other problem."

With a broad smile, he added, "In my case, you are going to get shot."

There's a whole lot more in that vein, if you read the full article (including a rather questionable story about about Scott flashing his Glock, tucked into the front of his jeans, at a supposedly "up to no good" Katrina refugee who approached him at a Texas gas station). I bring it up now because Scott was recently traded to the Orioles, and as the Baltimore Sun reports (hat tip to Buster Olney), manager Dave Trembley asked him about "the gun situation." Scott is standing firm:
"Certain things, if I'm asked about them, I'm very outspoken," said Scott, who hit .255 with 18 home runs and 64 RBIs for the Astros last season. "I'm outspoken about my faith. I'm outspoken about my beliefs. I'm outspoken about what I believe this country is about. And I don't back down when it comes to core beliefs."...
…[Scott] said he has been "challenged" in the clubhouse in the past about his faith in God, but no one has spoken out against his thoughts on firearms and gun legislation.”
No, of course they haven’t, because you don’t speak out against the thoughts of someone who is both angry and armed to the teeth.

I should add here, before you email me, that it's not the gun owning I'm questioning so much as Scott's chillingly gung-ho attitude towards his concealed weapon (... as it were). My dad lives in rural upstate New York, and like everyone up there, he's got a rifle; most of the gun owners I've met there are kind, normal, nonviolent people. However, I'm pretty sure that, unlike Luke Scott, none of them walks around with a Glock tucked into his or her jeans. Baltimore residents: when approaching Scott for an autograph, do not make any sudden movements.

In other news:

-Have I ever mentioned that ESPN's Rob Neyer is incredibly talented? And also strikingly handsome?

-The Mets are courting disaster a little early this year. (Marlon Anderson's sternum: 1, Ryan Church's head: 0). The only really significant injuries here are Delgado's hip -- supposedly not serious, but then he was bad enough last season even when healthy -- and El Duque's general ancientness, which I think everyone saw coming. Still, this is getting a bit disconcerting.

The good news is that Johan Santana will be starting another spring training game soon. The man is like human Lexapro.

-Which Major League player recently said, when asked about a six-figure contract he perceives as disappointing:
"We're heading into a recession and people are struggling out there. They don't need to hear me complaining about my big salary not being big enough. Thanks for asking, but it's between me, my agent and the club."
Trick question! None of them, of course. That was just King Kaufman of's suggested response; he has a good column on young players' annual complaints about the hundreds of thousands of dollars they'll make this season. Semi-understandable in context, but still insanely irritating.

(Incidentally, King Kaufman would totally win "Sports Writer Name of the Week" if I had such a feature. Followed by La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.)

-Finally, a few of the Red Sox held a charity dance-off. Only Mike Lowell escaped with his dignity.

1 comment:

ChrisS said...

I live in Syracuse, and I grew up in Earlville, NY where most of family still lives. Hell, I even own a gun still. But that kind of attitude creeps me out.