Baltimore OF Luke Scott (above) is no stranger to CSTB, having received recognition for (amongst other things) his views on President Barack Obama’s place of birth, his religious beliefs, Second Amendment zealotry, and unique solutions to America’s homelessness problem. Earlier this year, a Baltimore journalist cited Scott’s chummy relationship with Dominican teammate Felix Pie as evidence the former doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Sadly for the Orioles’ P.R. department, ESPN.com’s Amy K. Nelson sought further background on Baltimore’s Odd Couple for an upcoming “Outside The Lines” profile of Scott.
“Felix is my friend,” he says. “I give him a hard time. The reason why I give him a hard time is because there are certain people you deal with and you go up and talk to them, and it doesn’t work. They don’t understand.
“I tell him about some of the ways he’s acted: ‘Look, you’re acting like an animal, you’re acting like a savage.'”
Scott turns to his locker and pulls out a bag of plantain chips.
“So I throw bananas in his helmet. Here are my banana chips to remind him that whenever he acts like an animal, ‘Hey, that’s what other people are thinking. They’re just not telling you, but that’s what they’re thinking about. And I’m telling you so that you’re aware of that so you can make a cognitive decision to not behave like that.’ I would want someone to tell me that instead of letting you making a jerk of yourself.”
Why would Scott choose potentially loaded words like “animal” and “savage” — and how can they not offend either his friend or anyone in the locker room who overhears? Most teammates asked about it laugh or smile. They cite it as part of the two players’ playful relationship, part of life in a big league clubhouse — there are things that fly in there that wouldn’t in the outside world.
“He’s not a redneck racist; his beliefs are his beliefs,” Adam Jones says. “Their relationship is uncanny, and Pie ribs him just as much. I don’t think Luke means any racist thing by it. Trust me, if I see racism, I’ll say some s—. Quickly.
“I’ve told Luke there are some things you should and shouldn’t do that might offend … if he crossed the line I would have already said something.”