Sometimes, it takes years to evaluate a trade and determine which side got the better of the deal. In 2007, when the Astros traded five players to Baltimore for shortstop Miguel Tejada, it was widely thought that the barometer for whether or not the Astros got the better of the deal would be the performance of left-handed starter Troy Patton. If he became a reliable major league starter for the O's, then it was a bad deal for Houston; if he ended up washing out, it was probably not a terrible deal. (At $14 million for Tejada, the deal was never going to be a total win for the Astros.)
Little did we know that outfielder Luke Scott would actually wind up being the tipping point in the deal, in part because in Baltimore he would wind up hitting for more power than any other Astro player the last four years not named
Jabba Carlos Lee.
But power hitting was just the tip of the "Luke Scott Experience" iceberg.
There was the interview in 2010 where he basically called Obama a communist who wasn't born here:
"[Obama] was not born here," Scott asserted to Answer Man in the session's last segment. "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. Here it is.' The man has dodged everything. He dodges questions, he doesn't answer anything."
There was this past Tuesday when he brought two seven-foot pig-hunting spears into the Rays' clubhouse (Scott signed with Tampa this past offseason.) and proudly told the media that the only people who need to worry about him are "criminals and communists."
Then, finally, someone got Scott going on the topic of Boston fans. Of course, Baltimore (like pretty much every other big league city) is known for having hordes of Red Sox fans descend upon their ballpark when the Sox are in town, to the point where they call Camden Yards "Fenway Park South." Well, not surprisingly, Scott has an opinion on folks from Boston:
"Just their arrogance," Scott told MLB.com. "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."
Scott went on to gloat about the final day of the season last year, when Baltimore was able to rise up and beat the Red Sox, keeping them out of the postseason in favor of his new team in Tampa:
"I got to see a priceless thing driving back to my apartment [after the regular-season finale]," Scott continued. "I see all the Boston fans walking around, and I mean they were crying crocodile tears. ... It was like someone shot their dog. I rolled down the window and I'm like, 'Ah, hah, [stinks] doesn't it, when someone laughs or makes fun of you when things aren't going your way?'"
I grew up going to Fenway Park every summer to see games, and I can tell you that if Luke Scott doesn't like hearing vulgarities in a Boston accent, this is not the way to go about putting a stop to them. Marty, Sully and all the drunks from Southie are now marking the days off of their calendar until the first homestand that includes Tampa.
The Rays have signed Scott to be a full-time DH, and this is probably a good thing. It'll be a whole lot harder for Sox fans to dump beer on him in the shelter of the dugout.
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Who knew when the Astros made the Tejada trade that we would be deprived of so many life lessons with the departure of Luke Scott.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.