Rays designated hitter Luke Scott is not playing today, thanks to a sore hamstring, but that won't keep him from making a splash in Boston's home opener this afternoon.
"As a baseball player, going there to work, it's a dump," said Scott, whose Rays play the Red Sox on Friday in their Fenway opener. "I mean, it's old. It does have a great feel and nostalgia, but at the end of the day, I'd rather be at a good facility where I can get my work in. A place where I can go hit in the cage, where I have space and it's a little more comfortable to come to work.
Scott's reputation precedes him as an outspoken Tea Party activist, occasionally talking about his faith as well. He's outspoken, and has the potential to create a bigger buzz for the Rays and Red Sox rivalry than last year's DH, the great Judas, Johnny Damon.
Luke Scott, the former Baltimore Orioles slugger, took part in unseating Boston from the playoffs last year as the Rays won that historic Game 162 for the American League Wild Card. This spring he talked about how wonderful that felt due to his distain for Red Sox Nation, calling the fans pure "arrogance" and complaining about their skilled heckling of ball players.
He can wish for some better facilities for the visiting team, surely coming from Camden Yards to the Trop wasn't an upgrade either, but he might be crossing a line with his remarks. It's understandable that he dislikes Boston, but Fenway Park is a cathedral, and this kind of insult may upset baseball fans across the nation.
Scott attempted to justify his remarks shortly thereafter:
"You're packed in like sardines there. It's hard to get your work in. ... You have to go to their weight room if you want to lift. From a fan's perspective, it's probably pretty cool to go see a game at a historic park. But from a player's point of view, it's not a place where you want to go to work."
Understandable. That sounds annoying. A little too late, though. Thanks for heating up the rivalry, Luke, but buckle up - that heckling you dislike is about to get a lot worse. No player can get away with calling Fenway Park a dump.