In the flood of articles about the signing of left-handed slugger Luke Scott, I came across this headline from Creative Loafing:
Rays Dump Damon For A Birther
Oh. No. I have two issues with this. The first is that Johnny Damon has not officially been dumped yet. I think he’s a valuable asset as a clubhouse leader to the Rays and I am holding out hope that they will find a way to keep him around for another season. My second issue is that in this instance, politics have gotten all up in my baseball.
Creative Loafing rounded up some quotes that Scott made in previous interviews. I decided to read those original articles in full.
Scott spoke David Brown of the Big League Stew blog on Yahoo! for a December 2010 article and said:
”[Obama] was not born here. 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.”
In the spring of 2011, Amy K. Nelson interviewed Scott for ESPN.com. Nelson reported:
The team had distanced itself from Scott’s Obama comments and had a conversation with Scott and his agent asking Scott to refrain from sharing his views while representing the organization.
Good on ya, Orioles.
Nelson also wrote:
Knowing Luke Scott is the key to understanding Luke Scott, I’ll hear again and again.
Because he’s now a member of Tampa Bay’s team, I’ll give him a chance to prove he can hang with the Rays.
Still, when it comes to the church of baseball, I believe it should be separated from the issues of state.
I appreciate someone who is an informed voter and can backup their opinions but I really don’t need any of the players I follow to share their expansive political beliefs with me. (For the record, just like David Brown, who put an image of Obama’s birth certificate in his article with Scott’s interview, I believe Obama was born in the US.)
Baseball’s an escape from the heavier stuff of the real world for me and I’d like to keep it that way.