I know you didn’t think it was real, but the government released it for your perusal. So here’s the .PDF.
In honor of the whole Luke Scott birth certificate issue, here are two arguing articles – one is from Amy K. Nelson of ESPN, and one is from Deadspin lambasting Nelson’s article. See what you think after reading them and tell me in the comments.
Here’s the issue we’re raising here: Luke seems like a fundamentalist on the outside, but on the inside he’s a much deeper person than that, and he doesn’t say those seemingly racist things to Felix Pie out of malice. Pie doesn’t get mad at him, and neither does Adam Jones, who I’m absolutely positive would stand up for a teammate if something were to occur. What’s interesting is the part that Deadspin completely ignores – the part where Luke takes Pie and helps him really embrace baseball and better himself as a human being:
In Baltimore, people close to Scott point to his relationship with Pie as a guidepost to who Scott really is.
Pie arrived from the Cubs before the 2009 season as a former top prospect who had squandered numerous chances. He was arrogant and not completely committed to baseball.
Scott embraced Pie, stressed to him that he was running out of time in his career and that he lacked the qualities of a person with good character — the qualities by which Scott measures everyone. So he brought Pie to the batting cages, taught him how to hit breaking pitches better. He brought him into the weight room, stressed the importance of hard work. He stressed running hard on every play, taking his job seriously and being a better person. It worked.
“He turned Pie from this arrogant guy from the Cubs to â€¦ an unbelievable teammate,” Jones says. “It took somebody to get on Pie’s ass; Luke was the guy. Now Pie is one of my favorite teammates I’ve ever had. A lot of people formed their opinions on Pie — really, how do [they] know he’s like that? How?
“They form opinions on what they see rather than what they know. If you form your opinion on what you know, you might be surprised.”
It’s what some say about Scott.
“I’m changed,” Pie says. “Now I know my responsibility; a lot of things I don’t do anymore. In the past I was messing around a lot; now I’m ready. He helped me with that.”
Nowadays, Pie also says he tells Scott to stop talking about Obama and such things, that it’s only going to get him in trouble. They’re sometimes combative, sometimes animated and often entertaining — saying their banter loosens the clubhouse.
It puts the ‘savage’ comments into context; Luke says he makes those comments and throws the plantain chips to remind Pie of how other people are going to view him, and when you look at it through that lens it’s actually a pretty powerful statement. I’m not defending Luke by any means – making that birther statement did make him look rather silly, even though he was speaking his mind. But I also think that Deadspin jumped on the article too early without taking the context into account because they saw a statement that angered them. As I’ve mentioned around here before, context is key to understanding everything, and as a trained historian I’ve gotten fairly good at looking at it. Whoever wrote the Deadspin article clearly isn’t too skilled in that department.
I also feel like we’re not in a place to pass judgment. We’re only seeing the person Luke openly portrays to the public and not the inner Luke that very few people know about. Luke’s teammates are going to see him differently than we are because he chooses what he shows to us and what he doesn’t. As interesting as these op-ed pieces are on players, we’re still only getting a part of who they are – the part they’re willing to show us. As it is, Luke showed Nelson quite a bit, but there’s definitely still some inner Luke that she didn’t get to see. Basically, we can judge Outer Luke, but not Inner Luke. And that’s what we’re doing here in both of these articles, passing judgment on someone who we’re only seeing in the public eye and not in a truly private setting.
Is Luke a racist? Some would say yes, some would say no. You really can’t say that based on one out-of-context quote. The best way to really make such a determination is to actually know Luke on a personal level, and I don’t think Nelson nor the Deadspin author can say that. I know I can’t say that. I think we just need to keep looking at how he’s treated and viewed by his teammates to really make a decision on the matter.
For more on Luke’s gun collection, mentioned in the Nelson article, you can read this piece on armed athletes.