Attention Getter

If there is one thing that Orioles OF Luke Scott (left) is known for, it has little do with his baseball prowess. Acquired from Houston in the Miguel Tejada trade, people know Scott less for the fact that he hit 31 homers for Round Rock in the Pacific Coast League in 2005, and more for the fact that Scott chooses to avail himself of a fundamental Constitutional right.

So it was probably only a matter of time before we saw a story like this from Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec:

Orioles manager Dave Trembley knew about the intensity, all-out hustle and powerful uppercut swing. But he still had one question about his new left fielder, so he approached Luke Scott while Scott was shagging fly balls last week.

“Talk to me about the gun situation,” Trembley said to Scott.

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Trembley, who has never fired a gun and joked that he wouldn’t know the difference between a water pistol and a BB gun, had read about Scott’s thoughts on gun control and about how the player almost always carries a concealed firearm…

…”He very quickly said to me, ‘Second Amendment, right to bear arms,’ ” Trembley recalled. “He said it’s not a big deal. He’ll never have one here. To me, it’s a nonissue.”

Obviously it’s an issue to somebody on Calvert Street, or else the story would not have wound up in the paper.

To be fair to Zrebiec, he at least went out to detail some of the reasons that ballplayers just might want to be prepared to defend themselves:

[Nick] Markakis said he was at a gas station in Georgia five or six years ago when somebody who was armed tried to force his way into his truck. Markakis, who didn’t have a gun in his car, got away unscathed, but the day left an impression on him.

A similar incident helped persuade Scott to obtain a handgun. Scott, then a student at Indian River (Fla.) Community College, was at a party in Delray Beach when somebody pulled a gun on him….

….Scott told of one situation several years back when he was at a Houston gas station and was confronted by a man carrying a shank.

“I didn’t pull my gun on him,” Scott said. “I would have if he had gotten close enough, and I would have shot him if he wouldn’t have backed off. But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?

Scott’s position on guns was also chronicled a few years back on an ESPN story about athletes and guns.

I take solace in the fact that ballplayers are exercising their Constitutional rights and that the Orioles have several players like Scott, Markakis, and Jamie Walker who are willing to speak out about their experiences and why they choose to protect themselves. I just find it somewhat puzzling that the story about Scott’s outspoken view on gun rights and self-defense drew attention now, in the middle of Spring Training, as opposed to back in December when the trade happened.


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