Luke Scott made a lot of casual enemies when he asserted that President Barack Obama was born somewhere other than Hawaii, and the joy over Scott's miserable slump was evident on Twitter on Thursday night.
Scott dropped to 0 for 39 — nearing Eugenio Velez's major-league record 0 for 46 — after going hitless in three at-bats in the Tampa Bay Rays' 3-1 loss at Cleveland. Even a tactical move by Rays manager Joe Maddon, who replaced Scott in the lineup with a pitcher in the seventh inning, made Scott look like the weakest of weak links. And, via the Tampa Bay Times, he can't stand it:
"Does it weigh heavy on my heart? Oh my gosh. I'd say if I wasn't a Christian man, I'd be an alcoholic or something — this is something that would have driven me to drink.''
He just had to be hyperbolic, didn't he? Scott is not only having trouble at the plate, he's confused about how alcoholism works. Speaking of things that have nothing to do with each other, perhaps he could try shaving his Elvis/Wolverine mutton chop sideburns for some better luck at the plate. He'd be less scary looking for sure.
Scott also says the slump has brought him "many sleepless nights" and "to tears," and that is a shame for someone who seems to work hard and is generally liked by his teammates (despite obvious disagreements over political and social matters).
Not to be too apologetic for him, but I get what he's saying when he mistakenly compares his own plight to someone with a disease:
He's strong enough mentally to bounce back from one of the worst slumps a player can have. On June 1, when his tailspin started, Scott was batting .236/.299/.455 — not great, but a hot streak away from being really good and just what the Rays needed.
Now, his batting average is down to .194 and his OPS has fallen to .627. Not coincidentally, the Rays have gone 13-18 since the start of June (Scott also spent nearly three weeks on the disabled list). There's still time for Scott and the Rays to turn around their respective seasons, but as Adam Dunn showed in 2011, slumps can last a long time.