ESPN: Astros Outfielder Wants To Shoot You
by David Roth
Can’t Stop the Bleeding, 12/10/06
A little over a month ago, the Boston Globe ran a long and fairly interesting feature about the popularity of guns among professional athletes. It revealed, among other things, that a majority of professional athletes are carrying at any given time. Jabar Gaffney estimated that “90%” of NFL players come strapped; even more disturbingly, the article revealed that “Yankees pitcher” Carl Pavano carries a gun, which opens the door to dazzling and dangerous worlds of accidental injury previously unimaginable even for Hot Carl. This post is not about that article.
It’s not even really about the ESPN “Outside the Lines” episode that is piggybacking on it. ESPN.com has a feature up encapsulating many of the revelations in said episode, but while some of them are less surprising than others — NBA players live in constant fear of having their expensive jewelry stolen; Karl Malone is both pompous and conservative enough to run against either of Utah’s sitting senators from the right — the article is noteworthy primarily for introducing readers to the new scariest guy in the Major Leagues. Ladies, gentlemen, people wearing Kevlar vests: Luke Scott of the Houston Astros wants to shoot you right in your fucking face.
“An athlete gets paid a lot of money,” he said. “And someone who is after that, a thief, a mugger or someone who steals from people, they are taking a chance with the law that if they get caught, they are going to jail or face some other problem.”
With a broad smile, he added, “In my case, you are going to get shot.”
Ya heard? And the hard-hitting corner outfielder isn’t playing when he says he will put hot ones in you if you fuck with his. Or, well…
Scott recounted a time when he was thankful he was prepared, a late night when he was at a gas station in Texas.
“Last year, we had a lot of people come in from New Orleans to Houston shortly after Hurrican Katrina. There were a lot of people walking the streets. I knew my surroundings. I wasn’t in that good of a part of town and it was 1 o’clock in the morning,” Scott said. “I was by myself and no one was around. I just took my gun and put it right there.”
Scott lifted his shirt to reveal his handgun tucked down the front of his pants, the handle slightly visible.
“I saw this guy about 30 feet away. I’m just watching him, minding my own business and, as he approached me, I said, ‘Can I help you with something?’ Just like that.”
Reenacting the incident, Scott demonstrated how he lifted his shirt to reveal his Glock.
“I could see he had something in his hand behind him, and he stopped, and his eyes got real big and he started stuttering, so you know he’s up to no good.”
Scott raised his arms in mock surrender and continued: “He goes ‘I ain’t gonna lie man, I ain’t gonna lie. All I want is a dollar. I’m gonna go in and buy a beer. I’m not gonna buy food. I’m not gonna buy water. I ain’t begging for money for that. I am gonna buy alcohol with it.’ Just straight up.”
“And I looked at him. I said, ‘You stay right there.’ And I just watched him and I reached in my car to the center console, grabbed a dollar, put it right on the hood and said, ‘Go ahead.’ And the whole time my hand was on my gun. I didn’t fire a shot, didn’t even point it at him.”
Unavailable in blog-post format: Bob Ley’s soothing narration and crisp part, and Scott’s almost certainly totally inoffensive imitation of what his “assailant” sounded like.