He might be a man of few words, but when he’s on the field, Luke Scott lets his bat do the talking.
That’s the case in Venezuela. When he debuted two years ago with Navegantes del Magallanes in Winter Baseball, he was an up-and-coming prospect, looking to establish himself in the Majors.
Scott impressed and made headlines with a performance unseen in an American player at the Venezuelan League in more than 20 years, since its teams, due to the looming financial crisis the country has experienced ever since, stopped signing high-profile Major Leaguers and Triple-A players.
When we found Scott, it was barely his first day in a Magallanes uniform in this new season. Manager Al Pedrique didn’t place him in that night’s roster; therefore, he didn’t dare to give us a definite impression of the country, or his team.
"I haven’t had time to play yet", Scott told us in an impressive Spanish. "We’ll see and give it some time. So far, everything seems to be great, the country and my teammates. Let’s give it some time".
Patience and humility are two of his main assets, combined with a deep sense of religion. He is a faithful man, and he’ll let you know just that. When we asked him on how he would fit into Ed Wade’s new plans for the team, he told us he hadn’t had a conversation with Wade yet, but that he was clear he had to do his job the best way he could. And that’s how he sees how he could contribute with Magallanes as well. "My expectations are always the highest, and I have to do the best I can, always in the hands of the Lord (…) I’m a human being though, so I’m not perfect".
Attendance at the Chico Carrasquel stadium was good enough, but far from a sellout. Maybe the soccer match between Venezuela and Argentina for the World Cup qualifier, in which Venezuela had high hopes, was the factor which kept many at home.
Regardless of that, we enjoyed a nice baseball mood in Puerto la Cruz, the Eastern city which hosts the Caribes de AnzoŠtegui team. Finding old friends you only get to see three months each year, to look at the field nice and ready. It all adds up when you consider that Puerto la Cruz was about to lose its ballclub, at least for this season, because of a power struggle between the team’s stockholders. The conflict was solved days before the tournament started.
Carlos Zambrano was willing to answer questions fielded by reporters. He donned the Caribes uniform only for a ceremonial first pitch though. However, he was kind enough to talk about his season at the Windy City, a possible Cy Young candidacy, and said he didn’t believe in curses of any sort, be Goat-induced or otherwise.
We found Astro Luke Scott, who sat at the dugout for his club in Venezuela, Magallanes. He was kind enough to give us five minutes of his time. He wasn’t included in the night’s lineup, but he is anxious to set foot on the field. Scott told us (in perfect Spanish) he was ready to help with the direction Ed Wade will set the organization to; and always true to his strong religious beliefs, he trusted God’s will. He is ready to play in a country which received him with arms wide open after his monster performance with Magallanes a couple of years ago.
How will Luke’s season be like? Stay tuned.