Back in the clubhouse, George Scott sat naked, totally naked, sipping on a beer and picking at clubhouse salad while droning reporters hounded him for answers.
"When I wasn't hitting the ball last summer, nobody wanted to ask me nothing. They just said, 'The Boomer's dead,' and so on. Now I'm talking, and they're listening."
So while Don Zimmer leaned back in his chair in the manager's office, keeping cool and vaguely sinister beneath that hungry hound-dog face, George Scott was attracting the attention. And Fred Lynn, Two guys the Boston media had written off their list of interesting personalities last season.
Lynn and Scott were the stars of Sunday's whipping of the Kansas City Royals. Lynn pounded a double off the scoreboard in centerfield in the fourth inning, and Scott drove him home. These doghouse boys are hard on the line for comebacks.
At a time when the Red Sox need some surprises and positive reinforcement to quell the critics' questions, Scott and Lynn are becoming the answers. Neither performed well last year, and Lynn has been limping along with sore ankles and bruised knees and crushed elbows since 1977. Then Lynn asked for more money, and Scott wanted to sit out some games because he was "tired," and all the radio talk show types started talking about "attitude."
"There ain't no question about my attitude--or anyone's on this ball club. My attitude is to go out there and do the best I can every day. I want my gold glove back. I'm a good athlete, always been. It's too bad that people can't understand that you have problems with this job, but now I'm quicker and faster and I'm getting my mind right on the game.
"I just go out there and watch that ball, following it well, and this year I'm thinking right and I'm quicker and I'll hit it out of the park."
That's the George Scott who suffered through strings of strikeouts last summer, who listened to mob howls of "Boooooomer" fade to flat, drunken curses: "Fat nigger." And it's the Boomer who didn't want to talk about racism.
"I don't think they're really racist most of them, but you know that those people who say this and that don't really care about the ball club. So why should I care about them? Let them do the hitting, and answer the questions."
You see, the Boomer gets in to histrionies. The naked Buddha routine is no doubt a part of this. His voice rises in pitch and volume, his eyeballs bulge and dart forcefully as he spells out his voint. And Sunday, he was bolder than usual, after driving in four runs on two singles, and beating a right field throw to second base with a chin-first belly slide. Kansas City didn't count him as a base-running threat.
much that certain inside sources believe that Haywood Sullivan resorted to a clandestine 500cc Methedrine diet.
"Nope Nothin' but hard work, lots of running in the sun lost that weight. And my wife, she kept after my eating habits."
Credit Lucky Scott, and credit her husband who loves the game so much that he still dared to sit naked in the clubhouse after going 0-for-41 at the plate last summer. Now he still sits naked and--less several rolls of fat--he sits more comfortably.