Monday, October 17, 2005

October 17th, 1974

John Rocker Born

To paraphrase Seymour Skinner, I'm a small man in many ways, a small petty man. So, I can't help but take great, great pleasure in the struggles of John Rocker. Rocker who shared, among other things, his belief that riding the 7 train to Shea Stadium involved sitting next to "some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time next to a 20-year-old mom with four kids," and that the biggest thing he didn't like about New York was the foreigners because he is "not a very big fan of foreigners." Rocker also referred to one his teammates--supposedly first baseman Randall Simon--as "a fat monkey." So it was with great satisfaction that I saw the Yankees break a one-one tie off Rocker in Game One of 1999 World Series as Rocker gave up a hit and two walks.

Rocker pitched decently in 2000, but went to pieces in 2001 after a trade to
Cleveland (posting a 5.45 with the Indians) and after ineffective stretches in Texas and Tampa Bay Rocker was out of Major League-affiliated baseball. He attempted a comeback with the Long Island Ducks in 2005 but was released after suffering a dead arm and posting a beautifully ugly 0-2, 13.50 line. So far as I know, Rocker is now out of baseball entirely. Perhaps at long last he's ready to learn the lessons imparted in that Sports Illustrated article by Mike Remlinger that, like life, "baseball is a game of humility. You can be on top one minute, as low as possible the next...sooner or later you learn--we all do. Be humble."

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