John Rocker has been called a lot of names over the years, and you can soon add "author" to that list. The former Braves reliever became a lightning rod following a December 1999 Sports Illustrated article in which he offended gays, minorities and foreigners.
Well, he's not done. Rocker has co-authored the book, "Scars and Strikes," with J. Marshall Craig. The book combines his baseball life with opinions on politics and society in America. He claims to have written 98 percent of the book over the past year.
It's been 8 1/2 years since he pitched in a big league game, but Rocker still holds a grudge against commissioner Bud Selig, who suspended, fined and ordered the pitcher to attend sensitivity training. Rocker calls Selig is "a true cretin," "idiot," "head dummy," and a "moron of extreme proportions," according to WMAZ in Macon, Ga.
It gets worse: Rocker feels America has lost the war on terror. "You know what? We lost (technically). The terrorists have won. My nation is no longer free," Rocker told the TV station.
Back in 1999, during a 10-hour conversation with SI writer Jeff Pearlman, Rocker compared riding the No. 7 train from Manhattan to Queens to "Beirut." He ranted about being "next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
The former closer also bellyached: "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?"
Although Rocker, 37, admits in his book that the comments "would make the most foulmouthed racist blush," the retired pitched insists his comments about foreigners were taken out of context.
Rocker maintains he's not opposed to immigrants, but he is against those who choose not to assimilate in America and take advantage of the system.
"While many immigrants arrive in this country eager to work and build a better life, thousands of foreigners cross our borders each day with intentions to exploit the many taxpayer-funded government social programs such as medical care, social security, welfare, and free housing," Rocker said.
Rocker finished his six-year career with a 13-22 record, 3.42 ERA and 88 saves.
"Scars and Strikes," written partly in response to the SI article, is set to hit bookstores in the next few weeks.
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