Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I cannot wait to get my hands on John Rocker's forthcoming memoir


Kidding. Actually, I don't give a fuck about John Rocker's self-published memoir, "Scars and Strikes," which is scheduled for a June release.

According to a profile of Rocker in this month's Atlanta Magazine:
The book, he says, is a mixture of baseball and politics, as well as some of his “philosophy and feelings.” Rocker describes it, with momentary restraint, as “how the conversation would have gone had that writer gotten it right.”
I think a "Mein Kampf" joke is called for. But in fairness, that is what I think whenever a bigot writes a book. "The conversation" he is talking about is of course the notorious 1999 Sports Illustrated article in which he recorded the bigotry triple crown. Money quotes:
On ever playing for a New York team: "I would retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through] Beirut 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."
And,
On New York City itself: "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?"
So essentially Rocker blames the reporter for the things he is reported to have said, which has thus led him to be branded permanently as a bigot, which he maintains he is not. No, John Rocker is just the victim of a writer with an agenda. Rocker is so NOT bigoted, in fact, that he launched a completely NOT bigoted "Speak English" campaign (complete with T-shirts). He has since backed off of the campaign, which he describes as "misunderstood," but definitely NOT bigoted:
“People have tried to tie it into the racist overtones that Sports Illustrated created, that Speak English is biased, bigoted. Coming to America, if you want to truly realize why you came here—for a better life, better opportunity for your family—the only way to do that is to speak English.”
Indeed, history has proven that the best way to encourage immigrants to the United States to learn English is for a bunch of white people to wear T-shirts beseeching them to do so.

That's odd
Like Amy K. Nelson's recent ESPN.com profile of baseball's current biggest bigot, Luke Scott, the Atlanta Magazine piece on Rocker makes sure to point out that Rocker has a Close Friend Who Is Black™. In Rocker's case, it is former Braves centerfielder Otis Nixon. Nixon says Rocker is
“Like a brother or a son. He came to the majors looking like he thought he owned half the locker room; he did and said things I didn’t agree with, but he’s grown. I told him the other day that I’m proud of him. He’s finally getting past that article.”
So that settles it.

Tomorrow marks the thirteen year anniversary of John Rocker's major league debut and Saturday, May 14 marks the eight year anniversary of his last major league appearance. I was going to write a post commemorating the latter occasion next week, but I guess this saves me the trouble. So on behalf of Big Black Kids I salute you, John, you paragon of tolerance and torchbearer for democracy.
_______

See also: John Rocker tells magazine he’s close to publishing memoir

4 comments:

  1. So you're saying that Rocker's description of a New York City subway experience was inaccurate?
    Rocker also described Mets fans' rudeness and lack of class.
    Are you saying that Mets fans actually are sophisticated and generous people?
    As for immigrants learning English, why is it that you left-wingers expect Americans visiting other countries to adher to the societal mores set forth in those countries, yet you don't expect people who come to America and live off the taxpayers to have the common decency to learn English?
    Double standards and hypocrisy are the bedrocks of the liberal agenda.

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  2. Long before SI's article on Rocker came out he was known to put up foreign (mostly Latin American) players trying out for the Braves in his own house.

    But what do actions matter anyway?

    If you want to write about Rocker you should look a little deeper than that SI article.

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  3. Kind of like how Thomas Jefferson put up black people in his own house?

    You're totally right. I don't know what I was thinking.

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  4. I think they are saying you are missing the point. Between the Latin Players, the black girlfriend, examining his comments etc. that Rocker isn't really a racist. He is xenophobic, and subscribes to a strong form of patriotism. He values the ideal of immigrants coming here, assimilating, and all of us being "American" first and racial or ethnic second. He is a redneck, and I mean that not as an insult. Such people long for a simpler life, more united country, etc. This is unrealistic and short-sighted, and they often express these views in ways thought insensitive by polite society. What I am saying is he has said a lot of inflammatory things, but I see no hate in him. I think that he should know better, especially by now, but everyone that paints him as this horrible racist nasty person is wrong. And no I do not subscribe to his beliefs, I just think he is profiled in a much harsher light than he deserves.

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