Rocker, the often bombastic former major league pitcher best known for having to defend himself from his own controversial statements and behavior, appears ready to join the club and become an author.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has posted a fun summary of an article about Rocker in Atlanta Magazine. In it, Rocker says he is nearly done working on a memoir — "co-written by a liberal guy from Canada" — to be self-published and released in June. It's called "John Rocker: Scars and Stripes."
Atlanta Magazine's Charles Bethea says Rocker wants the world — finally — to get his story straight:
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, "how the conversation would have gone had that writer gotten it right."
"Philosophy and feelings"? Beat that, Jeff Pearlman!
After Sports Illustrated published Pearlman's unkind story about Rocker in December 1999, the Chicago Tribune said the player had become "The face of racism in America."
I'm not sure if Rocker is face of anything, anymore, considering he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2003. He's barely a public figure — it's not like he went into broadcasting or, ha, politics. An autobiographical take on Rocker's life would sound more like a winner if he hadn't fallen off the face of the Earth.
At one time, it seemed like the planet split into two camps: Those who despised Rocker and those who liked his pro wrestling-like schtick.
Many — especially in New York City — already had begun to express a dislike for Rocker as he engaged Mets fans in a juvenile argument that escalated through the 1999 NLCS. (To sum up, he was quoted as disliking all of the "foreigners" riding the No. 7 Train.)
Pearlman's story kicked up Rocker hate 1,000 notches, depicting the player as a boorish jerk who used just about every racist, sexist and jingoistic stereotype in the book. Rocker, whose baseball career was cut short by injuries, says he's gotten the short end of public opinion ever since.
That's probably Rocker's own fault. Even if he's not really racist or sexist or boorish or even a rude dude, he cannot help but come off as such. I hope this liberal Canadian co-writer can help make some sense of Rocker's life. It might make a good read.
Or it would have at one time.