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He’ll be a guest of Rivera’s to discuss the performance enhancement drug scandal rocking baseball right now – and to address the continuing George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin saga.
On a Cleveland radio station three weeks, Rocker made comments about the performance-enhancing drugs that became an international story. He told Cleveland’s 92.3 FM station:
“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game. At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town. They are paid to be entertained. They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That’s entertainment. You’re paying to be entertained.”
He continued, “And was there anything more entertaining than 1998 – I don’t care how each man got there – was there anything more entertaining than 1998?…watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire chase 61 home runs?
“That was a mesmerizing time for every baseball fan out there…the people were getting their money’s worth.”
Rocker has also been an outspoken and vocal supporter of George Zimmerman throughout his legal battle, writing in a column entitled “MEDIA’S LYNCHING OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN”:
“Just as the wrongfully accused Duke Lacrosse players saw their lives ripped apart by lies and outright deceit by the media and the prosecution, the ‘creepy a– cracker’ Zimmerman sits in a courtroom in an eerily similar situation.”
In a more recent column at WND.com, Rocker challenged the Rev. Jesse Jackson – who has been agitating on behalf of Trayvon Martin and calling for boycotts of the state of Florida – to come clean about his remarks on how he racially profiles when walking at night.
A fierce defender of conservative values, Rocker says his book, “Scars and Strikes,” is a wake-up call to those who base their perception of him on the Sports Illustrated article that led to a 14-game suspension from baseball in 2000. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig assigned Rocker to mandatory “sensitivity” training as part of his “sentence.”
Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1993 after his senior year of high school, Rocker remained with the organization for nine seasons and served as the team’s closer during his last four years with the Braves, although he began his career as a starting pitcher.
He joined the Cleveland Indians in 2001, the Texas Rangers in 2002 and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003, where he completed a one-year contract before undergoing what proved to be a career-ending shoulder surgery. Rocker pitched in two National League Championships, one World Series and four Divisions Series, accumulating 21 1/3 scoreless playoff innings during his professional career.
It was in 1999 that Rocker had his best year in the majors, appearing in 74 games and posting 38 saves, with 104 strikeouts in only 72.1 innings pitched.
Jeff Pearlman was the Sports Illustrated writer whose report sparked a media firestorm aimed at Rocker. WND has reported the details of that infamous interview.
“I’ve done thousands of radio and television interviews since that article came out in 2000, but it seems like I can’t escape nor apologize enough for it,” said Rocker. “Well, it’s time to move on.”
Rocker’s teammates and friends in Major League Baseball rushed to defend him, but the damage was done.
After his retirement, Rocker moved on to a successful career in real-estate development. Including the ownership and development of two smaller commercial deals, Rocker has participated in nearly $100 million in real-estate transactions over the last decade.