The image of John Rocker, his rope-veined neck pulsing as he charges maniacally from bullpen to pitcher's mound, lives on in baseball history as a visual testament to the ubiquity of steroids in the game at the turn of the millennium. It lives on despite the fact that, unlike other juicing icons from the era like McGwire, Clemons, or Bonds, who enjoyed otherwise distinguished careers, Rocker logged just a couple of decent seasons with the Braves before quickly fading into obscurity.
Turns out, Rocker, who described himself as "not a very big fan of foreigners," once reportedly referred to a black teammate as a "fat monkey," is still around and still a racist.
We were reminded of his existence just this month, when he waxed nostalgic about the steroid era, saying baseball would benefit from more widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs. And now, he's decided to weigh in on Rangers reliever Tanner Schepper's recent mishap in Cleveland.
By now, it's pretty well established that Schepper's story of getting sucker-punched as he innocently walked down a Cleveland street is bullshit. He was at a bar and got in a fight. Not that Rocker's going to let that stop him from using the story as a chance to prove his thesis, which is that black people have an innate predisposition to violence.
Here's how he puts in in an "exclusive" column for WND.com:
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He didn't file a police report; though the story sounds incredibly believable considering Cleveland is one of those cities (think Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Oakland and Cincinnati) where rampant black-on-white violence transpires so frequently it has even earned a name on the streets.
Besides street basketball, this has become one of the most popular urban games in cities such as St. Louis and Chicago: Black teens or youth attack an unsuspecting white or Asian and attempt to "knock" them out.
With stories of a "Justice for Trayvon" black-on-white assault occurring in Washington, D.C., and a black mob attack on a white person in Baltimore over the weekend, yet another assault in Cleveland (even involving a 6-foot-4, 200-plus pound baseball player) seemed plausible.
Except it's not, as Rocker eventually gets around to acknowledging. He also seems not to be bothered by the fact that neither Scheppers nor Cleveland police have given any indication that his attackers were black. Nevertheless, Rocker forges ahead.
Whatever the outcome of Scheppers' Cleveland experience, we can all agree his teammates will give him plenty of grief if it turns out his story is false; but, for all those people who have been attacked in cities like Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis, this story offers a glimpse into an unsettling reality.
Urban America is little better than a war zone.
At least Scheppers has someone on his side.