(Originally posted on February 25, 2000 and a fascinating look at the news of the day… Reposted on new URL on December 21, 2008.)
The news is fairly well-plastered these days with two types of negative articles about baseball. Those about Darryl Strawberry’s relapse into cocaine use, and those on John Rocker’s December Sports Illustrated interview, where he offended just about everyone with his racist, homophobic, and generally ass-headed comments.
It has been interesting to see how few people have come out in support of Rocker, at least in the mainstream press (I don’t read the KKK’s newspaper so I wouldn’t know…) — Ted Turner, media giant and owner of the Braves, who has been in controversies over his own foot-in-mouth statements, basically said, well you have to give the guy another chance. Several ballplayers have also come out saying that we can give Rocker at least a little benefit of the doubt for being dumb enough to act like a tough guy the only way he knew how, even if he doesn’t really feel that way “in his heart”–as Rocker said in his statement of apology. Hank Aaron didn’t exactly embrace Rocker, but cited his youth and inexperience with the spotlight of fame. So, if you want to give the guy the widest possible leeway, he appears redeemable. If you want to take his comments at face value, though, you have to pretty much believe that white militias everywhere will soon be carrying flags with his face on them. Where will John Rocker be in ten years, mentally, and ethically? Will anything change?
I’m asking myself those same questions about Strawberry…
(Click post title above to read entire post!)