MLB: John Rocker Aims Fastball at Bud Selig

John McCloryAnalyst IFebruary 12, 2008

When John Rocker made disparaging remarks about New Yorkers that included homophobic and blatantly racist language, he was wrong.

When the former Atlanta Braves closer referred to then-teammate Randall Simon as a "fat monkey," he was dead wrong.

And when he defended former player and current White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen when he referred to Chicago sports columnist Jay Mariotti as a "fag," he was beyond wrong.

On Monday, Rocker weighed in on the steroid circus and implicated MLB commissioner Bud Selig as being fully aware of the rampant juicing.

According to, Selig knew Rocker had failed a drug test in 2000 and advised him and several teammates on how to properly use steroids.

The ESPN. com report went on to say that Rocker appeared on an Atlanta area radio show later Monday and stated that "between 40 and 50 percent" of players are on the juice. Almost a year ago, while still in the majors, he was quoted as saying "less than 10 percent" were using.

Either that number has shot up considerably since, or Johnny Boy was just trying to downplay the situation and cover his tracks like everyone else.

Controversy loves company and whom better to cuddle up with than Rocker, who balked more off the field than on it.

But even in the controversial world of a man with a larger than life mouth, eventually you get one right.

Forget the past, throw aside the hatred, and notify baseball that hell is ice cold—John Rocker has shed his Machiavellian side in exchange for total insightfulness.

Remember the series finale of Seinfeld? Forget the fact that it stunk and focus on the general plot: Jerry and the gang are arrested for neglecting to assist a victim of a robbery.

Turns out they failed to abide by the "Good Samaritan" law of good ol' Latham, Massachusetts.

Similarly, Bud Selig and his cronies failed to halt the robbing of baseball's integrity.

The commish, who was appointed in 1992, turned his back to the McGwire-Sosa juice-fest of 1999 and probably wouldn't have made Barry Bonds a top priority had the evidence not been shoved in his face.

It's well-known that any official stance on steroids and testing have to be ironed out by a collective bargaining agreement, but this whole charade still reeks of Selig's idleness. 

Look, I'll be the first to admit that this steroid crapola tends to go around in circles without making sense. I realize there are more satisfying and heartwarming tales to delve into. It's enough that fans are bombarded 24/7 with Roger Clemens vs. the free world coverage.

But since those linked to performance enhancers are in the business of pointing fingers, it's time for the fans to do the same.

And when a headcase like John Rocker brings to light a surprisingly valid point about baseball's dirty little secret, something has gone awry.

The title on the article says it all: "Controversial Rocker says baseball knew he was using steroids."

To put that in the form of a question, how could Selig not know he—or anyone—was using steroids?

How could he not know that those 500-plus foot dingers aren't exactly "all natural?"

How could he not know that pitchers don't reach a second prime in their mid-forties?

Most of all, how could Selig sit back and let his best slugger go down swinging and his best flame-thrower take the heat?

Sure, he didn't strap anyone to a table and forcibly inject them with performance enhancers. But if he had at least we could've banned him to obscurity and swept the needles under the rug a long time ago.

All Selig and co. had to do was impose a strict and law-abiding drug test at the first sight of juicing and the integrity of the game might have been saved.

Look no further than third baseman Ken Caminiti as an example of why Selig's failures are haunting the league.

Caminiti had admitted struggles with substance abuse and endured a brief stint in rehab. Upon retirement, he confessed to using steroids during his 1996 MVP season.

Chances are Selig knew of the problem and clearly didn't spring into serious action till about a decade too late. He likely knew an admitted drug abuser and rehab attendee was experimenting with steroids, amongst other things, and willed it to go away.

Seriously, how does the commish sleep at night?

As we express disappointment and disbelief towards those lucky souls included in the Mitchell Report, we ignore the man who didn't have the best interest of his players or the league, in mind.

Mr. Allan "Bud" Selig Jr., folks.

Rocker may have as much—or as little—credibility as the press-hungry Jose Canseco, but suddenly he's making some sense.

Maybe this is his twisted and bizarre way of inflicting his revenge on Selig and the game for all the suspensions and named names. Or maybe he said what we were thinking and should've said all along.

Maybe the resounding "ca-ching!" in Selig's head left him completely deafened and oblivious to baseball's cries for help.


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