John Rocker Admitting to Steroid Use Comes as No Surprise

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2011

11 Oct 1999:  Relief pitcher John Rocker #49 of the Atlanta Braves walks off the field during Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves defeated the Mets 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons/Allsport
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker is no stranger to controversy, and when he recently confessed to using steroids during his playing days, nobody was really shocked.

In fact, the way baseball has gone over the last decade, there are only a few players that would surprise people if they came clean about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Promoting his new book, Scars and Strikes, Rocker did an interview with freelance writer and radio host Mike Silva, in which he talked about using PED's during his time with the Braves.  

Most people don't care for Rocker these days, but if he mentions that he used steroids during his playing days, it'll bring more attention toward him and the new book. 

Newsflash, John: People still aren't going to buy that book. What might be more interesting is a book on tape of Rocker reading it aloud. On second thought, I'd rather listen to Lou Holtz read the "s" section of the dictionary. 

When talking to Silva, Rocker was asked whether he took PED's in 1999, which was his best season. 

“Yeah, of course I was. I mean who wasn’t? Let’s be honest here, who wasn’t?” Rocker said. 

The two talked more about his usage and how Rocker claims he failed a test but the commissioners office never knew. 

When asked if using PED's made him better, Rocker said: 

"No. Can I throw 3 or 4 mph harder because of it? Yes. Was my breaking ball better because of it? No. The reason was (for taking it) with my teammates and their confidence laying on my shoulders, with the coaching staff and their confidence on my shoulders, with the millions of Atlanta Braves fans, I am not going to step on that mound with that kind of responsibility with my gun half loaded.

Knowing the people I am going to be facing, I know what they’re doing; I am not coming to the mound halfcocked."

Monkey see, monkey do. 

The competitor in Rocker is what drove him to use PED's, and the same can be said for a lot of different players. 

Some felt that if so-and-so was using to get ahead and it was working, then they should do it to just to keep up. 

That's how things got out of control, but at the same time, for Rocker to say it didn't make him better is a bold-faced lie. 

The sole purpose for which he took them was to be able to play at the same level as the other guys using. They're using it to play better, which means Rocker was doing the same. 

Trying to blame your usage on the fact that everybody else was doing it makes you sound weak and pathetic.

Rocker did have an opinion on other players who have used, and he believes that Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire will never be elected to the Hall of Fame.  

Perhaps the best quote of the interview was how Rocker feels now about his younger self. 

"I wish 37-year-old John Rocker could go back and punch 23-year-old John Rocker in his face," he said.

I have a feeling there are a few people in New York who'd like to punch Rocker right now. His remarks in the  Sports Illustrated interview  with Jeff Pearlman will never be forgotten in by some New Yorkers. 

In the end, Rocker's words to Silva were all talk just to hype up his book. 


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