In the News...
THE GEORGIA CHAPTER
OF THE SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL
TO TAKE TERMINALLY ILL CHILDREN ON ALASKAN ADVENTURE
GA --- May 12, 2005 --- The Georgia Chapter of the Safari
Club International (SCI) will be taking terminally ill children
on a trip to Alaska on June 9, 2005 for one week, as part
of their Safari Wish program. Jim Jairell will be hosting
the children at his Eagle’s View Lodge in southeast
SCI Members and Chapters through the Safari Wish program
try to grant as many lifelong wishes to terminally ill children
and people with disabilities as possible. Because funding
these programs is costly, SCI is limited to the number of
wishes it can fulfill, and hopes to expand the number of
wishes granted each year.
“Seeing these children enjoy themselves motivates
all of us to contribute and keep this program going. Unfortunately,
we are limited to the number of wishes we can grant each
year. When you watch a child who is terminal having fun,
and being able to forget about doctors and treatments for
a while, it warms your heart. Thanks to people like John
Rocker, who has made contributions to the organization,
we are able to accommodate even more children,” said
James Lakeman, past president of the Georgia Chapter of
This year the Georgia Chapter of Safari
Club International in association with the United Special
Sportsman Alliance (USSA) will grant 79 wishes, and hopes
to bring that number to 125 in 2006.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Safari Wish program
can do so by sending a check made payable to:
GA SCI/Safari Wish
c/o 2759 Delk Road, Suite 1075
Marietta, GA 30067
The Georgia Safari Club is a non-profit organization that
supports wildlife conservation and helps sick and terminally
ill children fulfill wishes. The Georgia Safari Club has
taken more than 30 kids on Safari Wishes from south Georgia
to the wilds of Alaska. For more information call 770-205-6973
or visit www.gasci.org.
Revealing Rocker's soft side
By A.J. Carter
April 18, 2005 - In the grand scheme of things, being John Rocker's
press agent would seem as a job to rank only slightly ahead
of mucking out stables. But that, Debi Curzio maintains, is
only because people don't know the real John Rocker.
The real Rocker, Curzio says, is "a very
genuine person, a very likable person, intelligent, great sense
of humor. Look, he knows he made a mistake. He doesn't deny
that. ... But he's also grown up in six years, and he's matured."
Curzio has spent the past year and a half as
Rocker's publicist and was so committed to ensuring that the
world saw the softer side of the relief pitcher least likely
to be given a seat on the No. 7 train that she picked up stakes
six months ago and moved from Northport to Atlanta, where Rocker
lives. So there is some small measure of irony that Curzio's
most challenging task will be in winning over baseball fans
back home, now that Rocker has signed on to pitch for the Long
Rocker, it will be remembered, gained his 15
minutes of infamy while pitching for the Atlanta Braves with
his comments in a Sports Illustrated article about the cultural
diversity of the passenger list on the subway to Shea Stadium.
Curzio took a professional interest in Rocker, wondering about
why "his people" were not doing a better job of muting
the outcry. "I kept watching and watching," she said,
"and suddenly I realized he's got no people."
Working through Rocker's agent, Joe Sambito
(the only Adelphi University alum to play in the major leagues),
Curzio faced Rocker. "I don't represent anybody I don't
believe in," she said. "I met John and I was pleasantly
So what has Curzio highlighted to improve Rocker's
image? That he's a successful real estate developer, that he
owns a computer company, that he does a lot of charity work
- and did, even before the controversy - and that he's not a
racist (the president of the computer company, she pointed out,
is black). She has booked radio appearances for him. "Prior
to meeting me and working with me, he didn't know what the role
of a publicist was," she said.
Her advice to Rocker in dealing with New York.
"Just be yourself."
Final exam time: The interview with us. With
Curzio monitoring, Rocker admitted his reputation might be different
had he had a public relations consultant five years ago and
handled things differently. Does he expect any problems with
fans on Long Island? "I've been through a lot and I can't
imagine that playing on Long Island is going to be any worse
than anything I've been through, and I've got a thick skin,
and I'm so happy about being back playing that I really can't
imagine anything that could happen that's going to be so great
as to derail my happiness," he said.
Does he still resent the media? "A little,
although through Debi, I've learned how to make them an asset,
not a liability."
You be the judge.
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.
Rocker tries a changeup
by Bob Herzog, Staff Correspondent
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - April 17, 2005 -- The breeze from the nearby
Atlantic Ocean blew across the wide-open spaces of this town
that once was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992
and is still in the rebuilding stages. The breeze blew the Johnny
Damon-length hair across the forehead and into the eyes of John
Rocker, whenever the once-and-future relief pitcher removed
his green Long Island Ducks hat. But the wind-blown hair could
not obscure Rocker's vision. He, too, is rebuilding.
"To say I'm a lot more mature at 30 than
I was at 24 or 25 is an understatement. I'm more grown up. There's
not a whole lot I haven't been through," Rocker said yesterday
in a private interview in the Ducks' dugout after the first
day of Atlantic League spring training at the Homestead Sports
Among the travails Rocker has been through is seeing an All-Star
caliber career as a closer with the Braves unravel because of
a serious shoulder injury, and his public image wind up in tatters
after inflammatory comments he made about New York City fans
and citizens in 1999. But that was a long time ago; Rocker insists
he's a new man with a new outlook. His hair is longer and, he
says, so is his fuse.
Asked about being taunted by chants of "racist"
while pitching in Venezuela in November, plus the possibility
of the loose-cannon factor when he pitches on Long Island and,
he hopes, in big-league cities, Rocker scoffed.
"It's not even an issue at this point.
I've heard it all and I've got some thick skin," he said.
"My goal is to pitch as well as I can and get to the big
leagues as soon as I can. I've set a timetable of July 1st to
be on a big-league roster."
He wasn't so optimistic after a brief and rocky
three-outing stint in Venezuela.
"I shouldn't have been there. I wasn't
ready," he said. "My velocity was only in the mid-80s,
it took me a long time to warm up, I couldn't pitch more than
an inning and I couldn't pitch on back-to-back days."
At the same time, his computer company -- owned
by a black man who came to him for funding, Rocker is quick
to point out -- was flourishing, as were two real-estate ventures,
so he asked himself: "After 20-25 hours a week of rehab
and 15-16 months after surgery, this is it? Am I just banging
my head against the wall and spitting into the wind?"
So Rocker stopped throwing and concentrated
on his business interests until an unexpected phone call from
a Florida Marlins executive put baseball back on his radar screen.
"He said he was a guy who liked to take
on a project or two every year, a guy who had a history of injuries,"
Rocker said. "He sounded really excited. He said I was
the kind of guy he was looking for. We were never able to strike
a deal, but that got me throwing again after three weeks off."
Rocker said he didn't feel particularly good
in early February, when he started throwing in his hometown
of Alpharetta, Ga. But he kept at it and then one day in early
March, his catcher, Aaron Alvarez, who played in the Marlins'
minor-league system, took off his mask after several of Rocker's
fastballs and started shaking his head.
"What did you do? Those last four pitches
were significantly harder. They had to be 92," Rocker recalled
of the conversation that clinched his decision to stride onto
the comeback trail. "It was a sudden thing, but ever since
then, I've felt better. I was clocked at 93 on a radar gun about
10 days ago. If I can get 2½ months of seeing hitters
[with the Ducks] and get my fastball in the low-to-mid 90s with
a sharp slider and a splitter I've been working on since I started
my rehab, I'll show them [big-league scouts] that I'm healthy."
Though there are plenty of hard miles on Rocker's
arm, he doesn't turn 31 until October and believes he is being
realistic about his goals and his dreams.
"I love baseball, but I wouldn't be satisfied
to just go out and play in a 30-and-over adult league,"
he said. "I want to play at the pinnacle again, and that's
the big leagues. With the state of bullpens today, if I can
get back up to 93-95 and I'm healthy, there's no excuse if I
don't get back."
If he does return, he may get to see some tangible
evidence of the period in his baseball career when he talked
as fast as he threw. In the aftermath of his harsh criticism
of Mets fans in 1999, the team built a permanent canopy over
the visiting bullpen at Shea Stadium to shield Rocker from the
assortment of batteries, food and beer that was tossed his way.
"A lot of guys are still thanking me for
that," he said, the passage of time allowing him to laugh
at the memory.
Ducks get taste of big-league stuff
Newsday, by Bob Herzog,
April 17, 2005
HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The slider darted downward so sharply that
the Ducks' hitter swung hopelessly over it, with no chance to
make contact. "Hee-hee-hee," chortled John Rocker,
the man who delivered the pitch.
Moments later, when he hung the same pitch, the southpaw uttered
a loud grunt and perhaps a muffled expletive. Rocker is as hard
on himself as he was to National League hitters during his prime
years of 1999-2001.
"I threw OK," he said after a 35-pitch, eight-minute
session of live batting practice yesterday at the Ducks' first
day of spring training. "I'm at the level I'd be if it
was Day 1 of spring training at a major-league camp in mid-February.
"I always want to throw harder -- even if I was throwing
100 miles an hour -- so I'd like to see more velocity,"
Rocker added. "I want more consistency on my slider. I
hate to see a roller [a pitch that doesn't break sharply.]"
The batter who elicited the guffaw was Pete Rose Jr., 35, who
wanted to play one more year of pro ball. He was given the chance
as a favor to his famous father by old nemesis Bud Harrelson,
part owner of the Ducks, who clearly understands the concept
of forgive and forget.
"He was throwing hard and the ball was jumping out of
his hand," Harrelson said of Rocker. "He's the only
guy here who could do this [throwing to live hitters] the first
day of camp."
Said Ducks pitching coach Dave LaPoint: "What I noticed
is that he hides the ball well. You've got just a split-second
to pick it up [as a hitter]. I thought he threw free and easy.
Every pitcher thinks he'll have Hall of Fame stuff the first
day, but you've got to give him two weeks to get his location
and his arm strength."
Rose Jr. offered a favorable first impression. "He's a
big-leaguer, there's no two ways about it," he said.
Returning outfielder Jason Johnson said, "When he made
his pitches, they were nasty."
That's music to the ears of this long-haired Rocker.
ROCKER RETURNS TO HILL
Post Online, By BRIAN COSTELLO – April 16, 2005
John Rocker was back on the mound facing batters
yesterday. The former Braves closer began his stint with the
Long Island Ducks in Homestead, Fla., as the team opened spring
"I felt good," Rocker said in a
Rocker has been out of baseball since 2003
when he underwent surgery on his left rotator cuff. He hopes
to be back in the major leagues in 4-6 weeks.
"I think I can help this team, and once
I get my stuff back and my velocity up I should be able to get
to the big leagues soon," Rocker said.
Rocker said he threw about 35-40 pitches yesterday
and topped out at around 90 mph.
I AM A BETTER MAN
New York Post
BRIAN COSTELLO Post Correspondent
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — From his hairstyle
to his outlook on New York, John Rocker says he is a different
man from the one most people remember.
In an exclusive interview with The Post, the
baseball pitcher asked New Yorkers to give him a second chance
as he begins a comeback with the minor-league Long Island Ducks.
"I don't have any ill feelings [toward
New York], and it would be nice to think that the New York people
can be as mature as I think I am now and bury the hatchet and
move on," said Rocker, who now has shoulder-length hair.
Rocker, 30, infamously ripped New York in a
Sports Illustrated article six years ago while he was with the
Atlanta Braves. He later retracted and apologized for the comments.
Today, he blames them on immaturity.
"Everybody is a lot different person at
24 than they are at 30," he said. "There's been a
lot of growing that's been done, a lot of maturing that's been
Rocker has been out of baseball since 2003
when he underwent surgery to repair his left rotator cuff.
He signed last week with the Ducks, an independent
team in Central Islip.
Rocker said he had other options, but liked
the Ducks organization and he has no reservations about playing
35 miles from Shea Stadium, where he was once the target of
everything from boos to batteries.
Rocker's stay in New York may not be very long.
He said he hopes to be signed by a major-league team in four
to six weeks. He even said he would be willing to play for his
old adversaries in Flushing, the Mets.
"Whoever wants to give me a jersey and
sign my check, I'll play for," Rocker said. "I don't
care who it is."
During the 40-minute interview, Rocker seemed
at ease and did not refuse to answer any questions.
He wore a 17th Precinct hat given to him by
NYPD officers who worked security at Shea during his time with
the Braves, and a black T-shirt. He had just finished a workout
at a high school near his suburban Atlanta home when he sat
down with The Post.
In a baritone voice with a Southern drawl,
Rocker spoke about the past and looked ahead to the future.
He became the face of the heated Mets-Braves
rivalry in the late 1990s, first as a flame-throwing closer
who notched 38 saves in 1999, and later as a loudmouth when
he made disparaging comments about homosexuals, AIDS patients,
foreigners, minorities, New Yorkers and single mothers in the
December 1999 SI article.
Rocker is still bothered by the perception
that he is a racist, pointing out he lived with minorities as
a minor-leaguer and currently employs a black man as the president
of a computer company he owns.
"I think the whole issue of being such
a racist could not be farther from the truth," Rocker said.
"I tend to take people for the way they
come across, their personality, the way they treat me. I take
that for what it is, regardless of where they come from or their
In his defense, he pointed out that after the
article, no one from his past accused him of being racist.
"If I was such a racist — being
that's the way our society is, and people love to pile on and
kick somebody when they're down and drag their name through
the mud — why hasn't somebody I knew from A-ball or rookie
ball or high school come back and say, 'John Rocker called me
this' or 'I overheard him in the clubhouse telling this kind
of joke?' " he said.
"That's never happened. It's been the
In SI, Rocker likened riding the No. 7 train
to traveling through Beirut, but he told The Post he has no
problem on the subway.
"I've ridden it 20 times in the past,"
Rocker said. "I've probably ridden it once since [the article].
I haven't been in New York that much. When I was in the American
League, I rode the [No.] 4 to Yankee Stadium."
Rocker said he never meant any harm with his
comments about New Yorkers, but got caught up in the rivalry
between the Braves and Mets at the time.
"Hopefully, they can let bygones be bygones
and see that just by me coming up there to play, that I'm not
holding any grudges, and they would extend me the same courtesy
and just realize that I was 23, 24 years old at that time,"
"It was my way of trash-talking to the
other team, not necessarily the people themselves. I think that
was the problem. Most New York citizens took it personally like
I was talking to them specifically.
"In actuality, it was a heated rivalry
between two teams and there was some trash-talking on their
side, and I know Chipper [Jones] said some things on our side
and so did I. It was back and forth.
"It was more of a thing directed toward
the rivalry, not personally at the citizens of New York.
"I just hope people understand how long
ago it was and by me coming up there, I'm showing some good
faith and I don't have anything against the people of New York.
"I'm coming up there to live for, hopefully,
just four to six weeks, but who knows? It could be longer, and
I'm looking forward to it."
The Ducks, who play in the Northern Division
of the Class AAA Atlantic League, open up their season April
28 in Bridgeport, Conn. Their first home game is May 4.
Rocker said he does not know what to expect
when he comes charging in from the bullpen the first time.
"I'm optimistic," he said. "We'll
see. I've certainly not committed any felonies. I just hope
I can be forgiven for some youthful, childish behavior that
I certainly grew out of a long time ago."
New York Post Online
Edition, By Kevin Kernan
MACON, Ga. - April 2005 - Walk into the Middlebrooks
Athletic Center at First Presbyterian Day School and you immediately
know where John Loy Rocker resides in the hearts and minds of
those here in his hometown.
On the brick wall to your right is his retired jersey, proudly
displayed with the school nickname, "Vikings," across
Here they don't see Rocker as the poster child
for racist, insensitive comments. Yes, they see someone who
made those terrible statements - they are not about to bury
their heads in the sand - but they also see someone who made
a mistake, someone who apologized for that mistake, someone
who remains the pride of his school.
"John Rocker just signed with the Long
Island Ducks, sir," 12-year-old Cameron Carter, a second
baseman on the middle-school baseball team at First Presbyterian,
proudly tells me. "I got his autograph once down at the
"I met him over at Barnes & Noble,"
says David Darnell, 13, a shortstop. "He was nice."
Says 13-year-old catcher Clayton Pope, "I'd
love to catch 'em, sir."
Like everyone I met at the school and in the
area, these youngsters were extremely polite and respectful.
They also were forgiving of Rocker.
Perhaps that's the ultimate irony of this story:
Not that Big Apple basher Rocker signed with a New York Independent
League club - that's ironic enough - but that New Yorkers think
Rocker's 1999 words may speak for this community of nearly 100,000
people 80 miles south of Atlanta.
Here they see a much different John Rocker
than the Punk Rocker New York sees, the one who said in that
Sports Illustrated article: "Imagine having to take the
7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through]
Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer
with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for
the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four
kids. It's depressing."
Rocker's former high school coach, Jim Turner
Jr., has known Rocker since he entered First Presbyterian as
a kindergarten student.
"John always was a talker," Turner
says. "But he's really a good guy, a funny guy. He was
sorry for what he said, he knows he made a mistake."
Turner is deeply respected here and remains
close to Rocker; they went fishing the other day.
"John caught eight bass to my four,"
says Turner, who believes young Rocker was somewhat overwhelmed
by things he couldn't relate to when he made those hurtful comments.
"There's nobody in Macon with purple hair,"
The only thing purple here is the wisteria,
and that's in full bloom now.
Turner, 53, is a former shortstop at the University
of Georgia and coached varsity baseball at First Presbyterian
for 20 years. He briefly went to coach at a local public school
but is back at First Presbyterian, teaching physical education
and coaching softball.
He sees a John Rocker who always was willing
to help his community, who would give clinics to youngsters
to raise money for school programs; a John Rocker, who when
he played here in the minors at Luther Williams Stadium in 1996,
had teammates Andruw Jones and Bruce Chen live with him at his
He also saw a John Rocker who would pick up
the tab for students and chaperones when they would visit in
spring training, a John Rocker who would pay the way for students
so they could go to World Series games in New York.
He sees a John Rocker who was the heart and
soul of the 1992 state championship team, a super competitive
athlete who set the school's reception record as a wide receiver,
an unbeatable pitcher and a terrific center fielder who loved
the game and would get upset when opponents wouldn't pitch to
" ' Coach, they won't give me a fastball,'
" Turner recalls Rocker saying.
Turner sees a John Rocker who is sorry for
what he said and has paid a price.
"It's hard for him to trust people now
after that Sports Illustrated article," the coach says.
Turner remembers a 12-year-old John Rocker
over at the George T. Jones Little League Complex at Freedom
Park, pitching for the Dodgers, beating his father's team, the
Orioles, on the most perfect of fields that even has its own
Jim Turner Sr. coached Little League for 34
years before passing away in 1995. This is a baseball community,
and Rocker, 30, who now lives near Atlanta, remains its No.
"After that whole incident," says
Connie Mack Darnell, who played for Eddie Stanky at South Alabama
and is David's father, "our mayor, C. Jack Ellis, the first
black mayor of Macon, had a long conversation with John and
said, 'We need to rally around this boy. He made a mistake,
it was dumb stuff, but we need to rally around him, he's one
"The kids here are thrilled to death that
John is playing again."
Turner Sr. was a close friend of George Jones,
whom the Little League complex is named after. George's son
Casey Jones - yes, they have a way with names down here - is
the middle-school baseball coach at First Presbyterian, one
of four baseball teams at the school. Casey Jones would make
the run to Atlanta with Turner Jr. to watch Rocker pitch.
"John was always the last one out of the
clubhouse," recalls Jones, who played at Appalachian State
with former Mets catcher Ron Hodges, "and he would say,
'Coach, sorry I kept you, but I had four miles to run.'
Casey Jones says, with passion, "Believe
me, we are not saying the things he said were OK. They were
wrong, but he was also taken advantage of ... I think the people
in New York need to give John a chance and get to know him.
Don't judge him on what they've read."
Connie Mack Darnell says, "We're storytellers
down here. We embellish. Part of the problem is John is so competitive
and when he made those comments about New York, there was some
real competition between the New York team and that Atlanta
team [Mets and Braves]."
Darnell's wife, Cyndi, who is the school's
librarian, says, "God, I'd hate for all of us to be judged
on stupid things we said one time. John was young when he said
that and he was acting like a dumb kid."
John Rocker said it, though, and has to live
with it. Perhaps, by pitching for the Ducks, trying to rebuild
his career in New York, the lefty might be able to change people's
perception of him.
No matter what's been said and how this all
plays out, it's clear John Rocker is one player who always can
go home again.
DUCKS SIGN JOHN ROCKER
Former Braves lefty inks deal with Long
Islip, N.Y., April 7, 2005) – The Long
Island Ducks, members of the Atlantic League of Professional
Baseball, today announced the signing of pitcher John Rocker
to a contract for the 2005 baseball season.
“John Rocker wants to pitch on Long Island,”
said Ducks pitching coach Dave LaPoint. “He had opportunities
to pitch elsewhere and he chose to pitch here. We look forward
to putting the best product on the field possible in order to
defend our Atlantic League title and John is excited to be a
part of that.”
Rocker, a native of Statesboro, Georgia, owns
a 3.42 ERA and 88 saves in 280 appearances (255.1 innings pitched)
at the major-league level. His best season came in 1999 when
he went 4-5 with a 2.49 ERA and 38 saves for the National League
champion Braves. In 20 career postseason appearances at the
big league level (20.2 innings pitched), Rocker is 2-0 with
a 0.00 ERA and three saves.
JOHN ROCKER JOINS HOST COMMITTEE FOR GEORGIA
ATLANTA, GA --- August 17, 2004 --- Major League
pitcher John Rocker was recently asked to serve on the host
committee for the second annual “Many Lives You’ve
Touched” fundraiser benefiting Georgia Transplant Foundation.
His responsibilities will include soliciting items for the silent
auction and assisting with fundraising efforts. This announcement
came from David Bakelman, Executive Director, Georgia Transplant
In regards to serving on the committee, Mr.
Rocker stated, “My good friend Ira Wilkins is a transplant
recipient, so it was natural for me to get involved. The Foundation
is doing great things for people here in Georgia, and I’m
proud to be a part of the team.”
Georgia Transplant Foundation will be holding
its annual event, “The Many Lives You’ve Touched”
on Thursday, September 30 at the The Tongue & Groove Lounge
in Buckhead. The event will feature a live art auction as well
as a silent auction. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the
door. Proceeds will benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation.
Georgia Transplant Foundation Executive Director
David Bakelman said “It’s a great honor to have
someone like John Rocker on this committee. He’s not only
helped with the fundraising efforts, but his name recognition
has tremendous impact.”
Georgia Transplant Foundation is a nonprofit
organization dedicated to assisting transplant candidates, recipients,
living donors and their families through financial assistance,
education, and advocacy. In 2003, the Georgia Transplant Foundation
assisted over 500 transplant recipients and their families in
Georgia. Eighty-five percent of all funds raised supports Georgia
transplant candidates, recipients, living donors and their families.
For more information call 770.457.3796 or visit www.gatransplant.org.
MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER, JOHN ROCKER, CLEARED
ATLANTA, GA --- December 9, 2003 --- Major League Baseball
relief pitcher John Rocker underwent surgery on his left rotator
cuff in July, and was given the okay to begin throwing six weeks
ago. This announcement came from Dr. James R. Andrews, M.D.,
orthopedic surgeon, Alabama Sports Medical & Orthopedic
Center; and medical director, American Sports Medical Institute
in Birmingham, Alabama.
During the 2003 season, diminishing velocity led Rocker to
seek medical attention for his shoulder. Although tests failed
to reveal any damage, a shoulder exam and surgery revealed that
Rocker had 80 percent tear in his left rotator cuff, which had
been deteriorating for the past two years. Surgery to correct
the problem was performed in July, and Rocker has been rehabilitating
his shoulder ever since.
Dr. Andrews stated, “John has responded to the shoulder
surgery extremely well, and has worked as hard as any Major
League baseball pitcher I ever had as a patient. He set his
goals high, and should be competitive in spring training. John
has met every post-surgical milestone, and it is gratifying
to see him make this type of career-saving recovery.”
He added, “I not only expect John to come back to the
Major League level as the outstanding pitcher he always was,
but to be stronger with better longevity than before.”
Rocker works out with his physical therapist and on his own
5 times a week and up to 6 hours a day, which has been the driving
force behind his rapid recovery. “John is ahead of schedule
by four to five weeks regarding both his strength and throwing
programs. Currently, he is throwing at 90 feet without any difficulty,”
said Kevin Wilk, Rocker’s physical therapist at HealthSouth
medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rocker is expected to continue throwing through December and
could be back on the mound as early as January. He said, “It
feels great to be playing catch again. I went from not being
able to pick up a fork to throwing in less than four months.”
Rocker added, “My focus has been on rehabilitating my
shoulder and getting healthy. I know I will be back in the spring
of 2004 pitching better than ever.”
Rocker’s agent, Joe Sambito of SFX Baseball Group, added,
“No one ever questions John’s work ethic. Coupled
with his intense desire to once again pitch in the Major Leagues,
I’m confident that John can recapture the magic that made
him one of the most dominant closers in Major League Baseball.”
During the off season, Rocker has been committed to his rehabilitation;
he served as a baseball analyst during the post season games
for Sporting News Radio; interviewed with radio stations throughout
the United States including ESPN Radio in New York, Indianapolis,
LA and Florida; volunteered his time to the Scottish Rite Children’s
Hospital; The Empty Stocking Fund; and The Wheelin’ Sportsman.
JOHN ROCKER JOINS PETER BROWN SHOW ON SPORTING
AS WEEKLY BASEBALL PLAYOFF AND WORLD SERIES ANALYST
Chicago, IL – October 2003 -- Former
Major League Baseball relief pitcher John Rocker, will join
the Peter Brown Show on Sporting News Radio weekly as a Major
League Baseball Playoff and World Series Analyst.
Rocker will join the Peter Brown Show and offer his opinions,
insight and analysis of the MLB Playoffs and World Series every
Thursday at 1:25 ET, starting September 26th and will continue
as a regular analyst through the World Series.
Peter Brown looks forward to having John Rocker as his post-season
baseball analyst and said, "John has Playoff and World
Series experience and you won't be able to get that kind of
insight anywhere else."
The Peter Brown Show airs weekdays 12pm-3pm ET on Sporting News
About Sporting News Radio
Sporting News Radio is the nation’s largest and most-listened-to
24-hour sports radio network broadcasting live over 430 affiliated
stations. The Sporting News also operates Boston’s WWZN
1510 "The Zone," “The Ticket” 1540 Los
Angeles and 820 WCSN, "Chicago’s Sporting News."
Sporting News Radio is streamed live through SportingNews.com,
Radio@AOL and Radio@Netscape.