Braves Demote Controversial Pitcher to Minor Leagues

Published June 6th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

One day after an angry confrontation with the journalist who reported the racist and homophobic remarks that got him suspended, John Rocker found himself demoted from MLB. 

The embattled Atlanta Braves closing relief hurler was sent to Richmond of the International League and fined an undisclosed amount for "inappropriate conduct." 

Commissioner Bud Selig originally suspended rocker for one month for his comments in the article. But arbitrator Shyam Das reduced the ban to 14 days while allowing Rocker to participate in spring training and reducing his fine from $20,000 to $500. 

In 21 games this season, Rocker has no record and a 3.93 earned run average. He has allowed 18 hits and 25 walks in 18 1/3 innings. 

Rocker, however, excelled during the 1999 playoffs. In 10 appearances, Rocker was 1-0 with three saves, allowing no earned runs and five hits with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings. 

If Rocker remains in the minors, he would miss the Braves first visit of the season to Shea Stadium later this month. The Braves begin a four-game series in New York on June 29 - (AFP) 


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