Atlanta Braves' closer John Rocker rejoined the team on April 18 after serving a 14-day suspension for his racist and homophobic remarks published in Sport Illustrated.
When the New York Yankees beat the Braves 7-6, Sunday, to win the weekend matchup of last season's World Series participants, it was clear that the after effects of the incident are still being felt.
Prior to the game, Rocker berated the Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman whose article in December about the Braves' outspoken closer sparked a firestorm of controversy. In the story, Rocker offended several minority groups, his own teammates and expressed his dislike for the city of New York.
Pearlman said Rocker threatened him, though there was no physical contact between the two. The Braves said they were investigating and teammate Brian Jordan called him a "cancer."
"You've got one guy being a cancer time and time again," the outfielder said. "Eventually, it's going to have an effect on the team. Hopefully, he'll change."
Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz explains in a statement, "We immediately began to address the matter internally and are continuing to do so. We respect the rights of Jeff, as a legitimate member of the media, to cover the Braves in general and this series against the New York Yankees in particular. We will do everything in our power to insure that similar incidents do not occur in the future," - (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)