Reporting Keith Britton
Former MLB closer John Rocker joined Anthony Lima and Dustin Fox to talk about what he’s doing these days, including how much he misses baseball. Rocker elaborated on how bullpen players can lose it in one year, late game situations for bullpen pitchers, knowing whether you have “it” from one day to the next, his feeling on steroids in baseball, and how Hall of Famers feel about players that have used PEDs.
Rocker discussed if the game is better now, athlete’s willingness to take chances to get around steroid tests, how much steroids helped him, and addressed many of his past controversies.
Currently living in Atlanta, Ga., Rocker said he misses “jacking around the clubhouse” and seeing many of his old baseball buddies despite his ongoing career in community service as director of public affairs for SaveHomelessVeterans.com, the Ronald McDonald house and helping raise money to battle multiple sclerosis.
Hosts Lima and Fox asked Rocker what his thoughts were on Alex Rodriguez and other steroids issues in baseball today. Rocker told an anecdote from an encounter he had at the baseball Hall of Fame with some of the sport’s greatest athletes of all time.
“I heard Ernie Banks say ‘I do not want those guys in my Hall of Fame.’ But of course back in the day, say 1993 or 2005, I mean, it was keepin’ up with the Jones’ …to level that playing field and keep my job,” were Rocker’s concerns at the time.
“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical stand point, I think it was the better game. At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120 whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town. They are paid to be entertained. They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That’s entertainment. You’re paying to be entertained.”
“And was there anything more entertaining than 1998 – I don’t care how each man got there – was there anything more entertaining than 1998?…watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire chase 61 home runs?”
“That was a mesmerizing time for every baseball fan out there…the people were getting their money’s worth.”
Rocker said that despite even the best Olympic tests for steroids, use will not be deterred in the near future due to the amount of steroid types available to today’s athletes. He believes skepticism of professional baseball’s greatest hitters will still be there moving into the future.