Ball Five Pt. 1
Editor's Note: John Rocker, the maligned former closer for the Atlanta Braves, has signed a book deal with Regnery Publishing (publisher of such bestsellers as Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry) to chronicle his comeback attempt. Regnery and Mr. Rocker have graciously agreed to post some of the pitcher's entries here, as they happen. Expect a new entry each week.
It's no secret that I'm clawing my way back into the major leagues. It's been quite a while since I was last in the Show, and there's no question that I miss it. But the beautiful thing about baseball is that there's always another league, another team. If my time here in Long Island (with the Atlantic League's Long Island Ducks) doesn't send me back to the Bigs then maybe I'll try Japan or something. I could always use a new rug.
We've got a decent team here. I can't really see any of these guys making it on a major-league roster anytime soon, but a few have been there before. Our best pitcher other than me is this 27-year-old righty from Arkansas named Paxton Crawford. We've gotten to be pretty good buds. When the yo's start playing that (c)rap music on the clubhouse boombox either he or I will change the station to some country. No one ever protests, but if they do then he and I start to rap to make fun of it, only our raps go "n*gger n*gger n*gger yo/ b*tch ho b*tch yo." We crack each other up. Whatever, I have enough black friends already.
Got into a game last night against this team from Camden. We're great but they're real good, and I got roughed up a bit. My fastball was flat and my curve had about as much movement as a migrant worker on a lunch break. I started out looking good — got ahead of a couple hitters — but then it all kinda fell apart. Maybe they were stealing signs. I couldn't be sure. Two hits, two walks and two runs in one inning. No strikeouts. My ERA is up to 16.20.
Someone in the dugout asked me which was higher: my IQ or ERA? Everyone laughed. I got so pissed off that I went into the locker room, grabbed a wad of money and went back into the dugout and burned it in front of everyone. "I'm still rich," I said. Everyone got real quiet after that, which made me feel good even though I needed that cash for dinner. Oh well. Gotta be hungry to get into the bigs.