John Rocker reponds to SI writer's tale

Former Braves closer John Rocker has gained some wisdom following scandalous Sports Illustrated article published nearly 15 years ago.
Former Braves closer John Rocker has gained some wisdom following scandalous Sports Illustrated article published nearly 15 years ago.

Credit: Frank Niemeir / AJC File

Credit: Frank Niemeir / AJC File

Last week, former Sports Illustrated writer Jeff Pearlman recounted the events that led to his raucous tale of former Braves relief pitcher John Rocker.

In the piece, published online by Bleacher Report, Pearlman maintains everything in the article is accurate:

"Rocker has maintained, on multiple occasions, that the quotes were pieced together and/or taken out of context. This is 100-percent untrue. When Rocker first made the case, I said I would play the tape for him. He never responded.

And yet...he was also young. And dumb. And naive."

Ever the closer, Rocker recounts his own tale. In his own blog, published on the conservative website WND.com, Rocker states he was asked to comment for the Bleacher Report piece before it published.

"I was being asked to weigh in on how the SI piece that catapulted my name to international notoriety has affected me over the years. My first reaction was 'why? – and more importantly, 'why now?' "

Rocker, in his post titled, "Why I'm thankful for Sports Illustrated hit piece," reveals he's done some introspeciton over the years and concluded that all the bad has resulted in some good:

"The benefits I've gained far outweigh the detriments. There truly is no such thing as bad publicity. The things I've been able to do; the doors that have opened; the places I've been able to go and the famous/influential people I now consider friends in large part stem from the notoriety created by that SI piece."

Before he fired his own response Monday, Rocker lobbed some fastballs aimed at the AJC and the Bleacher Report via his Twitter (@johnrockerbook) putting his spin on a tired story:

But if he sounds bitter, Rocker says he is not "because of Sports Illustrated and the recognition that has come along with it, I still have a voice that people listen to 14 years later."

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