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BASEBALL'S SECOND worst misplay of the pre-season had to be the two-paragraph regurgitation of a pitcher named John Rocker, in which he released enough racial venom to poison the planet.

Everyone came out swinging at this horrendous pitch. Even he was startled by the volume and the tone of the response. He had to go public with a ghost-written apology that sounded about as convincing as the Pete Rose sermon on gambling.

As expected, Commissioner Bud Selig threw the book at him--a $20,000 fine and a hefty suspension.

Also as expected, a mediator reduced the fine to $500 and the suspension to a 60-second time-out.

What could the mediator have been thinking of? We have an idea. Bigotry and foul language practically come with the franchise in professional baseball. Just drop into any clubhouse or wire a dugout for sound, and you will wince at the quality of the vocabulary.

But this kind of casual illiteracy never achieves the pure viciousness of that pitch from the Atlanta mound. That kind of guff can be delivered only by someone off his Rocker.
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Author:Masin, Herman L.
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2000
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