The Chutzpah of John Rocker

John Rocker, one of the Worldnutdaily’s growing stable of has-been “celebrity” halfwits, really does have some chutzpah. You’d think that he, of all people, would avoid the subject of immigration. After all, what killed his public standing was when he unleashed this torrent of xenophobia and racism to a reporter in 1999, speaking about New York:

It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you’re [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing….

The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. I’m not a very big fan of foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get into this country?” …

“So many dumb asses don’t know how to drive in this town,” he says, Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind humming softly from the radio. “They turn from the wrong lane. They go 20 miles per hour. It makes me want — Look! Look at this idiot! I guarantee you she’s a Japanese woman.” A beige Toyota is jerking from lane to lane. The woman at the wheel is white. “How bad are Asian women at driving?”

Showing that he’s learned absolutely nothing, he throws a fit about the so-called “gang of eight” trying to reach a deal on immigration.

The good old “Gang of Eight,” those Republican and Democrat senators who have declared war on the American taxpayer, are hoping this is the week an immigration bill can be hammered out.

Though the Associated Press will no longer call them “illegal immigrants” – Jay Leno put it best when he said they would be called “undocumented Democrats” – the Gang of Eight is bound and determined to set in motion an amnesty that will remake all of America into just another version of the failed state of California.

War on the American taxpayer? There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. While they do pay sales tax on the things they buy, wouldn’t we all be better off if they were given legal residency so they would be forced to pay income taxes to both the federal government and the state they live in? Because they’re undocumented, they can’t do that now. How exactly does it hurt the American taxpayer to have more taxpayers?

All at the expense of the American worker, the American middle class and, worse, those Americans currently taking out student loans to pay for a college education that no longer offers a ticket to acquiring the so-called American Dream…

They will be lauded, showered with praise for allowing reason and compassion to triumph over the nativism and bigotry that kept these “undocumented Democrats” from coming out of the shadows, while the American taxpayer will see entitlement spending – already growing exponentially under President Obama – increase dramatically.

Ah, I see. They will simultaneously take all the good jobs and be a bunch of lazy bums on welfare. Neat trick. All of this is just a pretense, a thin veneer of an argument intended to cover up his real problem with immigration, which is that he doesn’t like immigrants. He made that clear long ago.

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  • slc1

    Although its good for yuks to make fun of Rocker, there is something a little sad about him. Here’s a guy who had a sterling year as a closer in 1999, the same year he made a fool of himself; 38 saves with a 2.49 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 72 innings. Those are Goose Gossage numbers. After that, it was strictly downhill with his career being over at 28. It’s not clear how much, if at all, his moronic rant had to do with his decline.

  • gshelley

    Doesn’t he realise non citizens can’t vote? even if they eventually go for citizenship rather than just a Green Card, it is going to be at least a decade before they get to vote.

  • Synfandel

    gshelley, would you explain that last comment to this less-than-savvy non-American, please? Are newly minted US citizens not allowed to vote?

  • looseleaf

    Who the hell is John Rocker??

  • Karen Locke

    He probably doesn’t eat vegetables. Wouldn’t want to consume something that was touched by illegal immigrant hands.

    I’m of two minds about how to “normalize” the folks who work so hard, for so little pay, so that they can send a bit back to their home country to help family who are even poorer. I’m happy with giving them green cards. But citizenship as a reward for coming here illegally seems a bit much. So I waffle.

  • Anyone else fantasizing about dropping Rocker in the middle of say, a Navaho reservation?


    Just me then?

  • Synfandel

    Why a Navaho reservation? You lost me.

  • slc1

    Re Syfandel @ #4

    Citizenship for an immigrant to the US is a rather involved process that takes a number of years.Thus, one doesn’t become a citizen after getting a green card, which is essentially like a drivers license in that it enables the recipient to get a job legally. However, a newly minted citizen can vote immediately.

    This is not out of line with other countries. For instance, Prof. Jeffrey Shallit, who teaches mathematics and computer science at the Un. of Waterloo in Canada and who was born in Philadelphia, Pa. is applying for Canadian citizenship, which, apparently takes a number of years there too.

  • slc1

    Re looseleaf @ #5

    Rocker is a former major league baseball pitcher who had one big year in 1999, which I cited in comment #2, but subsequently his career went into the toilet. He is what was now referred to as a “closer”, that is, he was usually inserted at the start of the 9th inning to hold a lead, i.e. “close out” the game.

  • looseleaf

    Who the hell is John Rocker??

    I second that.

  • frog

    Synfandel: It takes an annoyingly long time to become an American citizen. The shortest of the standard routes is probably via marriage to someone who is already a citizen, and even that takes a couple of years. There’s a lot of paperwork and witness statements and the FBI talking to everyone you know.

    I’m sure there are methods which involve pulling strings for well-connected people, but your average immigrant who came here for the American Dream of an environment where they can do an honest job for honest money is probably not connected that well.


    The worst part (for me) of Rocker’s statement back in 1999 is that the 7 train is a weird train. It’s the only train where I’ve ever been flashed (twice!), and I have seen people transporting live chickens on it. That said, so what? (The chickens, I mean, not the flashing.)

    The 7 train has been recognized by the UN as going through the most international few miles in the world. I don’t think there’s a cuisine in the world that doesn’t have a restaurant of some sort within walking distance of a station. Many are little hole-in-the-wall places, but they are GOOD hole-in-the-wall places. It’s a strange secret in NY, mostly known only to residents of northern and northeastern Queens.

    (Disclosure: My grandfather drove the 7 train, back in the early-to-mid-20th century when it was still the “Flushing line” and Flushing was primarily Irish. But even then the line was known for the international populations all along its length. They were more European then, but people still bitched about all those foreigners who didn’t speak English. Somehow, this is not been a problem for New York.)

  • One more reason for me to dislike baseball.

  • frog

    Synfandel @8:

    Rocker was complaining about all the immigrants in NYC. The Navaho, being original residents of North America, might have a thing or two to say about the immigration of Europeans fucking the place up long before now.

  • robertfaber

    Without Rocker, we would not have had the hilarious Eastbound & Down series on HBO. So at least there’s that.

  • Doug Little


    Yeah I was just thinking that and you beat me to the punch. They are going to do a 4th season which is going to be AWESOME.

  • JustaTech

    I was under the impression that the IRS gives out “Tax ID” numbers so that illegal immigrants can pay their federal income taxes. (I heard it on NPR, but that’s as much as I remember.) So maybe they’re paying federal taxes now, but yes, if they’re citizens, or at least legal immigrants, they will be more likely to pay federal taxes and state taxes.

  • A nation of immigrants, complaining about immigrants.

    What’s that in Latin? It could be the motto.


    frog “It’s the only train where I’ve ever been flashed (twice!)”

    Sorry, that was me (twice!). In all fairness, not showing off a package like this would be the real crime.


    “…and I have seen people transporting live chickens on it.”

    Also me. I was taking it to the doctor.

  • Stacy

    Why a Navaho reservation? You lost me.

    They’re not immigrants. Yet somehow they manage to not be Caucasian either. How did that happen!? Some of them don’t even speak English! Tricksy bastards.

  • A nation of immigrants, complaining about immigrants.

    What’s that in Latin? It could be the motto.

    Populus peregrinorum de peregrinis querentium.

  • I think it’s likely that the MLB is the most racist league in pro sports. The NFL had to give up on that shit when really talented black people came into the league–really talented black people who could allow other really talented people to lay an awesome amount of hurt on anybody dumb enough to espouse racism as a good thing. Basketball and hockey are outliers, imo, because of their demographics.

  • Aaronbaker spoke foreign! Get ‘im!

  • baal

    “Because they’re undocumented, they can’t do that now” #17 is right. You can get a federal tax id number and pay any amount of taxes you want as an undocumented person. If you want to wind up living here, it goes a long way to convincing the judge to let you stay. I don’t think the various States have a similar feature.

  • I’ve learned that in “Murika” the word “imagrint” means “Mexican.” “Tax payer” or “patriot” means “of European decent” and “entitlement” refers to the requirement to pay black people for services and/or goods.

  • ricko

    That failed state of California was this idiot Rocker’s first flash of dumbheadedness.

    He actually means the failed state of Wisconsin, which currently has a Governor (Scott Walker) who plans on running for President, a Congressman (Paul Ryan) who is currently engaged in Washington planning on increasing his run for Vide President to a run for President, and they’ve got their anagram (Reince Priebus) setting it up for them.

    They’ll lose, in Wisconsin more than anywhere else, but they’ve got it working here right now, by not having anybody working,

  • se habla espol


    Who the hell is John Rocker??

    Look here, for example. Tipping is usually preceded by rocking.

  • @26:

    That made me burst out laughing.

  • stace

    Look here, for example. Tipping is usually preceded by rocking.

    How appropriate, since he’s basically a turd of a human being.