But first, one certain '99 article on him.
Rangers close book on troubled reliever Rocker
Posted: Thursday October 03, 2002 6:45 PM
Updated: Thursday October 03, 2002 9:17 PM
John Rocker went 2-3 with one save and a 6.66 ERA. AP
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- John Rocker is looking for a job.
The Texas Rangers placed the one-time star closer on waivers Thursday for the purpose of his unconditional release.
Rocker is 13-22 with 88 saves in 278 major league appearances with Atlanta, Cleveland and Texas.
In Rocker's first full major league season, he had 38 saves in 1999, when Atlanta went to the World Series. The Braves went to the playoffs again in 2000, when Rocker had 24 saves.
But Rocker hasn't been a dominating pitcher since a Sports Illustrated article before the 2000 season in which he made disparaging remarks about gays, minorities and others.
The Braves traded Rocker to Cleveland during the 2001 season, and he went 3-7 with four saves and a 5.45 ERA in 38 games.
After John Hart quit as Cleveland's general manager and became GM of the Rangers, he acquired the hard-throwing lefty in a trade last Dec. 18.
Rocker was 2-3 with a 6.66 ERA and one save in 30 appearances with the Rangers this season. He also was 1-0 in six game s at Class AAA Oklahoma franchise from May 21-June 9 and 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in three rehab outings with Class AA Tulsa from Aug. 8-12.
Rocker was placed on the 15-day disabled list on July 11, retroactive to July 4, with left shoulder and neck pain. He reported recurring pain following his rehab assignment at Tulsa and did not pitch again.
Texas also declined an $800,000 option for 2003 on catcher Bill Haselman, electing to pay a $150,000 buyout, and hired Ron Hopkins as coordinator of scouting.
Haselman, who is eligible for free agency, hit .246 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 69 games as the Rangers' backup catcher.
Hopkins, 54, had spent the past eight seasons with the Oakland Athletics. where Grady Fuson was scouting director before coming to the Rangers in November as assistant general manager,