You’re Not Going to Believe This, But John Rocker Is Endorsing Donald Trump

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John Rocker #49
Future vice-president John Rocker?Photo: Otto Greule Jr

John Rocker, the former Major League closer best remembered for his controversial comments about New Yorkers and his hot take about riders on the 7 train, tells the Daily Caller that he’s “absolutely” endorsing Donald Trump. “I think he has really woken America up,” says Rocker.

The former pitcher continued: “I wish someone, excuse the frankness here, would have the sack, would have the backbone to make unpopular comments, and when folks come out — mainly media, special interest groups, factions, things like that — and just start hammering them and demanding apologies … I’ve always wanted to see the person that’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve made these comments, these are my beliefs, and you know what, if you don’t like it stick it. I’m not apologizing, I’m not changing.”

Rocker made headlines for his comments about New York City in a 1999 interview with Sports Illustrated. Here’s Rocker, from that piece:

The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the 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 in this country?”

In perhaps the SI story’s most famous passage, Rocker also discussed whether he could ever play in New York:

I would retire first. 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.”

According to the Daily Caller, Rocker likes Trump’s stances on the economy, guns, and (yes) immigration, which “the pitching great thinks are the most important issues to the country today.” (Yes, it called Rocker, whose six-year career included just four seasons of above-average numbers, a “pitching great.”)

Rocker’s at least softened his take on New York a bit. Rocker says that Trump does indeed represent “New York values,” but not in the negative way Ted Cruz attacked him for:

[New Yorkers] are always striving for the best. ‘We want to be the best.’ The best. It can get a little obnoxious and arrogant but at the same time, it can be a good thing,” Rocker said. “Yes it’s a bit of a racket living in New York because everything is so expensive but people who live there, they love it and they’re willing to work damn hard and get callouses on their hands and elbow grease on their elbows just to live there, and I think that’s very commendable in a lot of areas.”