#46 - Who owes - New York City or the Braves?
The long awaited visit this year of John Rocker to Shea Stadium has occurred. Unfortunately this has led many to overlook the baseball significance of this series in terms of the pennant race. As New York City has prepared for this Braves-Mets series they have incurred additional security costs of about $200,000. One of the New York City council members has requested the Atlanta Braves to pay for this.
Lets look back at the situation. Last year when the Mets and Braves played for the playoffs and in the playoffs the Mets fans hassled the Braves players. In particular they chanted "Larry, :Larry" at Chipper Jones when he batted, and threw batteries at John Rocker when he came on the field. During the off-season Rocker had an interview with Sports Illustrated and said he would not want to play in New York City and ride the #7 subway.
He included in his comments he would not riding with certain people on the subway. He never threatened them, just said he did not like riding with them. He also said he did not like all the foreigners in the country. He has been widely condemned since, and even suspended for his comments. However if you were to question the general population I suspect at least 10% would be in agreement with him, including most of the opinions of the Reform Party nominee-to-be Pat Buchanan. Also look at Ross Perot's thoughts on NAFTA.
For over a month now articles, fliers, radio shows, etc. in New York City and across the country have been threatening physical harm to Rocker. Fliers have been distributed in the New York City area saying June 30 will be Rocker battery night and to bring your batteries to throw at him.
Rocker a week ago said he intended to ride the subway. He has been widely condemned for that, but having read the article in Baseball Weekly, I believe he meant to show that he was willing to associate with the people on that train, and that he meant it as a peace gesture.
Now who made the physical threats? Who are needed to be protected? Is it the citizens of New York City of John Rocker? Obviously it is the threats from the citizens of New York City and the one threatened is John Rocker.
New York City needs to pay the security bill. None of the security is to protect the fans from Rocker. To date Rocker has not attacked anyone or threatened physical violence. He did tell the reporter recently that he would get what was coming. However it appears to be no physical threat. It may be that Rocker is wanting their common boss, Ted Turner, (former Mouth of the South) to fire the reporter.
The Braves and major League Baseball should pay nothing on this bill. New York City needs to be responsible for the actions of their citizens and fans, who need to act in a mature matter like mayor Giuliani has urged. I hope they fully restrain themselves, and learn everyone is entitled to their opinion (whether you agree or not) and that baseball players are paid and trained for their baseball skills, not their public speaking abilities or Political Correctness (PC) thinking skills.
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