Washed Up Pitcher to Immigrants: Learn English!


John Rocker

Former Major League reliever John Rocker, who last pitched for the Long Island Ducks, posting a pitiful 6.50 ERA in 23 games, has at last waded into the immigration debate. You might remember Rocker's 2000 ethnographic study of New York, which he succinctly summarized for Sports Illustrated: "It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 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." And now, over at Johnrocker.net, the lantern-jawed yokel sounds off on non-English speaking immigrants and explains the impetus behind his "speak English" campaign:

In my own personal experiences, I have lived abroad for over a year of my life, three different times in Puerto Rico and once in Venezuela. During my time in these countries, I did my best to speak their language even though my Spanish is barely adequate. I attempted to speak the language whenever the situation presented itself and worked to learn the language better in order to avoid the 'ugly American' stereotype.

And what better way to combat anti-American stereotypes then printing t-shirts demanding folks "speak English!" (Somebody send this guy's resume to Karen Hughes, STAT.) Also note that Rocker pats himself on the back not for learning Spanish, for his skills are "barely adequate," but for simply attempting to speak the language. C'mon you Spanish-speakers, at least try to fail like John Rocker!