In October, 1999, John Rocker, a gifted pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, created a considerable ruckus when he gave Sports Illustrated a rich sample of the contents of his mind. He was especially vivid on the subject of New York, "the most hectic, nerve-racking city," where he had found the Mets fans especially unlikeable, although the catcalls in Shea Stadium were not the only local color that offended him. "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."
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