The following season Rocker stuck with the big club and appeared in 47 games, mostly as a long reliever. During spring training last year, after Ligtenberg got hurt, Cox named Rocker the closer, and he amassed those 38 saves (in 45 opportunities) with a 2.49 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 72⅓ innings. Still it is his mouth, not his arm, that has won him Rodmanesque notoriety. "Some of the more stoic guys on the team probably get annoyed by me," he says. "But the younger, fiery guys—we get annoyed at their stoicism. There needs to be more atmosphere in our clubhouse. I don't mean loud music and hooting and hollering. But I don't think having the atmosphere of a doctor's office helps."
In the locker room at Shea following Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, as Rocker ranted and raved, fumed and fussed, Mike Remlinger, a 33-year-old lefthanded reliever with six years of major league experience, was asked whether Rocker had gone too far. Remlinger—quiet, thoughtful-paused. "The thing is," he said, "baseball is a game of humility. You can be on top one minute, as low as possible the next. When you're young, you don't realize it. But sooner or later you learn—we all do. Be humble."
"My mouth is watering for that day when Rocker steps foot in Shea once again. (This time I'm bringing D batteries.)"
—A posting by "Metswin" on www.rockersucks.com
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