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                            === Rocker released ===
 
 Central  Islip,  NY (Sports Network)  - Controversial reliever John Rocker had
 his  stint in New  York cut short, as he was released by the Long Island Ducks
 of the Atlantic League on Monday.
 
 Rocker,  who  went 0-2  with a  6.50 ERA  in 23  appearances with Long Island,
 said  he decided  to take  a step  back from  baseball and  assess his  future
 playing career.
 
 "After  pitching  for two months  with the  Long Island Ducks, the consistency
 required to pitch at the major league level, and the consistency I demand from
 myself,  are  not where  they should  be," Rocker  said in  a statement. "As a
 result,  I  have elected  to  take  a step  back  and  reevaluate the  options
 available to me."
 
 The  30-year-old  Rocker compiled  a 13-22 record  with a 3.42  ERA in his six
 years  in the  majors with Atlanta, Cleveland,  Texas and Tampa Bay. He had 38
 saves for the Braves in 1999.
 
 However,  Rocker  was better  known for  his degrading  remarks made in Sports
 Illustrated in 1999, directed at minorities, gays and immigrants.
 
 "We  respect  John's decision,"  said  Ducks  principal owner  Frank  Boulton.
 "Obviously, we're disappointed we didn't return him to the majors. We know the
 talent is there and I'm sure we haven't heard the last from John in baseball."
 
 
 06/27 21:48:08 ET