ATLANTA (AP) -- John Rocker kept his mouth shut most of the season. Then, in a chance encounter beneath the stands at Turner Field, the embattled Braves reliever saw the reporter who wrote the story about Rocker's views on gays, minorities and immigrants.
Just like that, Rocker snapped.
Now, he could find himself in trouble again.
Rocker had a heated confrontation Sunday with Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman, who said the pitcher threatened him and tried to get him banned from the Atlanta clubhouse. The Braves were investigating and Rocker's teammates were clearly disturbed by the latest outburst.
''You've got one guy being a cancer time and time again,'' said outfielder Brian Jordan, who has been one of Rocker's most vocal critics. ''Eventually, it's going to have an effect on the team.''
Pearlman, in Atlanta to do a story on the Braves taking on the New York Yankees in a rematch of last year's World Series, met up with Rocker in a service tunnel near the clubhouse about two hours before the final game of the series.
According to Pearlman, Rocker made threatening comments such as, ''This isn't over between us,'' and, ''Do you know what I can do to you?''
The confrontation lasted about two minutes and became so heated that Rocker flipped around the bill of his cap so he could get face-to-face with the reporter.
''I was scared,'' Pearlman said. ''But he didn't do anything.''
General manager John Schuerholz declined to discuss the incident, but issued a statement saying team officials ''immediately began to address the matter internally and are continuing to do so.''
''We respect the rights of Jeff, as a legitimate member of the media, to cover the Braves in general and this series against the New York Yankees in particular,'' the statement said. ''We will do everything in our power to insure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.''
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