It's hard to believe that I like the Red Sox player in this picture more than I like the former Yankee player.
I'm not a Reggie Jackson fan.
Don't get me wrong, I think Reggie was a great player. Hell, he hit .450/.542/1.250 in the 1977 World Series, and .391/.500/.696 in the 1978 World Series... both of which the Yankees won. Even in the 1981 World Series that the Yankees lost Reggie hit .333/429/.667. I totally appreciate what he's done with the bat, but it's his attitude that's always rubbed me the wrong way.
It started with the day he was drafted 2nd overall by the Oakland Athletics. Jackson said that his baseball coach at Arizona State University, Bobby Winkles, told him that the Mets (who selected 1st that season) passed on him due to the fact Reggie had a white girlfriend. Joe McDonald, an executive in the front office for the Mets at the time, said that was untrue. The Mets owner at the time, George Weiss, was a racist, but the story hasn't been confirmed one way or another.
On it's own it's hard to count that against Reggie. But after a bit more research I saw that he turned down a football scholarship offer from the University of Oklahoma because apparently they told him to stop dating white girls. Although racism at the time is not surprising, it is a strange coincidence that his white girlfriend(s) played such a role.
All Yankee fans, and I'm willing to bet most baseball fans, know about the argument Reggie and Billy Martin had when Martin took Jackson out of RF during an inning. Martin felt that Reggie was being lazy in going after a ball that was hit out there, so he made the switch mid-inning. I don't agree with what Billy did, as I would have waited until between innings to either talk to the player or remove him as not to show-up the guy, but I loved Martin and he was in charge. And that's not even the first time Reggie Jackson has been accused of being lazy. Back when Reggie was still with the As he was accused openly by sports author Dick Crouser for being lazy.
Then there's the fact that Reggie has always been very high on himself. I just read a quote that says it all, which came from former Oakland teammate Darold Knowles, when asked if Jackson was a hot-dog (showoff)... "There isn't enough mustard in the world to cover Reggie Jackson". Or how about this quote from an interview in Sport magazine in 1977... "This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad." Really?
There are other stories you can read about concerning Reggie Jackson and his issues, but I want to move onto his recent statements.
“I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Gary Carter as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Don Sutton as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Phil Niekro as a Hall of Famer. As much as I like Jim Rice, I’m not so sure he’s a Hall of Famer.”I don't like looking at cumulative stats to compare players. Take this case... how can you compare a guy with 11,418 plate appearances (Reggie) with another guy that had only 7,831 plate appearances (Kirby Puckett) using cumulative stats? So I use ratios or averages. And while Jackson had a career triple-slash of .262/.356/.490, Puckett's was .318/.360/.477. If Reggie is a Hall of Famer, why not Kirby? Then there's Carter's career fWAR of 66.4 compared to Reggie's 68.4, which doesn't even get into the fact that Gary Carter won 3 Gold Gloves as a catcher. Don Sutton? 324 wins, 178 complete games (this was past the era when starters almost always went the distance), over 3,500 strikeouts, while finishing 5th or higher in Cy Young voting five times. Yeah, I think Don's a fine choice for the Hall of Fame. Phil Niekro's case was pretty good, as was Jim Rice's too. I'm fine with a guy having an opinion, but it doesn't seem very informed.
“If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend.”That quote is in reference to a question about guys that have admitted to using Performance Enhancing Drugs getting into the Hall of Fame. Does Reggie really think all living Hall of Famers hold the same belief regarding this subject as he does? Seeing as how he just shat all over a handful of them, my money is on "no, they don't".
“The question is going to be a guy like Andy Pettitte, who admitted that he got involved for a while, but who is so universally respected in the game. I think he’ll get in, but there will be a lot of [members] who won’t go.”
“He’s an awfully good friend. I’ve known Andy since he was 20. I’ll leave it there.”Huh? Reggie just said that no Hall of Famers would attend, after knocking guys like Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez for having allegedly or admittedly using PEDs. So which is it? Are you and others in or out? Is Jackson seriously suggesting that players who are respected should get a free pass on PED usage? I really don't understand those last two quotes, and how they go with things he had just said in the same interview.
Reggie, thank you for what you did for the Yankees and the game of baseball, but please keep your illogical and silly thoughts to yourself.