NEW YORK (WFAN) – The straw that stirs the drink is at it again.
The ever-opinionated Reggie Jackson delivered a harsh assessment of his “good friend” Alex Rodriguez’s chase for MLB history in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated.
“Al’s a very good friend,” said the Yankees legend. “But I think there are real questions about his numbers. As much as I like him, what he admitted about his usage does cloud some of his records.”
A-Rod has admitted to three years of steroid use from 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers. That came after a bombshell from SI in the winter of 2009 linking the star to performance enhancing drugs. With 642 career dingers, Rodriguez is expected to surpass Barry Bonds (762) — another star thought to have used steroids — as the sport’s all-time home run king.
Jackson, a Hall of Famer with 563 career home runs, told SI there could be a boycott if any players linked to PED use are enshrined in Cooperstown.
“If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend,” he said.
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The exception, Jackson said, could be Yankees starter Andy Pettitte.
“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,” said Jackson. “I think he’ll get in, but there will be a lot of (members) who won’t go.”
But he didn’t stop there. Jackson also questioned the legitimacy of some so-called marginal Hall of Famers, including 2011 inductee Bert Blyleven.
“I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer,” he told the magazine. “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.”
Two of Carter’s former teammates on the 1986 Mets championship team responded Thursday.
“Reggie has an opinion,” said SNY analyst Ron Darling, according to the New York Post. “I’m sure there are some who said that (Sandy) Koufax’s 165 wins shouldn’t get in. There’s always silly comments. Listen, Reggie’s not the first person to say that Gary doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. … I’m sure if (Jackson) could have a do-over, he would.’’
“I think that (Carter) deserves to be in,” Keith Hernandez said of the late Mets great. “I’m glad that he’s in, so I’ll disagree with Reggie and keep it at that.”
How would you respond to Reggie? Be heard in the comments below…