Reggie Jackson made the classic mistake, of not knowing when to shut up. He questioned whether Alex Rodriguez should be admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, because Rodriquez admitted using steroids during his career.
Jackson must have momentarily forgotten that the Yankees are signing his paychecks, since he is a special advisor for the club. Statements like he made only cause friction between him and Alex Rodriguez. It is a given that Rodriguez used steroids for many years, but it was not the place of Jackson to publicly throw Rodriguez under the bus.
Rodriguez will find out like most Hall of Fame eligible players, that Hall of Fame voters have long memories, when it comes to voting on Hall of Fame candidates who have used steroids.
Then to compound an already bad situation, Jackson goes on to trash six present Hall of Famers, Phil Niekro, Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Don Sutton, Bert Blyleven and Jim Rice. He stated that none of the six players deserved to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The family and friends of Gary Carter and Kirby Puckett can’t be too happy, to hear another Hall of Famer saying that their relative doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.
How can Reggie Jackson face these players at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this summer, after trashing them publicly?
Knowing that Jackson doesn’t think they belong in the Hall of Fame, should make for some awfully awkward moments at Cooperstown this summer.
If they have a dinner for the Hall of Famers, hope they sit Jackson between Jim Rice and Don Sutton. Those three won’t have much to say to each other. Jackson may issue an apology to those players and the families of Puckett and Carter, but the damage has been done and his words won’t be forgotten anytime soon.