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New York Yankees: Reggie Jackson Eating Own Words Is Too Little Too Late

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson poses with Alex Rodriguez after presenting him with a crystal trophy to celebrate his 600th home run prior to the start of the game against the of the Tampa Bay Rays during their game on September 22, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Mike MoraitisAnalyst IJuly 8, 2012

It appears even Reggie Jackson's uncensored mouth has to answer to someone as the New York Yankees' legend was forced to apologize following comments he made about Alex Rodriguez in an interview with Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated.

"Al's a very good friend," Jackson said. "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."

According to Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com, Jackson has been on the mend with Yankees officials trying to rectify the situation by explaining himself. It isn't clear if Jackson will be punished for his blunder since he is an employee of the team.

"He is trying to rectify everything," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told ESPN New York.

Jackson contacted A-Rod, Girardi and Yankees officials to apologize for the comments he made in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated. Rodriguez confirmed Jackson called him, but declined to reveal the nature of the talk.

"We're going to keep that very private," Rodriguez said Friday.

A-Rod didn't keep it a secret that this has changed his relationship with Jackson, per Roger Rubin and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

Asked if Jackson’s remarks had changed things, A-Rod answered: “Yeah...again what we said is we’re going to keep it private...Anything that comes in the way of us winning games is white noise.”

Jackson, who is a special adviser for the Yankees, made a big mistake in criticizing one of the team's own players and that never goes over well with the Yankee brass.

In a world with Yanks' announcers John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman having an extreme case of homer syndrome, comments like Mr. October's are simply unacceptable in the Yankees Universe.

It just goes to show you that no matter how much a player has accomplished and done for an organization, no one person is bigger than the pinstripes. This is living proof that neither is Jackson.

What's disappointing about Jackson's apology is that it doesn't address his dragging of fellow Hall of Fame members through the mud by listing off players who he felt didn't belong in the Hall. Mr. October even went after deceased members which added insult to injury.

Here's what Jackson had to say about his fellow Cooperstown members, per the same interview with Taylor of SI.

He believes that the Baseball Writers Association of America, whose members vote for the Hall, have adopted too low a standard. "I didn't see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer," he says. "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." What about Bert Blyleven? "No. No, no, no, no," Jackson says. "Blyleven wasn't even the dominant pitcher of his era -- it was Jack Morris."

Keep an eye out for more apologies to come as Jackson still has some unfinished business with the former players he disrespected by his overall assessment of their place in the HOF. He doesn't have to apologize for what he said, but at this point, it's the right thing for Mr. October to do. Even if he apologizes, as was the case with A-Rod, Jackson's comments have changed things for everyone involved. How can Jackson walk back calling certain Hall of Famers unworthy of Cooperstown?

There's just no fixing what Jackson has broken in this case. He'll have to live with his comments and there's no taking them back now.

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