Earlier this week, Reggie Jackson had some eyebrow-raising comments about the Hall of Fame credentials of current members of the Hall as well as some potential candidates. Among other things, Jackson said the Hall has been too lenient in letting people in. Here's what Jackson said to SI:
"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."
Friday night, on NESN's First Pitch, Rice — a Hall of Famer — responded.
"Yeah Reggie called me last night and someone had told me about it earlier," said Rice. "I got a call last night and Reggie said 'I didn't say it,' he said 'the guy at SI just got it and just ran with it' … I said Reggie, I said you know you called me, I can only believe what you told me and if you said that you didn't say that, I believe you.
"But, you know it's … it's not good. But I'm in the Hall of Fame so he can't take it away, so I'm not worried about it."
Rice chose to take the high road and not get in a war of words with a fellow member of Cooperstown.
Jackson also had critical comments about current Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte. "Al's a very good friend," said Jackson of A-Rod, "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."
Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons said those comments were not going over well with Yankee management.
"They don't put up with it and that's that," said Gammons. "For a city that supposedly has a lot of drama, there's a lot more drama around the Red Sox than there is around the Yankees. The Yankees are a very stable team and they don't go for that kind of thing."