I’m beginning to wonder if Reggie Jackson isn’t working on becoming the Howard Beale of baseball; an “angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisies of our time” seems to work well as his job description lately. Recently censured by Tweedledee and Tweedledum Steinbrenner for his not-especially-controversial comments concerning A-Rod’s accomplishments in light of certain substances, Reggie has now directed his straw to stir the drink of Bert Blyleven and the Minnesota Twins generally, telling SI’s Phil Taylor:
“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.”
On whether Bert Blyleven should have been elected into the Hall of Fame: “No. No, no, no, no. Blyleven wasn’t even the dominant pitcher of his era, it was Jack Morris.”
Blyleven’s response, rich in theological-proctological implications:
God gives us many holes in our body,” Blyleven said [on WFAN] Wednesday morning. “And [Reggie] just spoke out of the wrong one. That’s the way I look at it.”
With any luck, Reggie’s combative posture will continue to challenge bedrock baseball assumptions at least as vigorously as he challenged Bill Russel’s double-play throw in Game 4 of the ’78 World Series.