The New York Yankees have asked Reggie Jackson to stay away from the team after his recent comments in a Sports Illustrated article that included doubts about the legitimacy of Alex Rodriguez’s home run total.
Jackson, 66, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before last night’s Major League Baseball Home Run Derby in Kansas City and said the Yankees told him not to attend last weekend’s four-game series in Boston. Jackson, a special adviser for the Yankees, said he hasn’t been suspended from his role.
“It was just a mutual thing where it was best,” Jackson said, according to MLB.com. “The clubhouse (at Fenway Park) is small, a very small place. All the media is there. I didn’t want to be a disruption.”
Jackson is a Hall of Fame player who spent five of his 21 major league seasons with the Yankees and ranks 13th on the career list with 563 home runs.
In his comments to Sports Illustrated, Jackson said he has an issue with players who used performance-enhancing drugs and that there are “real questions” about Rodriguez’s home run totals because he admitted to using such substances while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-03. Rodriguez, the Yankees’ third baseman, ranks fifth on the MLB career list with 642 homers.
“As much as I like him, what he admitted about his usage does cloud some of his records,” Jackson was cited as saying.
Jackson also discussed players he believes to be unworthy of being in the Baseball Hall of Fame, a group that includes former New York Mets catcher Gary Carter, who died in February.