It's when Jackson is plunging into touchy issues that some of the Reggie of old emerges; the only difference is that the star no longer has as big a stage. Over a plate of seafood at an oceanside restaurant in Monterey, he casually mentions that he plans to bring up the issue of undeserving members of the Hall of Fame at the next members-only dinner in Cooperstown. 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.'
Gasp....you mean that Reggie Jackson agrees with Zjabs (and opposes Bob Matthews' view) that the Hall of Fame should be an exclusive place? If you have a 'Hall of Very Good' then by all means, put in Nellie Fox and Don Sutton and Jim Rice and all the rest. But as Zjabs wrote to Bob years ago, let's cap the Hall at 150 members and for someone to get in...someone has to be kicked out (maybe to the Hall of Very Good).
You won't believe how much crap that opinion has gotten Zjabs over the years. It seems that most of America wants the very good to be considered great (heck, I think Matthews wants the Hall to simply be the participation trophy- if you have ten good at-bats in your career, you should be inducted).
This topic was all over the sports talk shows on Friday, but the dumbest statement of all had to be by Mike Greenberg of Mike & Mike fame- he felt it was poor timing by Reggie to mention Gary Carter, due to his recent death. Oh, it's too soon? Let me get this straight, you can say a catcher with a .262 batting average doesn't belong in the Hall a year ago, and you can say it a year from now but you cannot say it now due to Carter's death? Zjabs will say it, Gary Carter's stats do not support his being in the Hall of Fame. And neither do Curt Schilling's, and I'll say that anytime you want me to do so.
-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)
© 2012 Zjabs - 7/8/12