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Reggie Jackson talks performance-enhancing drugs

Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson watches a

Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson watches a ceremony unveiling a monument for late owner George Steinbrenner at Yankee Stadium. (Sept. 20, 2010) Credit: John Dunn

Reggie Jackson is featured as part of this week’s Sports Illustrated, “Where Are They Now?” by Phil Taylor and he provided some thoughts on performance-enhancing drugs, his opinions on the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte and some players that don’t belong in the Hall of Fame.

Jackson, a special adviser for the Yankees, said Rodriguez is a very good friend, “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.”

While many players have been linked and not admitted to performance-enhancing drugs, Pettitte said he used human growth hormone (HGH) on two occasions to heal faster from an elbow injury in 2002.

“The question is going to be a guy like Andy Pettitte, who admitted that he got involved for a while, but who is so universally respected in the game,” Jackson said of Pettitte’s Hall of Fame candicacy. “I think he’ll get in, but there will be a lot of [members] who won’t go.”

Would Jackson attend if Pettitte was elected?

“He’s an awfully good friend,” Jackson said. “I’ve known Andy since he was 20. I’ll leave it there.”?

When Jackson was asked if players linked to performance-enhancing drugs should be inducted into the Hall of Fame he said: “If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend.”?

Jackson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, hit 563 home runs in his career. He has been passed by several players linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Jackson said the fans don’t really count them and he agrees. Jackson believes Hank Aaron is the home run king and not Barry Bonds.

Jackson also believes there are a lot of undeserving players in the Hall of Fame and he plans to bring it up at the next members-only meeting in Cooperstown. Some of the players he mentioned include: Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro, and Jim Rice. He was more adamant about Bert Blyleven.

“No. No, no, no, no,” Jackson said. “Blyleven wasn’t even the dominant pitcher of his era, it was Jack Morris.”?

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