Mr. October has gone over to the enemy. Reggie Jackson, who until February was a Yankees front-office adviser, is working for the Houston Astros.
Jackson, who will turn 75 on May 18, had been a Yankees adviser since 1993. Before 2020 and COVID-19 restrictions, he was a frequent presence in the Yankees’ clubhouse. He has a plaque in Monument Park and his No. 44 is retired by the team.
Jackson said in February that he had "taken my retirement." It didn’t last long.
Jackson told the Houston Chronicle he has a close relationship with Astros owner Jim Crane. "I’m involved and have been involved with Jim and the ‘Stros," he said. "I’m happy to be here. It’s working well. I’m fitting in. All to make the ballclub better and at the same time we’re working on a lot of baseball fields and charity things that we can do together for the community."
The Astros — who eliminated the Yankees in the postseason in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and are reviled by Yankees fans because of their past sign-stealing ways — on Tuesday will make their first visit to Yankee Stadium since the scandal broke in November 2019.
An MLB investigation found that the Astros cheated in 2017 and 2018. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for a year by MLB and fired by the Astros. Hinch returned to the Stadium on Friday as the Tigers’ manager.
Opposing fans could not vent when the Astros visited last year because there were no fans in the stands. That has changed in 2021; in the most memorable reaction to date, Angels fans threw trash cans on the field in Anaheim. Among their other schemes, the Astros were accused of using electronic surveillance to steal signs and banging on trash cans in the dugout to tip off batters as to what pitches were coming.