Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson watches a ceremony unveiling...

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

Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson provided some very candid comments in this week's Sports Illustrated about players linked to performance-enhancing drugs, his opinions of Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte of the Yankees, and some players who he believes don't belong in the Hall of Fame.

Rodriguez and Pettitte have admitted using PEDs in the past.

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."

Pettitte has said he used human growth hormone on two occasions to heal faster after suffering 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 told the magazine about Pettitte's Hall of Fame candidacy. "I think he'll get in, but there will be a lot of [members] who won't go."

Would Jackson attend if Pettitte were elected?

"He's an awfully good friend," Jackson said. "I've known Andy since he was 20. I'll leave it there."

When asked if players linked to PEDs should be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Jackson 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 PEDs. Jackson said the fans don't really count them, and he agrees. Jackson also said he believes Hank Aaron, not Barry Bonds, is the home run king.

Jackson also believes there are a lot of undeserving players in the Hall of Fame and plans to bring it up at the next members-only dinner in Cooperstown. Some of the players he mentioned include the late Gary Carter, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Red Sox rival Jim Rice.

Jackson questioned Rice's spot in Cooperstown as the Yankees and Red Sox get ready to resume their rivalry in Boston this weekend.

"As much as I like Jim Rice, I'm not so sure he's a Hall of Famer," Jackson said.

Jackson was more adamant about Bert Blyleven, who was inducted in 2011.

"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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