The New York Yankees of the 1970s -- George Steinbrenner's Yankees, when owners were OWNERS -- made Reggie Jackson the free agent face of the organization ... and THIS is how he repays them?!
In full fairness to Reggie, being the face of the 1970s Yankees came with a price. He was often scorned. His propensity for strikeouts bought him Judge-in-October-like boos during difficult times ... until he became Mr. October in 1977 and '78.
He tried to wrestle the captaincy away from Thurman Munson, calling himself "the straw that stirs the drink," while claiming the Yankees catcher could "only stir it bad" (something Reggie is now disputing). That was not a good thing to do, if Jackson had designs of being popular. He often clashed with manager Billy Martin as well, a deeply unwell man who was probably the catalyst of most of those clashes.
Jackson's Yankees deserves a reevaluation with fresh eyes, though the Munson power struggle is still fairly unforgivable. That said, he's probably not going to get one -- or, at least, the eyes aren't going to be so fresh.
Over the past few seasons, Jackson has fully embraced his role in the Houston Astros front office, defecting from the Yankees organization at the exact wrong time. Who knows when the rift began, or whether Jackson just wanted to blaze his own trail, but he's now a Jose Altuve jersey-rocking drum-beater (or is that a rubber trash can?) for the Yankees' chief rival.
This week, when Jackson hosted a celebrity golf tournament for charity in Florida, he took extra care to shout out ALL of his beloved Astros who were in attendance.
New York Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson keeps praising the Astros
Astros, Astros, Astros. Astros! Astros!!!
Only issue: Derek Jeter was also in attendance!!
Mr. October ... that's a big deal! Jeter doesn't just do any golf tournament. He's not Charles Barkley. He did it for you! Why must you stay silent?
How do we know Jeter was at Jackson's golf tournament, specifically? Because some members of the Houston media caught up with him, and also because Jackson shouted out Jeremy Peña for attending, who was pictured above golfing with Jeter!
This is simply ... very annoying! What did the Yankees do to you, Reggie? Other than welcome you to playoff games annually for first pitch opportunities?
"Pleased to welcome someone named Aaron to my charity event. I wanna say ... Jugge? Anyway, CHAS MCCORMICK IS HERE!!!"
Wearing the Altuve jersey is one thing. Some of us wear jerseys. Sometimes, our employers make us do things we don't want to. Celebrating the Astros who attended your tournament is also understandable.
But reciting Peña's postseason resumé, which is one year long, while staying oddly silent about THE CAPTAIN, is a bridge and a half too far. Hope you've got room in your house for your Monument Park plaque, Reggie, because it doesn't need to sit in the Bronx anymore.
In all seriousness, No. 44 has always been, and will always be, a great Yankee. But this snub deserves explaining, and it's getting harder and harder to watch the 1978 World Series without seeing a Jose Altuve supporter going yard.