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Friday, July 6, 2012
Officials: Reggie Jackson sorry

By Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

BOSTON -- A day after Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson's disparaging comments about Alex Rodriguez became public, Jackson spent Friday apologizing to the third baseman and the New York Yankees hierarchy, officials with knowledge of the conversations said.

"He is trying to rectify everything," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told ESPN New York.

Jackson contacted A-Rod, Girardi and Yankees officials to apologize for the comments he made in this week's edition of Sports Illustrated. Rodriguez confirmed Jackson called him, but declined to reveal the nature of the talk.

"We're going to keep that very private," Rodriguez said Friday.

Rodriguez and Jackson have been friends for years, which caused the third baseman to joke about the comments.

"With friends like that, who needs enemies," Rodriguez said.

Jackson's official title with the Yankees is special adviser to the senior managing partners. A baseball official described Yankees management as "disappointed" with Jackson's comments.

At this point, no disciplinary action has been discussed, but Jackson has been on the phone explaining himself and listening to Yankee officials express their disappointment.

Jackson told SI that Rodriguez's 642 career homers have to be called into question because of his admitted performance-enhancing drug use.

"Al's a very good friend," Jackson told SI. "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."

In February 2009, Rodriguez only admitted to using steroids during a three-year stretch after he signed his $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez tried to downplay the story, saying he is really focused on the four-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

"Anything that gets in our way is not part of that equation," Rodriguez said.

If someone like Rodriguez that has been closely linked to PED use is voted into the Hall, Jackson said there would be a boycott among members.

"If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend," Jackson told SI.

Jackson, 66, did seem to differentiate between Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte, if he were to get into the Hall, and Rodriguez.

"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. "I think he'll get in, but there will be a lot of (members) who won't go."

Jackson seemed to indicate that if Pettitte were inducted, he still may attend the ceremony.

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

Rodriguez has said in the past when he has got in verbal sparring with others that Jackson would serve as his press secretary.

"I'm thinking about that one," Rodriguez said.