This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," July 11, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Baseball fans aren't the only ones getting ready for Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Detroit.
Texas Ranger Kenny Rogers (search) is playing, despite a 20-game suspension for shoving two cameramen. Should he be allowed to play and does baseball have an anger problem?
We're joined by baseball Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson. He's in Detroit for the All-Star Game and for MasterCard's win 12 cars sweepstakes.
Reggie Jackson, welcome and thank you for taking the time.
Can I ask you about the Kenny Rogers deal, just sort of...
REGGIE JACKSON, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: Thanks for having me.
GIBSON: Oh, it's great having you. Is there an anger problem in baseball?
JACKSON: Oh, gosh, I don't think so.
I think that you certainly see things today that you didn't see in the past. But, you know, there's a lot more media coverage. There's a lot more intensity. The money is bigger in the game and certainly the media makes a lot of out it. I think that if somebody came in here with 37 home runs or if somebody came in here with 105 RBIs, someone comes in here hitting .385 or .390, that would be the story.
If Kenny Rogers wasn't a story, then the Yankees would be the story, because they're not playing up to par. What you saw with Kenny Rogers no doubt is wrong. But let's move on. He admitted he was wrong. He took too long to admit it. I agree with that. But he said he was wrong and he apologized for it. You can't touch anybody. You shouldn't abuse the equipment. The media is needed for the game. It helps make all the money. We know all that. But he went over the edge. I can tell you that I do know Kenny Rogers. I never played with him. But that's not a synopsis or a snapshot of this guy, who he is. He's a good guy. He's a good family man. He's a good father. He's a good husband.
He went off. He red-lined. And I think we all have at times. I know I did when I was in my late 30s or 40s or my 20s. I did foolish and childish things. I think he earned a right to be here. And, to me, the easiest thing for him would have been not to come. I think if the commissioner of baseball would not have wanted him to come, I think that he would have impressed upon Kenny Rogers not to come. But he got a big suspension. The fine wasn't big enough. But, hey, he's here and let's say, hey, you know, let's move on.
GIBSON: Reggie, you mentioned the Yankees. I'm sitting in New York. It's a very important thing here. You played for the Yankees for a very long time. You were Mr. October. What did you think last year when Boston finally eliminated the curse?
JACKSON: I was really, along with the rest of the Yankees, in the clubhouse on the team, from Derek Jeter to Torre and George Steinbrenner (search), and everyone throughout the organization, I was embarrassed that we cannot win one ball game in four. But it happened.
And we need to pick our chin up off the ground, like Giambi has picked himself back up, and prove to people that we're still alive, prove to people that we can do the job. We've struggled all season this year. We haven't got enough pitching. Our front office needs to do something about filling some holes. And they will.
But we need to do our job on the field ourselves. We don't need to look for George Steinbrenner to get someone else or look for Brian Cashman to make a trade. We need to look in the clubhouse, look ourselves in the eye and say, "Hey, we need to do it." And that's what America likes. So we're going to be tested the second half of the season and we'll see what we're made of.
GIBSON: All right. Reggie Jackson, out in Detroit for the All- Star Game. It's good to talk to you, Reggie. Have a good time at the All-Star Game. We'll see you around the Bronx.
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