NEW YORK – Reggie Jackson says he messed up by disparaging Alex Rodriguez, Gary Carter and other big names in baseball and has been reaching out to make apologies.
Jackson had told Sports Illustrated that Rodriguez's statistics were tainted by the Yankees star's admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs. Jackson also said he didn't see Carter, Kirby Puckett, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton and Jim Rice as Hall of Famers.
Jackson is a special adviser with the New York Yankees. The team released a statement Thursday from the Hall of Fame slugger.
"In trying to convey my feelings about a few issues that I am passionate about, I made the mistake of naming some specific players," Jackson said.
"This was inappropriate and unfair to those players, some of which are very close friends of mine. I think there are ways to speak from the heart without hurting people, and I'm disappointed that I didn't take greater care in expressing my views," he added.
The Yankees had told Jackson to stay away from the clubhouse and team events following his pointed remarks to the magazine, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press earlier this week.
Jackson was expected to steer clear for several weeks, the person told the AP on condition of anonymity because there was no formal announcement. Jackson was not disciplined or fined, and was to remain a special adviser.
"I have been proactively reaching out to make personal apologies to those within the Hall of Fame community that I offended, and to the Yankees organization for any disruption that I caused in the clubhouse," Jackson said in his statement.
"I continue to have a strong relationship with the club, and look forward to continuing in my role with the team," he said.