Via Pete Caldera -
To Reggie Jackson, this is fact – not opinion – that Billy Martin engaged in bigoted and anti-Semitic behavior during his tumultuous tenure as Yankees manager.
“I didn’t say it as accusatory … I said it with feeling and empathy,” Jackson said in a phone conversation Thursday, seeking to clarify comments he made in a soon-to-be-televised interview. “I said it as to what went on.”
During a chat with Bob Costas, to be aired Monday on MLB Network, Mr. October provided frank commentary on his former skipper, who died in a car crash in December 1989.
“I did not accept the way he managed me. I did not accept the way he managed Ken Holtzman. I thought there was anti-Semitism there. … I couldn’t accept that,” Jackson said in a partial transcript released by MLB Network. “I couldn’t accept the racial epithets in reference to players like Elliott Maddox or Billy Sample.”
In speaking with The Record on Thursday, Jackson said, “The most disturbing part of it all is that the writers that covered the team never made mention of it and were completely aware of it.”
As a minority, Jackson said he felt a kinship with the number of Jewish writers who covered the club at the time. Yet, he felt a disappointment that “my social plight in my era in the ’70s, and the things that went on in our club were omitted by the media.’’
“If I would’ve said it, it would’ve been a great story,” Jackson said. “[But] it should’ve been reported by someone who writes opinions on the Yankees. It never was.”
Martin hated Ken Holtzman. I remember reading, many years ago, how Billy once, from the dugout, pointed at Holtzman running in the outfield and made nasty references about him to some others that you could hear the money in Holtzman’s pockets rattling around as he was jogging.
And, we know that Billy did not like Reggie. But, did Martin have something against all Jews and Blacks?
Did Martin hate Rod Carew when he had him in 1969? How about Willie Horton in 1971? We know that Billy loved Rickey Henderson like a son – and Rickey loved Martin back.
I would bet that there were people who Martin didn’t like – and, if they happened to be Black or Jewish, then Billy would use bigoted or anti-semitic slurs towards them. But, I doubt that he hated people out of the chute just because they were Black or Jewish.
But, I could be wrong here too…