Jackson 'not sure' Rice belongs in Hall of Fame

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Jackson 'not sure' Rice belongs in Hall of Fame

Reggie Jackson is a member of baseball's Hall of Fame, not an elector. If he were, its ranks wouldn't be quite as robust.

Among those Jackson might not have voted for: Jim Rice.

"As much as I like Jim Rice, I'm not so sure he's a Hall of Famer," Jackson said in an interview with Sports Illustrated, which will be published in its next edition. A portion of the interview was posted online today by the New York Daily News.

The Red Sox slugger -- whom Jackson once said he would have loved to have played with -- isn't the only member of the Hall that Jackson doesn't think belongs. Others include Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Don Sutton and Phil Nierko . . . and one of this year's inductees, Bert Blyleven.

"No. No, no, no, no," Jackson said of Blyleven. "Blyleven wasn't even the dominant pitcher of his era. Jack Morris was."

Jackson also said he believes any player linked to performance-enhancing drugs -- including his "very good friend" Alex Rodriguez -- should be banned from the Hall. He predicted if any of them are elected, including home-run king Barry Bonds, "no Hall of Famer will attend" the induction ceremony.

The only exception would be Andy Pettitte, "who admitted that he got involved with PEDs for a while, but is so universally respected in the game." Two weeks ago, Jackson said Roger Clemens -- acquitted by a jury of lying to Congress about PED use, but who his lawyer admits is still stained by the scandal -- should go into the Hall of Fame "regardless of anybody's opinion" because "our judicial system says he's not guilty."

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