Jackson 'not sure' Rice belongs in Hall of Fame


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."

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.