Irony alert: Reggie Jackson tells an athlete to be quiet and humble

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I don’t give a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys about the NFL playoffs and — certain strokes of unadulterated genius aside — don’t care if the Jets beat the Patriots this weekend or vice-versa.  But Mr. October Reggie Jackson does. And he’s had it with the trash-talking of the Jets’ Antonio Cromartie:

Former New York Yankees’ legend Reggie Jackson ripped Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie on Thursday, telling him to, “Shut up and play football.”
The slugger, a guest on ESPN 1050 in New York, didn’t hold back when it came to talking about Cromartie, who called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an “ass——.”

“What are you talking about? What are you doing? Shut up, play football,” Jackson said. “What are you talking about [Patriots coach] Bill Belichick and these people for? Spend your time looking at film, spend your time knocking down a pass. What are you doing? You’re not affecting Brady; you’re wasting time.”

…“Go look at the hardware, dude. Walk through the lobby up there and look at the stuff that’s there,” Jackson said. “You don’t have that, you don’t have anything close to that.

“You might want to shut up, you might learn something. Read, you might figure something out. Watch film, you might get educated. If not, you have a chance to get embarrassed on Sunday. I hope you don’t, because I like the Jets.”

Stuff Reggie Jackson is credited with saying during his career:

  • “After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that.”
  • “I am the best in baseball.”
  • “Fans don’t boo nobodies.”
  • “I didn’t come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me.”
  • “I’d like to be able to light the fire a little bit.”
  • “The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself play.”
  • “This team, it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad.”

Hey, I think that kind of bravado is great fun, and I wouldn’t have Reggie Jackson any other way. But really, he’s the last dude that should be telling anyone to “shut up and play.”

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.