Marc Carig has a good piece over at Baseball Prospectus today. He talks with Reggie Jackson about Mr. October’s all-time strikeout record and how, in hindsight, Reggie wishes he had cut down on his mighty hack. Marc adds some analysis of his own comparing the guy who was once thought of as an insane whiffer to guys today that make him look relatively tame in the K department.
It’s good reading, but I’m not sure what to make of Reggie thinking he should have struck out less. I’ve always had this idea of Jackson as a guy whose primary strength and primary weakness were his brains — which were obvious — and his ego — which was also obvious. I picture him thinking “man, I don’t care how much I strike out, because these violent swings are what makes me me.” And I picture him holding on to those thoughts with even greater relish now that he’s aware that, for the most part, strikeouts aren’t as stigmatized today.
Has Mr. October started to doubt himself in his September years? Is he simply taking the another turn against conventional wisdom now that the conventional wisdom has caught up with him?
Whatever the case, the classics never go out of style. And I consider Reggie Jackson a classic piece of work, for all of the good and all of the bad that phrase means to me. Check it out.