Reggie Jackson is back with the Yankees tonight in Oakland

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You’ll be thrilled to know that Reggie Jackson has rejoined the Yankees for tonight’s series opener against the Athletics. Jackson, who is a “special advisor” with the Yankees, recently took a leave of absence from the team after he said Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Bert Blyleven, Jim Rice, Don Sutton, and Phil Niekro shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame and questioned the legitimacy of Alex Rodriguez’s numbers.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Jackson refused to address the recent controversy.

Pretty nice gig if you can get it. Conveniently, Jackson is hanging out with the Yankees this weekend instead of attending the Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on Sunday. Probably not going to be a very popular guy among that group.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.