Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson, star performers in the Yankees’ version of “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” escalated their soap opera into a major war of words today.
The latest episode began when Martin responded to Hackson’s remarks about the manager’s use of Catfish Hunter, and when Martin repeated his implication that Jackson had been inept against Paul Splittorff in KC.
“Why do we have to have all this kind of talk now when we’re trying to win the World Series?” Martin asked, angrily ripping the baseball cap from his head and swinging it onto the desk in his clubhouse office (in LA).
“If you can’t do your job, shut up. He’s got enough trouble playing right field without second-guessing the manager.”
“His job is to play right field and hit, and he’s getting paid a lot to do that. My job
is to manage, and I’m not getting paid a lot to do that. He’s a man of many moods, and it’s too bad he is. He’s putting pressure on himself. He’s better get two hits tomorrow night.”
“I think we found out this summer I’m running this ball club,” Martin continued.
The fiery Yankee manager also referred to the first Series game, when Jackson’s tardy fielding of a single to right field almost gave the Dodgers a run.
“Did you hear me criticize him the other night? When Rivers had to come all the way over and make the play? I didn’t say a word then. If I’m going to back him, why doesn’t he back me? What is this – a one way street? He’s got a lot of growing up to do.”
“Catfish couldn’t throw in September because of his illness. He did throw on the side. You’d think some people had enough trouble doing their own job without doing mine.”
“It’s just an overheated argument,” Munson said. “Reggie’s been struggling, and he’s like to be doing better. Billy just doesn’t realize he’s Mr. October.” (Good call by Munson!)
ex NYT Chass 10/14/77