Pedroia: I’m better ASU product than Jackson

NEW YORK — Baseball people enjoy telling stories about Dustin Pedroia’s bravado. And this one might rank near the top.

On Friday night, as the Red Sox took batting practice at Yankee Stadium, Pedroia noticed Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson standing behind the batting cage.

The Red Sox second baseman strode over to Jackson and proclaimed, “Barry Bonds, Dustin Pedroia and Reggie Jackson — the top three players in Arizona State history.”

Someone asked Pedroia how he would rank the three. He immediately shot back, “Kind of a coin flip between the first two,” referring to Bonds and himself while snubbing Jackson.

Now, Jackson has never been one to lack confidence, and during his days with the Yankees he was quoted as saying, “I’m the straw that stirs the drink.” But Pedroia effectively browbeat him into submission.

Rather than challenge Pedroia, Jackson replied, almost meekly, “I’m just happy to be in the top five.”

Jackson played at ASU in 1966, Bonds from 1983-85 and Pedroia from 2002-04.