Top 10 Coach Killers

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Reggie Jackson

The most amazing thing about the Billy Martin-Reggie Jackson relationship is that they kept the peace long enough for the Yankees to win their first World Series in 15 year during the 1977 season. Almost from the day Jackson signed a lucrative free-agent contract with the Yankees after the 1976 season, he and manager Martin just couldn't see eye-to-eye.

Martin, a gritty, hustling infielder from the Yankees' 1950s dynasty teams, couldn't stand the antics of Jackson and considered him a prima donna. From Jackson's perspective, he could do nothing to win the manager's respect, never mind affection. Martin, for his part, once dropped Jackson to sixth in the batting order, yanked him out of a game for failing to run after a catchable fly ball, and was never shy about antagonizing the superstar in the media. During a nationally televised game at Fenway Park in 1977, the two nearly came to blows in the dugout and had to be physically separated by Yankees players and coaches.

Jackson took his complaints directly to the owner George Steinbrenner, who frequently mediated their disputes. The Yankees managed to win the World Series in '77 but while on their way to another title in '78, it became clear that one of the feuding parties had to go.

It was Martin. After suspending Jackson for bunting into a strikeout, Martin's order was countermanded by Steinbrenner, which led to his famous outburst of "they deserve each other - one (Jackson) is a born liar, the other (Steinbrenner) is convicted." Martin resigned under pressure in June and was replaced by Bob Lemon.

The second-most amazing thing about Martin-Jackson? Well, the fact that there was a sequel. Martin actually came back to manage the Yankees for the 1979 season, with Jackson still on the team. But that lasted just one year as Martin was quickly fired again. When he came back for his third, fourth and fifth stints with the Yankees, Jackson was long gone, having high-tailed to the California Angels in 1982.

Top 10 Coach Killers

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