07/14/08 7:48 PM ET
Mr. October offers his take on Derby
Jackson believes Phillies' Utley will be 2008 champion
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
They are afraid of falling into the type of swing which Reggie Jackson brought to the plate every time, the kind of wide-arcing uppercut which turned each of the Hall of Fame outfielder's at-bats into an adventure.Asked during Monday afternoon's All-Star workout whether he would like to have participated in one of these modern Derby productions, Jackson didn't hesitate. "Heck, yes, I would've loved it. I always swung for the downs anyway," said the once-and-forever Mr. October, who smoked 563 career home runs plus 18 in the postseason, including 10 World Series clouts. "I think I might've had a chance." Now a special consultant in the Yankees' front office, Jackson had a ready response when asked to predict the winner of the Home Run Derby that would soon start. "[Chase] Utley!" Jackson said enthusiastically. "I like Chase Utley. He's a great athlete with a great swing. I think he's being overlooked in this, and I like his chances of sneaking in. He's a solid home run hitter."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.