April 3, 2013 |
ATLANTA - It was more than two hours before game time, and the first player to emerge in the visitors dugout at Turner Field was Chase Utley. The Phillies' five-time all-star second baseman was not going to miss this opening day. Not after missing the last two. Not after starting his preparation for this season almost immediately after the end of last season. There was a look in Utley's eyes Monday as he leaned on the dugout railing and awaited the team's stretch exercises in preparation for his first opening day since 2010.
March 15, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Chase Utley slowly shuffled further off the bag at first base, and then, with a quick first step, broke for second base. But Domonic Brown fouled off the pitch. Utley retreated to first base. The scene played out again later in the at-bat. Utley broke, Brown fouled off, and Utley retreated. Brown ended up striking out in his sixth inning at-bat against Pittsburgh lefthander Andy Oliver. But when Darin Ruf took over in the batter's box, Utley continued his pursuit of second base.
November 3, 2009 |
Charlie Manuel was smiling in his office, 16 hours after his team handed the New York Yankees a nearly insurmountable lead in the World Series. "I feel fine," the Phillies' manager said, leaning back in the chair behind his desk. "Ready to go. Looking forward to it. . . . We came to the ballpark to win today. " On this team, Manuel sets the mood. The manager did not need to hold a meeting or deliver a speech; his players knew him too well. They knew that he expected them to worry only about playing a focused baseball game, and have fun doing it. That in-the-moment mind-set has always been the team's strength during the Manuel era, and it allowed the Phils to extend their season last night.
June 27, 2012 |
Chase Utley acknowledged that he is an optimist, only because he has felt nothing to dissuade him from that positivity. So the Phillies second baseman, nearing a return to the majors, sounded as upbeat as ever on Monday. On the eve of what is likely his final rehabilitation game, Utley said his troublesome knees feel better than they have in "a few years. " He believes they can be even stronger eventually. And he likely will bat third Wednesday night for Charlie Manuel's last-place Phillies, who desperately need anything resembling a boost.
March 24, 2012 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The red No. 26 bag was still hanging to the left of the locker, right where Chase Utley left it last weekend. The two dangling hats and stacks of black bats were untouched, too. There was no sign of any activity, and Phillies officials were reluctant to even confirm Utley's presence at camp following a visit to an unknown specialist in an unidentified location. "I haven't seen him," Charlie Manuel said, "but someone said he came here. " Secrecy shrouds the status of Utley's chronically injured knees and what consequences it could have on the Phillies' roster in the short and long term.
August 31, 2012
THERE IS no question that Chase Utley taking ground balls at third base constitutes news, especially when you consider that Wednesday night's game between the Mets and Phillies featured two teams jockeying for position in next June's draft. But even if the veteran second baseman transforms himself into a modern-day Brooks Robinson, the impact that it will have on the organization's future is, at best, uncertain. The noncommittal attitude expressed by Utley and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. when they discussed the potential switch on Wednesday was not a case of two tight-lipped professionals downplaying reality.
June 12, 2012 |
Chase Utley's rehab clock officially starts ticking at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Phillies announced Monday that their second baseman will begin his minor-league rehabilitation assignment when the single-A Clearwater Threshers play the Tampa Yankees on Tuesday night at Bright House Field. Utley will be Clearwater's designated hitter. Utley, out since the start of the season because of chronic soreness in both his knees, begins his rehab assignment nine days after he went to Clearwater and played in two extended spring-training games over a three-day period.
June 27, 2012 |
Chase Utley led off the fourth inning with a solo home run in a rehab assignment appearance for Triple A Lehigh Valley against Rochester. Utley hammered a 1-2 fastball off reliever Esmerling Vasquez as the IronPigs have scored in every inning to this point and lead, 8-1. Utley, batting third, lined out in the first and singled in the second. He was called out on strikes to end the fifth inning with a man on second, and struck out swinging to lead off the 8th inning.
November 1, 2008 |
It was hardly on the scale of a wardrobe malfunction, but Chase Utley's dropping of the F-bomb on live TV and radio yesterday caused a stir among some Philadelphians. After proclaiming "World champions!" at the Phillies' celebration at Citizens Bank Park, the smiling second baseman leaned into the microphone and inserted a familiar two-syllable profanity between "world" and "champions. " The crowd loved it, erupting into cheers for several minutes. Local TV and radio stations covering the event live, however, were less amused.
October 11, 2010
Looking back to Game 2 and Chase Utley's maybe/maybe not hit-by- pitch. Derek Jeter did something similar during the regular season. Thereafter, both Utley and Jeter received some criticism from do-gooder types. I had no problem with it. I'm an if-you-ain't-cheatin'- you-ain't-tryin' kind of guy. Where do you two stand? That's not cheatin, it's craftiness, a prized trait in baseball since the days of High Pockets Kelly. It's only cheating if the other team does it. It's like when the day before a big Latin test I transcribed notes, as a studying aid, of course, onto my hand.