It’s funny how that works, huh?
Perhaps that’s what a 3-for-4 outing with a double, three RBIs and the game-winning homer in the top of the 11th will do for a guy. That’s especially the case when that guy is one of the cornerstones of the franchise and just signed a seven-year, $85 million contract extension.
Said skipper Charlie Manuel: “What do you want me to say about him? I can’t say enough. If I start talking about Chase, you could come back next year and I’d still probably be talking. He’s that good. He’s something very special.”
Better yet, Utley had his latest big night in New York City against the top team in the National League. If a baseball player wants to get noticed, New York City is the place to go to have some big games. So far this season Utley is 5-for-16 with two homers and five RBIs at Shea. In his career, Utley has six homers and 14 RBIs in 30 games, which is good because they pay attention to baseball in the Big Apple.
In Philadelphia they go to baseball games to chant for the football team.
Nevertheless, Manuel couldn’t stop talking about Utley last night.
“I used to say Kirby Puckett was my favorite player,” Manuel said. “I love Kirby Puckett, but Chase is getting there. Just the way he plays the game. How hard he plays. How mentally tough he is. Plus how he hits and hustles. I like everything about his game.”
Kirby Puckett played well in some big games on the biggest stage. It would be interesting to see if Utley ever gets that chance, too.
In one of the more interesting plays one will ever see in a baseball game, Utley was held up while rounding third base by coach Steve Smith on a single by Aaron Rowand. As a result, Pat Burrell was caught in a rundown between second and third where he actually ran from first to third to second and back to third.
Aside from that, Utley pointed out the oddest part of Burrell’s dizzy run around the bases.
“I've never seen anyone slide twice into third base on the same play. Pat wanted to get to third base,” Utley said. “And he did.”
Speaking of the local football team, Lito Shepherd was flying in a plane with Jacksonville's Fred Taylor and Baltimore's Samari Rolle during a trip to South Africa when the door blew off in the back of the craft. Interestingly, someone videotaped the entire thing and put it on YouTube:
I don’t know about anyone else, but if I’m in a small plane and the door flies off at 6,000 feet, the last thing I’m reaching for is the camera. Maybe a parachute or a big, billowy blanket, but definitely not the camcorder.
The thing I liked best about baseball’s amateur draft was how no-frills it was. In a sports world dominated by overproduced and over-hyped faux drama, it was cool that MLB kept it real at least one time.
For those unfamiliar with the MLB draft, it took place over the course of two days where the teams squeezed in as many rounds as possible. But unlike the other major league sports, baseball’s draft was broadcast through a conference call amongst all of the teams, which was streamed onto their Web site.
It probably would have been easier if the teams got together and logged onto a Yahoo! league site or something.
But for the first time ever baseball’s draft will be broadcast on television (tomorrow at 2 p.m. on ESPN2), which, frankly, destroys the entire allure of the proceedings.
It also will slow down the rapid-fire nature of the draft. In most years, according to Phillies’ director of scouting Marti Wolever, they complete close to 20 rounds in the first day of the draft. But this year, with television slowing things down with their pesky commercials, analysis and production stuff, they might be lucky to get in six rounds on Thursday.
Dennis Deitch of Philadelphia correctly identified Steve Carlton as the last pitcher to toss 300 innings in a season when he did it for the 1980 Phillies. Initially, Deitch guessed Phil Niekro in 1979 as the last pitcher to go for 300 innings, but quickly changed his answer.
Incidentally, Niekro went 21-20 for 340 innings for the Braves in 1979. Yeah, that’s right – 21-20.
Nevertheless, kudos to Dennis. Kudos. We’ll see if we can set him up with something nice.
Speaking of 1980, if you’re going to Kansas City this weekend for the Phillies’ first trip to the Emerald City (is that what they call it? If not, they should) since the World Series, carnivorous insiders recommend the Hereford House and/or Plaza III. Having never been to Kansas City, I'm going to assume that both joints are downtown.
Work with me, folks.
We put the word out for more suggestions since the Phillies are making their first trip to KC in nearly three decades, so stay tuned.