Category Archives: Chase Utley

How Chase Utley blows off steam before a game

Over the weekend the topic of Chase Utley came up with a friend who was in town visiting. She’s got a lot of friends from the greater Philly area (aka North Jersey). She is a Yankee Fan. But shortly after the subject of Utley came up, the subject of what Utley did to relieve some tension before games came up.

Aparently, according to our source; she has a good friend (of which we also know) that knows the bat boy/clubbie for the Phillies. And he is the one who made sure that the tale of truth was told about Utley’s pregame ritual.

We’re told that Utley and another teammate (couldn’t get his name but it’s gotta be Jayson Werth), regularly watch porno before games and then basically ‘relieve themselves’ right in the clubhouse quarters. No shame, no denial. Utley watches pornography and then cleans the pipes before his games.

Anyone with insider knowledge of the Philly clubhouse could probably confirm for us. It’s true. Our source is good.

So let it be said, that even when you got a wife that looks like Jen Utley, you still get the urge to beat on that meat.

*Hat tip to Goyfriend, who reads the blog.

Cliff Lee historic in World Series game 1

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Cliff Lee had the second greatest pitching performance in World Series history last night. Lee became the only man to ever strike out 10 or more, walk no one, and win the game.
In a game that Chase Utley homered twice in a game that CC Sabathia was pretty strong. Sabathia’s outing was a footnote to the performance Lee turned in, but going 7 innings, walking three and striking out six while only allowing two earned runs in your World Series debut isn’t too shabby. Sabathia only allowed four hits but the Yankees found themselves in a 2-0 hole by the time exited the game.
The Yankees couldn’t muster a run until the 9th off the dominant Lee. Playing in a misting rain, Derek Jeter showed up and was Derek Jeter, collecting three hits and scoring the lone Yankees run on a Mark Texeira groundout.
We’re not entirely surprised that the Yankees didn’t win this game. They probably felt some added pressure with Big George being in the house. This was the first Series game at the new stadium. These Yankees; collectively, hadn’t been here before. That’s why we said they’d probably fall into a 2-1 hole. But they’ll be alright. Tonight’s game does have added pressure. You don’t want to head to Philly for three while being down 2-0. The Yankees have to find a way to win this one tonight.
Tonight’s game two will be a dramatic scene, with Jay-Z opening things up. You understand what network television is doing with this. It’s going to pump ratings up and get a different genre of folks to maybe turn the game on and leave it on for the first few innings.

Like a tragic hero, Reds comeback falls tragically short

Another home loss for the Reds we can roll the credits on. Honestly, the Reds put up more resistance then you’d expect them to, but the guys who felt that Cole Hamels was a safe money line bet last night ended up going home with dollars in their pocket. The Reds couldn’t upset as an underdog. They’re running onto some hard luck right now. You lose a 16 inning game, then you draw Jake Peavy, take a day off and draw Cole Hamels. All this without your most accomplished hitter; Joey Votto.
Johnny Cueto didn’t throw all that poorly. A few mistakes here and there, and basically it added up to a bad inning that cost him the victory. He went 7 innings, striking out 4 and walking no one. He gave up a home run to Ryan Howard to open up scoring on a full count pitch. Other then that it was one bad inning with hits from Utley and Rollins providing most of the damage.
One of the high points came when the Reds tied the game at 1. Pictured above is Jay Bruce after he connected on a full count delivery from Cole Hamels. Hamels threw a change-up and Bruce caught it with a swing where he just flicked the bat head out in front and pounded it easily out of the ballpark into the right field moon deck/bullpen.
Bruce also made two great plays out in right field. Other then that, he had a rough night going 1 for 4 and striking out 3 times. We’re not worried about him, he will be fine. He’s doing a fine job for a young player who has no one around him in the lineup and he’s playing Gold Glove Right Field. You heard me.
Other then Bruce, the Reds got a home run from Jerry Hairston (who flew out with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the game) and multi-hit efforts from Ramon Hernandez and Brandon Phillips. Hernandez cut the lead to 4-3 with a sac fly after a Phillips triple.

Joey Votto remains ailing, and there is no determination of the cause of his dizziness. At least nothing has been released to the public yet. But I read a quote and felt that there is news on the way if you read it in the context that I did:

Said Reds trainer Mark Mann, “Joey has undergone a series of tests at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego and here in Cincinnati, and we have more tests scheduled over the next few days. After those additional tests, we will be more prepared to discuss the cause of his dizziness.”

Votto was in the clubhouse just prior to Tuesday’s game and said, “I can’t tell you anything right now, I just can’t say. They (the Reds) will tell you what you need to know at some point.”

That reads as if they know what it is, and it’s bad news that they do not want to hurt fan morale just yet until they are sure of what it is. I can only hope I’m wrongfully speculating here, but I feel that Votto may be done for the year and maybe longer. My hopes have nothing to do with me wanting him back on the field. I want this guy to have his health for his life. He’s 25 and just entering the prime. He’s way too young to have to worry about an ailment. Prayers for Joey to be back to normal soon.

On a 1 to 10 scale, what do you give Jennifer Utley?

It’s a very slow day, so we’ll throw up a baseball wife and hopefully get a few intersting looks.

Here’s Jennifer Utley, who UmpBump found with her puppies.

Chase married the former Jennifer Cooper, a San Francisco native with family ties to the Philadelphia area, back in January of 2007, but the two actually met when they were both students at UCLA. In an ironic twist, given Utley’s later career in Philadelphia, they were actually introduced by former Eagles wide receiver and lightning rod Freddie Mitchell, who was friends with Chase and freshman-year dormmates with Jen.

At first glance, she looks pretty average. But if you click through to UmpBump you will see that she’s actually one who grows on you. She’s at least solid ‘8’ material and maybe a little more. You have to like her a little bit because she seems like she doesn’t mind being a plain Jane at times. Just throwing a ballcap on and some jeans. At the same time, I guess it’s pretty lame to rate the wives of ballplayers; since they would never be available in any walk of life no matter what. They’re married to an MLB player. Might as well have married a rock star.

As we said, it’s a slow day.

The Amazing Utley out duels The Deal

Chase Utley continues to chase down Davey Johnson, as he hit his 21st home run of the season off Bronson Arroyo in the 1st inning. The bomb was his 5th straight game that he dialed long distance–and this helped him edge out young Bruce for the NL Player of the Week honors.
Utley pretty much showed those watching the game last night how to single-handedly win a ballgame for your team as a second baseman who hits in the middle of the order. He collected two other hits in the game besides the round tripper and made several nice defensive plays including a diving stop on a Joey Votto line drive in the 9th inning to end the game.
We won’t talk long about Jay Bruce, but he continues to impress. He homered oppo to left field off Kyle Kendrick and collected a single. He also lined out hard and popped out after a great at bat. This was the first road game of his career and the 2nd game of his career that he hit 3rd in the lineup.
Couple of other observations:
  • Adam Dunn got a nice clutch hit after a nice at-bat, doubling home 2 runners to cut the deficit to 1. He stayed back on a breaking ball from Chad Durbin and just missed hitting a game tying home run.
  • Brad Lidge looked like the Brad Lidge of old.
  • If Edwin Encarnacion got hot (he homered), it would possibly be the type of thing that got the Reds back in the pennant race. I don’t think he’s that type of player, and I don’t think it will happen. But it was something I was thinking about at work.
  • Bronson Arroyo is the worst of the 5 starters now in the Reds rotation with Homer Bailey up.
  • Ryan Freel can’t do much with a flat fastball. If he doesn’t flare it just out of the infield, he’s in trouble.

He really is an Amazing Utley

We thought it would be worth noting that Chase Utley enters play tonight with 9 HR, and 6 long ones in the past 5 games including the last five straight.

He’s in Colorado tonight, so we’ll keep you posted should he go boom. It’s being noted that people (presumably just Philly fans & publications) are calling this guy the NL MVP.

Myself? I look at Utley and see a player beginning to peak, but not a guy who can make a run at 50 home runs or even 40. That’s because he’s going to be stuck on 38 this season even with his hot start.

Philadelphia Phillies 2008 Season Preview

Leading up to the start of the 2008 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 32 teams. Teams will be rated on a 10-point scale in the following 5 areas: Lineup, Pitching, Manager, Intangibles/Chemistry, and Overall. Today’s team is the Phliadelphia Phillies.

Everyone knows about the two big threats of the lineup, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. This group has also added some important integral parts. Jimmy Rollins is the reigning MVP for crying out loud. Many people forget that when looking at this lineup on paper. Don’t forget about the incumbent Pat Burrell. He should be good for 30 homers and has the ability to drive in 100 runs. They also added some very good firepower to their bench, but players with experience in the starting lineup that could become valuable additions. It seems that Philadelphia always has a nice complement of spot starting type guys on their bench that can be effective in their role coming off the Philly bench. I like their bench a lot, in adding Geoff Jenkins, So Taguchi, and Pedro Feliz. Shane Victorino started off as a guy who was a spot starting guy and has blossomed into a key in this lineup. The speed/power mix this group has is impressive and there won’t be many lineups that score like the Phillies will this year, especially in that bandbox ballpark Citizens Bank.

Rating: 8.8

The rotation is going to go Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer everlasting, rookie Kyle Kendrick, and Adam Eaton. J.D. Durbin could get some starts should one in this group falter as they have in the past.

Brad Lidge is going to have to show he’s got something left in the tank, because he’ll be the guy to take the ball in the 9th inning as the closer when the Phillies have a lead. Tom Gordon is a fine set-up man but questions will be asked because of his age. J.C. Romero was resigned and will be the guy to get the tough lefty matchups and 7th innings. Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey and Scott Matheison will also see action.

If there is a chink in this team’s armor other than their manager, it will be the pitching. A lot of pressure on Cole Hamels to be an ace when I think he’s best fitted to play a #2 role in his career. After Hamels, there’s a lot of question marks. This is a team who could definitely make a move to bolster this staff, but who knows how that will shake out.

Rating: 7.9

Charlie Manuel. He’s a likeable enough man, for sure. He’s probably accomplished more than any other career .198 hitting player who was born from parent cousins could accomplish; but this guy is never going to win you a World Series. In fact, Manuel will lose you playoff games. He replaced Larry Bowa, and after you’ve been swigging around horse shit and water in your mouth, piss might taste better to swash around in there. Bottom line is Charlie Manuel is a guy who can take talented teams to the playoffs and lose, or allow talented teams to underachieve. How he survived the axe sharpening he was in at the beginning of last season is a mystery to me. Manuel ultimately will not leave this organization with any type of title, and he’s got his hands full having the Mets in his division. Luckily, he’s got a very capable roster, or he’d be up shit creek with no paddle.

Rating: 6.3

This is a team that will steal some bases. This is also a team that has a rabid fan base cheering them on 82 games out of the year. On a bad team, a Philly crowd might harm the players’ performance, but this is a talented roster full of guys that have ‘been there’. The Phillies are going to bend teams over the laundry hamper and use the belt on them plenty in 2008. They can beat you with the long ball (217 to lead the league last year) or they can run you to death. They make things happen. They’ve got a strong core and should continue to win many character ballgames in which they shouldn’t and squeek out plenty of late/close games.

Rating 8.2

I wish there was a rating taken into consideration for ballpark ambiance and food at the concession stands. I’ve been to Philly’s Citizens Bank, and it’s a great place to turn one into a fan. It’s a magical place that can turn a skinny into a fat ass real quick (crab fries and cheesesteaks). They also throw tailgates in the parking lots like it’s football season. We drank Jack Daniels there and no one looked at us like we had 10 heads.

Unfortunately, this team is in a tough division. I think they’re better than the Atlanta Braves but not at the level of the New York Mets. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are gonna do their thing. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are going to make hell at the top of the lineup.

Overall, I see the pitching staff being what makes the ship sink, oh and also Charlie M. They’re still one of the more dangerous teams in the National league and they’ll be a nightly task for their opposition because they never stop battling.

Rating: 7.8