This 2016 Phillies Wall Calendar Has So Many Ex-Phillies


With 2016 less than two months away, we’re approaching peak calendar season — the time of year when empty mall storefronts become pop-up calendar shops, and you consider buying a wall calendar even though you only really keep track of your time with a digital calendar, if at all. Then you pick one up because they make great Secret Santa presents!

Anyway, I’d avoid this particular Phillies calendar made by Turner Licensing if you’re buying one — unless you’re buying a calendar for a sadist. Not only is since-traded Phillies ace Cole Hamels on the cover, but the calendar is full of former Phillies. Read more »

Mets Fans Chant “Utley Sucks”, but He Doesn’t Play

Our old pal Chase Utley has been in the news quite a bit this week, after his takeout slide at second base broke Ruben Tejada’s leg and helped the Dodgers even the National League Division Series against the Mets. New York hosted L.A. at Citi Field in Queens last night, and Mets fans had something to say to Utley.

Utley, who was suspended for two games but is eligible to play while he appeals, did not start and did not enter the game. He reportedly was offered a 1-game suspension as a deal, but turned it down. He could have just taken the suspension, not played, and he wouldn’t have to worry about appealing! Instead, Utley and the Dodgers chose a suboptimal strategy.

Read more »

Will Climate Change Drown Philly?

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today.

Parts of Philadelphia could drown if the world doesn’t finally reduce carbon emissions.

Glub glub. A new report from Climate Central in Princeton finds that “some 156,000 people, or about 10 percent of the city’s population … are living in areas that would be below the high-tide mark at some point in the next century if carbon emissions remain at about current levels.”

“Philadelphia has a really big problem under the worst-case scenario but a very small problem under the best case scenario,” Ben Strauss, vice president for sea level and climate impacts at Climate Central, told StateImpact Pennsylvania. “That’s why the stakes for Philadelphia are higher than almost any other American city in the difference between what happens if we cut carbon emissions and we don’t.” Read more »

Utley Suspended for Controversial Slide

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada (right) collides with Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (left) at second base during the seventh inning in game two of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

The Dodgers’ Chase Utley has been suspended two games for a controversial slide that broke the leg of Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.

He left town at midseason in a trade, but you’d think Chase Utley was still a member of the Phillies, given how much support he received from Philadelphia fans over the weekend after the slide that broke Tejada’s leg. Nationally, a debate raged over whether Utley played dirty or just hard, but Philly consensus seemed solidly on Utley’s side.

Major League Baseball disagrees, announcing that Utley will be suspended Games 3 and 4 of the National League Divisional Series. He’ll appeal, AP reports. “A two-game suspension for a legal baseball play is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation — break up the double play,” his agent said. Read more »

Missanelli: Chase Utley Fifth Best Player in Modern Phillies History

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley left town the other day as the fifth-best player in modern Phillies history.

Yep. Here’s what I’ve got, in this order: Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Utley. (I apologize to Dick Allen and Del Ennis, and the older Phillies who may have been candidates, Chuck Klein and Nap Lajoie. I have no frame of reference for Chuckie and Nap.)

I’m a baseball dude. I played the game for much of my life (and still play in an adult league, which explains my recent torn meniscus and micro-fracture surgery) and was an avid student of the art of hitting. For a period of five years, I thought Chase Utley was the best hitter I had ever seen. Yes, the best hitter I had ever seen. Utley had an amazing way of staying relaxed, then violently firing that short swing. He kept his bat path in the hitting zone for a loooong time — right on the plane of the incoming pitched ball — and hit every ball on sweet spot of his maple bat.

Utley was also the strangest player I have ever covered or seen in a locker room. Read more »

Chase Utley: The Perfect Philadelphia Athlete


Chase Utley had doubled, knocking in a run. The National League still trailed in the 2014 All-Star Game, but the team had finally scored. Utley, on second, went into his trademark celebration: Hands on his hips, staring forward with a small smirk on his face. It’s as if Utley were a baseball-playing robot, thinking “my programming helped me achieve that positive baseball result” to himself.

The only other Philadelphia athlete in recent memory that attracted the kind of universal adulation as Chase Utley is Brian Dawkins. Utley appeared to be designed in a factory designed to produce the kind of athlete designed to appeal to every Philadelphia fan: He kept his head down and didn’t say much. He went 100 percent at every opportunity. The blue-collar fan stereotype is overblown, but there is a segment of the Philadelphia fanbase that likes guys who play hard and keep quiet. They can pretend it’s them out there, just doing a job.

Utley put up solid numbers every year. He had nice arms. He would show up at, like, the Morning Glory diner. He and his wife had a charity, anti-animal abuse, that everyone could agree with. His swing reminded people of Ted Williams. He tied a World Series record held by Reggie Jackson. Both of his famous quotes involve him dropping an F-bomb. How could anyone not like this guy? The only other Phillie possibly beloved as much as Utley was Richie Ashburn. Read more »

Report: Chase Utley Traded to L.A. Dodgers


The Phillies have agreed to a deal that sends Chase Utley to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He reports the trade is not yet official, but has been agreed to by both teams. The Phillies are also sending $2 million to the Dodgers in the trade.

Utley was drafted by the Phillies in the first round of the 2000 draft and signed on July 29th of that year. He rocketed up the minor league system, skipping AA Reading altogether, and debuted with the big club in 2003. His first major league hit, on April 24th of that year, was a grand slam. Read more »

Utley Trade Talks Heat Up


The Phillies may be on the cusp of shipping Chase Utley — a beloved member of the 2008 World (Bleeping) Series champs — out of town as they continue their rebuilding project.

“Sources told on Thursday night that several teams have made offers for Utley, although no deal is imminent,” MLB’s Todd Zolecki reports. “The Giants are just one of those teams. San Francisco general manager Bobby Evans confirmed to that his team has made an offer. The Angels, Cubs, Astros, Yankees and Dodgers are in the mix. The Angels have been interested in Utley for more than a month, and are worth watching.”

Utley wants assurances of playing time on his new team: “He does not want to ride the bench, because he plans to play next season.” Read more »

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