It’s been awhile since Jayson Werth and his beautiful, beautiful beard belonged to Philadelphia — his was one high-priced contract for a World Series vet that Ruben Amaro Jr. managed to avoid signing the last few years. Still, he was part of that ’08 championship team, and even if he plays for a division rival — the Washington Nationals — there’s some lingering love for him here.
So it feels like the folks at MLB.com were being a bit mean, perhaps, by pitting Werth against still-here Chase Utley in the first round of its “Face of the MLB” contest:
Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley stopped by the Ellen show recently to surprise a 23-year-old superfan with cancer.
Julie Kramer had no idea what was coming to her, she thought she was there to talk about staying positive as she struggles with a rare form of cancer, and to receive a few gifts. Ellen presented her with a check for $10,000, which brought tears to her eyes, but then her dream of dreams came true: Her favorite Phillies player Chase Utley came strutting out with a box full of Phillies gifts. Her reaction is priceless.
Utley gave her an open invitation to the Phillies any time she wants to come.
These are the saddest of possible words:
“Rollins to Utley to Howard”
Trio of Phillies, all in their thirties,
Rollins and Utley and Howard.
An NL East dynasty turned into rubble
If they’re all back next year, problems may double
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Rollins and Utley and Howard”
The Philadelphia Phillies finished up their season yesterday the same way they finished the last three: Out of the playoffs. The Phils finished with a 73-89 record for the second consecutive year. In yesterday’s finale, Cole Hamels pitched well and took the loss — an event that happened far too often for a pitcher that posted a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts but finished with just a 9-9 record.
With the Phillies out of the playoffs, I thought I’d share some of my favorite animated GIFs I made of Phillies games this season.
Update 9/4/2014 5:04pm: Kurfiss Sotheby’s Melanie Stecura got in touch with us to clarify a few things, most importantly that the unit is still for sale even though it is also available for rent. That change is reflected below, along with two others referring to the Utleys’ current home.
BHHS Fox & Roach’s Frank L. DeFazio sent us a link to his blog today, which features an item about Chase Utley’s condo at the Ayer. As we’ve written, Chase and Jen renovated a house last year, and they put this fantabulous unit on the market in October 2013. In March of this year, feeling wary about the fact that the unit had no furniture in it anymore, they had it re-staged, hoping that would give the $4.3 million home the kick it needed.
Now DeFazio notes that the listing is available as a rental for $17,500 per month. (The monthly condo fees are around $4,000 per month, DeFazio writes.) It’s a beautiful unit. Gallery below, in case you’ve forgotten.
With the National League down, 3-0, Chase Utley doubled home a run in top of the second inning. He celebrated his usual way: Putting his hands on his hips and staring out into space, as if he were a baseball-playing automaton. “My programming allowed me to achieve that excellent baseball result,” Utley thought, probably.
Utley actually factored in to all three of the National League’s runs last night. He doubled home a run to make it 3-1, then scored on a Jonathan Lucroy double that followed. Utley’s at-bat was probably the best of the night, too: He worked a seven-pitch AB against Red Sox star Jonathan Lester for his double, fouling off several close pitches and generally looking like the awesome hitter he’s been for the Phillies.
While the Phillies were swept by the Pirates in Pittsburgh, there was some good news out of this weekend: Chase Utley will start his sixth MLB All-Star Game this year. It’s his first All-Star Game nod since 2010.
The Phillies rallied from a run down in the ninth to beat the Rockies on Wednesday night, and the way they did it was just fantastic: Chase Utley stroked a two-out single to tie the game at 3, and Ryan Howard followed with a three-run game-ending home run.
It was the kind of thing the 23-27 Phillies haven’t done much of this year—they’re only 11-15 at home. But what was great was the way Ben Revere high-stepped it to home plate after Howard’s walkoff.
After: A room at the Utley penthouse as restaged by Gretchen Kubiak. Photo by Drew Callaghan.
When Jen and Chase Utley decided to sell their triplex penthouse at the Ayer, they didn’t take their furniture with them, as they live elsewhere during the off-season. It was perfect timing for their real estate brokerage, Sotheby’s, which was then able to show the home the way it looks when someone lives there. But when the Utleys’ new home in Philadelphia was finished, the couple was ready to have their furniture back — which presented a problem.
“A $4.3 million home that’s vacant,” says Kurfiss Sotheby International Realty’s Melanie Stecura, “that doesn’t look right. That’s 4,500 square feet of blank space.” Stecura says it can be hard for buyers to imagine such a large unit as a home if it’s just a series of vast, echoey rooms. As it is, she says, “there are not a lot of buyers in this price range in Philadelphia,” so it’s important to make every effort to show the home at its best.
Last night at the Union League the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation held its fourth annual bash which always has an exciting city theme to it. In the past they created Havana Nights, Harlem Nights and A Night in Paris. Last night it was Taste of the World: Bollywood Bash 2014.
The Rollins event is always fun and lively; his teammates are good sports and always dress for the theme, and last night they didn’t disappoint, as you’ll see in the photos. As with all the Rollins events I’ve attended, it was a laid back fun evening for the players, supporters and fans.
The evening started with cocktail party held in the Lincoln Hall. There were food stations by various local restaurants including Sbraga, Dandelion and Davio’s, music was by CTO’s Tribeca band who had the dance floor packed all evening, and when they weren’t playing, CTO’s DJ Ravi Jackson was mixing up Michael Jackson and current favorites. Down the hall there was an entire room devoted to sweet desserts, including a gorgeous four-tied Bollywood inspired cake created by Cakes & Candies by MaryEllen. Proceeds from the event will benefit local charities dedicated to making healthy food available to children and families most in need including at risk youth in the Philadelphia area.
We’re 12 games into the season, and the Phillies are 6-6. In their first homestand of the year, they were swept by the Brewers — who are out to a 10-2 start, the best in baseball — but rebounded to sweep in the Marlins in turn. The Phillies have been outscored by 6 runs, and the team’s no longer a hot ticket: On April 11th, the Phillies drew just 22,483 fans, the lowest since July 31, 2006.
But there are reasons to be optimistic about the 2014 season. While the pitching’s shaky, the offense is humming along: Second in the NL in hitting, first in on-base-percentage, sixth in slugging. And a big reason for that is the work of Chase Utley.