God Bless Chase Utley

Well, Chase Utley is headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to reports.
He’ll team up with former double-play partner Jimmy Rollins in hopes of bringing the Los Angeles Dodgers their first World Series since the Reagan administration.
The play above, in which Utley scored from second on a groundball to first, is the defining play of his career. The hustle and heads-up nature is what you want your kids to learn, but what I always took away from it was the way he gets up and saunters away from home plate after a close play. There’s no showboating. No celebration.
Make no mistake howrever, there is a load of “I beat you, and I’ll do it again” confidence. It’s in the shoulders, strong as rocks that would help carry a championship-starved team city to five division titles, two pennants and a World Series.
It should also be noticed that there were two outs on this play. If he gets thrown out, it’s an inning-ending momentum killer.
But he doesn’t get out. He slides in safely and he just strolls away from the plate as if nothing extraordinary happened.
That’s probably how he’ll leave Philadelphia. There’s no goodbye no-hitter. No goodbye pouting.
Just a worker leaving his job, strolling out the door.
That’s Utley in a nutshell.
He didn’t stroll like J-Roll. He didn’t hop out of the duggout after homers. You didn’t see him pieing teammates in the face after walk-off wins.
But you knew he was having fun. And he was a joy to watch for more than a decade in a town that doesn’t know a lot of sports joy.
Utley drove me nuts at times. I think his late-career woes are a direct result of playing hurt when he could have rested. But Chase didn’t know any other way.
Utley won’t just be remembered most for his professionalism, hustle, integrity and clutch performances. The way he played was wonderful, but a lot athletes play that way.
Utley also won, which made the way he played wonderful.

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