Utley’s Last Stand?


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Tonight I’ll be at the Phillies game, watching them play the scorching hot Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays are probably playoff bound, so that alone makes the game worth going. The other factor that stood out on the schedule was Larry Bowa bobblehead night. Bowa is basically the ultimate survivor in Philadelphia. He played, very successfully, in Philadelphia, winning a ring. He became a coach in Philadelphia after playing. He eventually became manager. Even after being fired as manager, Bowa is back now as bench coach. He seems to be a lifer in town.

Another lifer to this point is Chase Utley, the Phillies greatest second baseman of all-time. Utley is 36 now, and will be a free agent after the season, and he just cleared waivers. While he is eligible for a trade, it appears that Utley is holding up a trade, mostly over playing time issues. Because he has 10-and-5 rights, Utley can block any trade. This doesn’t appear to change his eventual fate, that he will leave after the season. It means there is uncertainty on whether he will be traded by the Phillies as soon as today, or he will be finishing the season out here.

Tonight could be the last time I ever see Chase Utley play for the Phillies. After all the great seasons, the All-Star Games, and even the World Series title he won here, tonight could be it. Just as it was it when Cole Hamels went recently, just as the last game I saw last year was the last time I saw Jimmy Rollins, and just as eventually I’ll see my last Phillies game with Ryan Howard in it. That’s sad to think about as a fan, as these players did great things for the fans of the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s necessary, and it’s right to move on in all of these cases, but it’s still sad. It’s also worth noting that there might be nothing historically significant about Utley and these games this week. He might be finishing the season here. In other words, I might be seeing him more this season. Either way, it’s weird to think that the 2008 team will soon be iconic and in the past- but Larry Bowa might still be around.

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