Reason #1,942,813 Why Chase Utley Is Great

Cliff Lee was in a bit of trouble in the top of the fourth against the Mets this afternoon. After allowing a single to Eric Young, Jr., Wilmer Flores laced a line drive down the right field line. While Young was running to second, Utley acted as if Flores had hit a pop-up. This caused Young to slow up to find the ball in case he had to go back to first base. Of course, he didn’t, but once he found out it was too late to round third base and go home. While Young eventually came around to score on a ground out, Utley did save a run with the Academy Award-worthy acting.

.gif after the jump.

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  1. Major Malfunction

    September 22, 2013 03:36 PM

    An excellent demonstration of brilliance and stupidity.

  2. smitty

    September 22, 2013 08:52 PM

    No amount of sabermetrics can truly define who Utley is/was/ and will be. Simply one of the very baseball smartest players who has ever played the game. Its the little things over and over.

  3. Nehemiah

    September 22, 2013 10:49 PM

    What does “after the Jump” mean? Zelda dungeon uses it all the time and I cant figure out what it is. I guess I just need to know what the “jump” is.

  4. Nehemiah

    September 22, 2013 10:52 PM

    Are the pirates supposed to be listed twice in the poll or is that a typo?

  5. Matt

    September 22, 2013 10:59 PM

    Chase Utley, you are the man

  6. Bill Baer

    September 22, 2013 11:37 PM

    @ Nehemiah

    On the main page, you’ll see a link that says, “Read the rest of this entry”. You’ll have to click that to see the .gif. It’s to reduce clutter on the front and hide resource-hogging features like .gifs.

    If you’re already on the individual article, then there’s no need to jump.

  7. Stupid is as Stupid Does

    September 23, 2013 04:29 AM

    Yesterdays game, was a microscopic example of how poorly this team is constructed. Our Outfield defense, and Revere was no exception, has allowed a 1/2 game on average to be added causing multitudes of games to be lost. Pitchers having to pitch in higher leverage situations because balls were misplayed into doubles or singles, additional hitters had to be faced as balls that should have been caught, weren’t! Additional pitches added to the count so we have to o to our bullpen earlier than we should. I think I’m being generous when I state a 1/2 run as MY at 3B added runners with his inability to cover ground and make plays. It shows RAJ’s lack of fundamental knowledge of how to construct a baseball team and we are doomed until he is removed from office.

    Chase is awesome but god that game was hard to watch.

  8. Phillie697

    September 23, 2013 10:50 AM


    If you found that hard to watch, take heart that it’s actually gotten better since Delmon Young is no longer patrolling the outfield.

  9. The Howling Fantods

    September 23, 2013 11:06 AM


  10. t

    September 23, 2013 11:54 AM

    @smitty…while I agree technically, I think that sabermetrics have actually called out how great Utley actually *is*. For example, if you look at the “non-sabermetric” stuff from 2006-2009 you see…

    Ryan Howard! 40+ home runs! 140+ RBI! RoY! MVP! Here’s your gigundo contract! …but just 13.6 bWAR. The average of that over 4 years isn’t even all-star levels.

    Chase Utley…no MVPs. No giant contract. About ~100 RBIs per year, averaged 30 HR. 32.3 bWAR. BR’s guideline is “8+, MVP” and Utley averaged that over those 4 years.

    So while sabermetrics may not call out the mental part of his game they recognize the rest really well.

  11. Mark66

    September 23, 2013 12:25 PM

    Look at what Oakland does year after year with far less in resources than the Phillies. I guess they are just alot smarter

  12. Larry

    September 23, 2013 02:06 PM

    @ T

    There are some highly used sabermetrics that would favor Howard though. Howard’s downfalls are defense and speed, which make Utley the all around better player, he has more tools….But you can’t discount these saber stats:

    Chase career- 376 wOBA, wRC+ 128, ISO 211

    Howard career- 378 wOBA, wRC+ 130, ISO 274

    Also here are other stats that MLB is looking more at lately:

    Chase – OPS 871, OPS+ 126

    Howard- OPS 906, OPS+ 134

    BTW I didn’t show these stats to argue your theory, but to show Howard has been a lot better what people think. WAR isn’t a stand alone stat.

  13. Robby Bonfire

    September 23, 2013 02:08 PM

    Opportunity to put down Sabermetrics, Smitty? Chase Utley is a smart ballplayer, so who needs percentages “intelligence” around here?

    You might put down “knee jerk” metrics, too, while you’re at it, so that maybe the Phillies, save Chase Utley, can play “Dead Ball Era” baseball, from now until forever. Apparently the “brain dead metrics” you witnessed over the last nine seasons taught you nothing except that it’s more fun to be a “fan” than a serious student of the game.

  14. Robby Bonfire

    September 23, 2013 02:31 PM

    Chase Utley is a ~middle infielder~. Ryan Howard is a corner, a.k.a. power postion player. This is why Bill James’ defensive spectrum is so valuable, it acknowleges the trade-off of defense for offense as regards the middle infield positions. It is utter folly to compare middle infielders with corner men, offensively, though some middle infielders stack up quite well.

    In fact, for anyone to compare, on balance, the offensive stats of Utley and Howard, is to completely ignor massive evidence supporting the fact that Utley is much more of an all-around asset, relative to other second basemen in baseball, than is Howard, relative to other first basemen in baseball.

    Or do some here still think a corner man, hitting 30 home runs, is more valuable than a middle infielder hitting 20 home runs?

    You can’t have it both ways. Some here are touting Jimmy Rollins for HOF enshrinement, because they are discounting for the fact that Jimmy is a middle infielder. No one in his right mind would be touting Jimmy for anything but retirement, had he posted his career numbers as a corner man.

    The same applies in an Utley – Howard discussion, except Howard shouldn’t even be in a discussion as regards the phenomenally meritorious career of Chase Utley. Real shame Chase didn’t start up here at age 19. If he had we would all be rightfully touting for enshrinement one of the all-time greats.

    Bobby Grich, Vern Stephens, and Eddie Joost are the other short-career, otherwise HOF deserving middle infielders in baseball annals. Grich, Stephens, Joost and Chase are probably the four greatest short career middle infielders of all time. Miles above the “Scooter Rizzuto” Cooperstown imposter crowd.

    In Eddie Joost, the Philadelphia Atletics had, arguably, from 1947-1952, the best middle infielder in the game. Eddie was almost lost out there until, over half-way through his career, Connie Mack advised him to don glasses, while at bat, which turned out to be a stoke of genius.

    Eddie’s power and walk rate dwarfed the usual suspects, Reese, Rizzuto, Dark, Boudreau, etc. during that productive-peak time of his career. Again, a GREAT ballplayer, but circumstantially not at the top of his game long enough to warrant serious consideration for “immortality.”

  15. Stupid is as Stupid Does

    September 23, 2013 02:54 PM

    Yes, but the fact that we ran DY out there for three months meant RAJ should have been criminally indicted for stealing fans money. How did we get so desperate?

    @Larry – using just offensive stats to define Howard/Utley actually shows how much better Utley was/is as he played Howard to a standstill offensively and no comparison when it came to the field

    @Bonfire – maybe I read Smitty’s comment differently but I didn’t see his comment as a dig at sabermetrics but as a statement of fact, Utley has always been eye candy (for the women on one level and the men on another) and played the game like Jeter. I hate the Yankees but I always liked watching Jeter play.

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