When your team is so bad, good players are both uncommon and/or thought of as trade bait. But sometimes it's nice, even with the weight of an entire division pulverizing you, to just smile and nod at the best players on your favorite team.
Everybody has a guy, and this year, like so many before, Chase Utley will be ours at the All-Star Game in Minnesota.
It's no surprise to anyone that's been following All-Star vote counts these past three months. Chase has been at the top of the heap literally the entire time, with miscreants and fools behind him, bumbling along to the sound of a sad trombone. When Neil Walker and Dee Gordon are your top competitors, there's clearly a shortage of power-hitting, puppy-saving, handsome men playing second base in the National League. Daniel Murphy's surge and the somehow successful combination of Rickie Weeks and Scooter Gennett have thankfully been ignored.
Was it name recognition? In part, perhaps. Utley's blistering start was encouraging, but somewhere around May he was hit with a bucket of ice water and things have steadily wilted since then.
As of now, his numbers sit at .286/.344/.432, with 94 hits, 24 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 40 RBI, two stolen bases, 117 OPS+ and 2.5 WAR. This was after hitting .355/.408/.570 in April, .291/.358/.473 in May, and .240/.299/.317 in June. In July thus far he has yet to get his BA to .200. In the last four weeks, he's hit .222 with a .567 OPS. He's hitting .261 with RISP. For a while, he led the league in most offensive categories among second basemen, but at this point has dropped to third or fourth in most (except extra-base hits with 33!).
The Phillies have done their part to expose Chase to the fans this season, forcing him to do Twitter chats and tip his cap from time to time. Tell us how great he thinks we are. Almost like it's a farewell tour. Ha ha ha! Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha. Ha.
Whoa ho ho, easy now. Let me pull out of this tailspin here [watches entire 2008 World Series on DVD]... aaaand we're good.
This will be the first ASG for Chase since 2010, an appearance which ended a five-year run at the Midsummer Classic. He will be joined by no teammates.
Utley finished about 800K votes ahead of Dee Gordon. In expanded results, no other Phillie was top 8 at other positions, or top 24 among OF.— Ryan Lawrence (@ryanlawrence21) July 6, 2014