Chase Utley started off the 2015 season in much the same way he ended the 2008 season.
Seriously though, it was actually kind of priceless. As Utley tried to take a panoramic shot of the media horde gathered at his first press conference of the season, a frazzled Chase could not get his phone to cooperate. In the end though, he managed to snap this breathtaking view of the Phillies beat writers getting ready to ask him questions down in Clearwater.
Makes you feel like you're right there, doesn't it?
Hey, he's not on the team because of his mastery of technology and social media. Chase is here to make the ladies swoon, rescue puppies, and play the hell out of second base. And that's just what he plans to do in 2015.
Now, here's the part that may shock you. He wants to do it for the Phillies.
Yes you heard me right, the PHILADELPHIA Phillies. You know, the team no one in the national media thinks ANYONE should EVER be forced to play for.
"Obviously I’ve said it before, I really enjoy playing with this organization," Utley said (quotes per CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury). "They’ve done a lot for me, personally, and put together some pretty good teams over the years. So I have a lot of respect for the people making decisions. If you go back and look at 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, ’11 — they always gave us a chance to win. We’ve had some great opportunities over the years and I respect that."
Ah yes Chase, but remember. This team is going to lose a lot of games, and you're still a valuable commodity. What if some team came calling and offered Ruben Amaro a deal that was too good to pass up. Would you set aside your 10-5 rights?
"For as much respect as I have for the organization, if they ever came to me and asked me [to consider a trade], I would have to listen, but I don’t think much will change."
PHILLIE 4 LIFE.
Of course, Utley isn't going to last much longer if he continues to play as much as he did last year. He is 36 after all, and should not be expected to play 155 games like he did in 2014, especially in a season in which there will likely be no playoff push.
"I play the game fairly hard and after every game I'm spent," he said. "I do the best I can to recuperate for the next day. I feel like I've done a pretty good job at it, but a few more days off here and there probably wouldn't hurt."
Utley's production fell off a cliff last year, after a rather hot start.
It's pretty strange the Phils rode him so hard last season, with Utley playing in more games than any other season since 2009.
Chase comes into spring training nursing a sprained ankle that he got when he stepped on a baseball a couple weeks ago.
See? Even when he has an accident it's ALL ABOUT BASEBALL, baby.
Utley admits the ankle is still bothering him, but it shouldn't be a problem long-term.
Oh, and remember when Utley had something wrong with his knees? Yeah, that just doesn't seem to be much of an issue anymore, although at 36 years old, pretty much everything is an issue.
So, Chase Utley is ready to be a Philadelphia Phillie again this year, and for the foreseeable future. And that's a good thing. It might be nice to actually have one of these veterans retire with the Phils, especially the best one.
You know, the one that swears a lot.