By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It seems like regardless of his performance, Chase Utley is beloved by Phillies fans. As one of the best second basemen in baseball, and an all -ime great in the team’s history, it’s well deserved. But it’s still … different. Phillies players with similar resumes, like Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, don’t seem to get that same consistent support. What is it about Utley?
94 WIP’s Michael Barkann asked Utley in an interview on Comcast Sportsnet Thursday about the fan support. “My first at-bat I struck out and I got booed off the field. But ever since then, the fans have treated me great,” Utley said. “I’ve said this many times, but they’re the best fans in baseball. They know their baseball, they enjoy coming to games. They’re our tenth man out there. So I can’t say enough about them.”
Utley’s answer seemed honest, but as is his style, didn’t totally address the question. Ryan Lawrence, Phillies beat writer for the Delaware County Daily Times, thinks that might actually be part of the reason. “He doesn’t necessarily say things to get himself in trouble. He kind of steers away from talking when he doesn’t have to talk. The less you talk, the less chance you say something that’s going to make someone mad,” Lawrence said when he talked to 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Friday. “I guess part of it’s the style of play. They love a guy that looks like he’s hustling all the time,” Lawrence said.
What do you think it is about Utley? Let us know in the comments.
Listen to the interview with Ryan Lawrence: