All Hail Chase Utley

All Hail Chase Utley

With last year's NL MVP Jimmy Rollins being banged up and recently placed on the 15-day DL, this year's MVP has stepped up and done nothing but bash baseballs.

Chase Utley did it again last night in front of a national audience on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Against the hated Mets who had taken the first two of the series in South Philly, Chase Utley went yard twice en route to a gigantic 3-3 day with 4 RBIs to boot.

With many of the Phillies bats still being cold from a long winter, Chase has put the offense on his back this season (okay, Pat too). Chase leads all of baseball with 8 home runs and is among league leaders in hits. Nothing in the world would make me happier than to see Chase Utley turn into the next Mets killer.

Not only is Chase doing it all on the field, he's also continuing his roll as Mr. Philadelphia off of the field.

From an email I received over the weekend.

As the top seller in Utz Quality Foods’ fundraiser, Timbercreek
High School (Erial, NJ) was rewarded with a students versus teachers softball
game in Philadelphia’s FDR Park and a personal appearance from Phillies
second baseman Chase Utley, who also serves as an official spokesperson for
Utz. Chase coached the students to a 6-4 win over the teachers while signing
autographs and posing for pictures with fans. Hours later, Chase doubled and
tripled in the Phillies’ 7-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

When asked how he felt about sharing the Major League record
for most times being hit by pitch in a game (he was hit three times by the Mets
the previous Tuesday’s game), Chase said it was something he’s
always dreamed of doing. 

Chase Utley, YOU. ARE. THE. MAN.     /Harry

>>Utz Fundraising Softball Game [Flickr]

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.