Chase Utley may not be on the field on Friday
afternoon at Citizens Bank Park when the first pitch of the 2011 season
comes out of Roy Halladay's hand, but No. 26 will be in the dugout
sitting alongside Charlie Manuel and the rest of his teammates. The
importance of the quiet leader's presence can't be underestimated, at
least according to the 2010 Cy Young Award winner.
"The fact that he's here is big for this team. I know at some point
he's going to go do his rehab stuff, but as good as he is on the
field..." Roy Halladay said on Wednesday after the team's final On-Deck
Series tune up in Philadelphia when asked about what Chase Utley means
to the Phillies.
Doc continued, "The best part about him is his demeanor off the
field, his demeanor in the clubhouse, his work ethic. Guys see that.
Even now, watching guys come in and see him doing his rehab, it's a huge
presence in the clubhouse. I'm really glad that he's here doing that
and not in Florida doing that because I think he's a big part of this
team whether he's on or off the field. He still contributes when he's
not playing. I'm definitely glad he's here. We'd love to have him on the
field, but you can't underestimate the kind of influence that he has on
As many fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia know, the
force is strong in Chase Utley. His mere presence is felt by even the
greatest pitcher in the game. If Roy Halladay recognizes and appreciates
Chase Utley trying to work his way back to the baseball field, imagine
the kind of impact it can have on some of the greener guys on the club.
Fans in attendance on Friday won't get to hear Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, but Chase will be there. His teammates are well aware of that fact.