Man this is how Samuel Kim must’ve felt: In a pre-Mid-Summer Classic media session, Chase Utley was asked about the chance of being traded. What Utley responded with was just about the best thing the Phillies could give fans this year– sincerity:
“I love playing baseball in Citizens Bank Park. I love playing in front of the Philly fans. There’s no better place to play in my opinion. Obviously winning is important and I would like to do that in Philadelphia …
I haven’t ever envisioned leaving Philadelphia, honestly. I feel like I’m wanted in Philly. I feel like the fans appreciate the way I play. I feel like the front office appreciates the way I play and I appreciate their support over the years. I don’t plan on going anywhere, but again, if someone comes up to me and says, ‘You’re no longer wanted in Philly,’ then I’ll have to change my tune … I’ve talked to guys who have played for the Phillies and gone on to other organizations and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”
The sentiments expressed by Utley aren’t entirely dissimilar to those expressed by Jimmy Rollins, but I’ve always felt that Rollins has been closer to the door over the years than Utley ever has. And based on what Utley says here – basically that he’ll stick around until the fans, or GM, push him out – it looks like he’s staying away from the door until he calls it a career. And when that time comes, the Phils can warm him up a spot in the broadcasting booth, front office or dugout. Because he’s never envisioned leaving Philadelphia.