Players can begin to file for free agency as early as today and the song and dance between agents and execs will begin in earnest. The Phillies are getting ready for it, having just completed a week of organizational meetings in Clearwater, Fla. to iron out a plan.
The hiring of a new pitching coach will likely be the first move. After that, it's open season and there are a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle.
Without a postseason around these parts since 2011, it's kind of fun remembering the old days. As such, today marks the fifth anniversary of the last championship parade down Broad Street.
Who can forget that one? For the first time since 1983, a championship team rode down Broad Street. Only this parade aptly had Pat Burrell leading the way on a beer truck and Chase Utley iced the cake with his eloquent address to the faithful fans ...
"World champions," Utley said. "World [bleeping] champions!"
Yes, that was five years ago today.
After the jump we have a rememberance from Chase Utley's first press conference after his oratory. It took place in December following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. Utley said his hip was, "pretty." Perhaps one could describe his post-parade speach as such, too.
Chase Utley: 'Hey kids, watch your bleeping mouths'
Chase Utley looked directly into the gaggle of TV cameras at the end of the conference room in the basement at Citizens Bank Park and delivered a stern and serious message.
You know, for the kids…
“I definitely would say to all the kids out there, ‘Kids, it’s a bad word. Don’t say. And I’m dead serious,’” said Utley in his “Just say, ‘No,’ moment during a press conference on Monday to give the local media an update on his surgically repaired hip.
Utley, of course, was talking about his euphoric expletive shouted from the podium at the Bank at the World Series-victory pep rally.
Oh yes, it has been reported on.
But in other words Utley was giving all those youngsters out there that whole “Do as I say, not as I do” bit that adults like to drop so often. Essentially it’s a cop out that adults use to excuse their own bad behavior.
You know, parenting.
Utley told the kids, “Do as I do, not as I say.” Or kind of. If a kid mimics Utley’s choice of adjectives in his post-parade speech in the World Series rally at the ballpark, well, that’s not cool. Only 29-year-old MVP candidates that just won the World Series can use those words, according to Utley.
“That was definitely an emotional day that we all had,” Utley said. “That drive down Broad Street to the park was one of the best days of my life. I imagine for a lot of Phillies fans it was the same. I could have used different words to express myself. At the time I didn’t. I tell all kids not to use that word. If they’re 29 and they win the World Series, I think they can say that.”
No fair. It’s just something else the kids have to wait to grow up for. First it’s driving, then it’s voting and then it’s turning 21.
Now cursing at 29 but only after winning the World Series?
What a gyp.
But it’s also wrong. Peppery language with unique adjectives and creative gerunds are just as much a part of baseball as spitting, indiscrete uniform adjusting and cutting off beer sales in the seventh inning. No, it’s not the most graceful part of the game, but bleepin’ this or bleeping that is sewn into the fabric of the Great American Pastime.
And Chase bleeping Utley knows this.
However, during the press conference Chase was asked what his mom and dad thought about his salty tongue during in his infamous speech, and, well, his body language kind of gave it away. Moms don’t like that kind of talk. In fact there is no mom on the planet that looks at their son standing in front of a screaming throng of people and beams with pride after junior just dropped a “bleeping” as a descriptive verb.
I’ll bet that even Redd Foxx’s mom didn’t go for her son’s famously filthy lounge act, either. However, in some weird way it worked for Redd just as it worked for Chase after winning the World Series. The fact is those bleepers will be bleeping away on the ball diamond and that’s just the way it bleeping is.
Some are better at it than other, though. Utley, of course, was deep. Poignant even with his cussing. He tapped into something that was so deep in the belly of every long-suffering Philly fan. We felt it, but he said it for us. And for that the city will always be appreciative.
Seriously, if Joe from Fishtown got on the mic and gave an Utley speech, he’s going to get a citation, an afternoon at the Roundhouse, and a pretty good-sized welt after the local PD introduced Joey to Mr. Taser.
A whole bunch of volts, too.
Still, Utley was our Thomas Jefferson and for as much as mom might not like it, I’m sure the Founding Fathers had to let it loose from time to time. Just look at that Ben Franklin, who in his time was known to be a bit of a rascal. Get that guy at the City Tavern and it was like the Def Jam Comedy Show. No doubt that Ben and Chase would have gotten along very well.
Fine moments in the language
For the record, Chase Utley is hardly the best curser out there. He’s good, but it’s the Big Leagues, baby. They all bring it.
Take Larry Bowa for instance (please, take him)… one Sunday afternoon in Baltimore during the 2001 season, I heard him use one specific expletive four times in one sentence in an analogy about an Orioles’ pitcher and Cy bleeping Young. Frankly, it was a work of art and set the bar so high.
Soon after, in a seperate incident, Bowa stood above me and asked if I was, “bleeping stupid?”
How do you answer that?
Aaron Rowand could bring it. The same goes for Billy Wagner. Scott Rolen was easily the smartest and most creative with it, but he only trotted it out for select audiences. The truth is that most guys just do it because they are big leaguers and they can get away with it.
Utley isn’t one of those guys though. He’s not much of a talker so when he says something, he means it.
Just cover your ears every now and then.