It was announced earlier today that Chase Utley will be holding a press conference at 3:15 PM in Los Angeles. As you can expect, this came with plenty of speculation immediately. After all, Chase Utley isn’t really the guy to hold press conferences. Or even the kind of guy to draw attention to himself at all. But the most realistic reason for him to hold the conference is this.
Chase Utley will be announcing his retirement at the end of the season, as @Joelsherman1 said. Despite the press conference, it's actually very on-brand for Utley: wants to talk about it once, then not have to address it again going forward.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 13, 2018
It looks as though 2018 will be the final season in the storied career of Chase Utley. The Dodgers signed him on to a two-year deal following the 2018 season. That contract was worth a very reasonable $1 million annually. This would mean that he is retiring at the half-way point of his contract.
Say what you will about his current stats, but the man is pushing forty. He plays with a passion and tenacity of a kid who just got his break in the big leagues. He grinds out every single at-bat, and he’s not afraid to do anything to help his team win (sorry Mets fans).
His sixteen-year career started out with bang. His very first hit at the big league level was a grand slam against Colorado way back in 2003. That tells you a lot how Chase’s career would lay out, but the way he rounded the bases told you more. No showboating, no fist pumping, no emotion. Just a dead spring from home to home that few could eclipse. And that is Chase.
He’s a career 276 hitter with 1880 hits and 201 hit by pitches. He’s clubbed 259 home runs and knocked in 1025 runs. He may have only hit a combined 240 for Los Angeles, but he has been so loved by fans and teammates. If this is indeed his last season, he will be missed by many.
Thank you, Chase, for showing us what an old-school ballplayer looks like. For taking young guys under your wing and showing them the right way to play. Thank you for your clutch game 4 single in the 2016 NLDS to force a game 5. Thank you for being you.
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