Whether with the Philadelphia Phillies or Los Angeles Dodgers, it was readily apparent Chase Utley had laser-like focus on giving everything he had in each game. Though Utley had moments where he was willing to accommodate media requests, it wasn’t a priority of his.
That perhaps fueled some of the interest and lore Utley developed during his career. Of course, that began with a willingness to put his body on the line in pursuit of a win. In terms of interactions with the media, the six-time All-Star certainly had memorable moments when he opened up.
Among those being when Utley formally announced his intention to retire, during a press conference in his final visit to Philadelphia, and upon playing a final game with the Dodgers. And of course there is also his World Series champions speech.
As fate would have it, Utley is now part of the media he so long was cautious with. In recently reflecting on his interactions with reporters, the former infielder explained his reluctance to openly speak and why he believed the relationship was still a positive one, via SportsNet LA:
“It was an interesting one. I had good relationships pregame. Postgame, I did not give a whole lot of information away. I didn’t want to be a headline. I think the media in Philadelphia and L.A. respected it, understood it. … As we all know, Philadelphia fans are extremely intense, and the media at times can look for billboard material. I did not want to give them that, so I didn’t.”
Already filling an advisory role with the Dodgers, Utley was added to the SportsNet LA team as a studio analyst this past season. “If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought I would work for a front office or be on TV, I would’ve said absolutely not,” he told DodgerBlue.com.
“But, I’ve enjoyed my experience here in L.A. One, because we had a great team. Two, because I grew up a Dodgers fan. Putting that all together was amazing. The ability to stay in baseball now that I’m not playing but still have some kind of voice, I thought was important.
“Trying the TV thing out, which is still new to me, but so far I’m enjoying it. It’s actually been fairly seamless.”
Utley additionally conceded the role of being on the other side of the player-media relationship as “much more fun and interesting than I thought while I was a player.”