The Phillies open their 2012 season tomorrow in Pittsburgh... and Chase Utley will be in Arizona. I am trying to wrap my head around how this team is going to compete for the World Series without him. Last spring we knew he was going to be out, likely until May, but eventually he was going to return to the club. This spring, same problem but other knee. But somehow, this year things are different. He hasn't done any "baseball" activities since early March because of the deterioration of cartilage behind his kneecap. Officially the club is not even predicting when he will come back. Honestly, the real question now isn't "when" he will come back, but "if" he will come back. I can't believe I just typed that.
I've said many times this is the "Golden Era" of Phillies baseball. Never before has the club enjoyed such a prolonged period of success. Of the great players that have formed the nucleus of this special group, Chase Utley stands as my favorite. He is the heartbeat of this club. His gritty approach, quiet leadership and consistent production have established him as the greatest second baseman in the 130 year history of the franchise.
And then there is this moment.... WORLD FUCKING CHAMPIONS
If this is the end. If Chase Utley never returns to the field. It will be a very sad moment for me and many other Phillies fans. I hope it doesn't happen. Not this year.