Chase Utley Is Tonight's Starting Second Baseman

Chase Utley Is Tonight's Starting Second Baseman

It's official: the Phillies have activated Chase Utley, and the second baseman is expected back in the lineup immediately. It would've been nice if it had happened a little sooner, say a month a ago (or spring training, sure), but better later than never I suppose.

Utley returns with the Phillies eight games back in the NL East, 4.5 behind a Wild Card spot. If your first question was whether or not he's joining the club in time to still make the playoffs, the answer is obviously a resounding yes.

If your question is what kind of player will be stepping out of the dugout tonight for the first time this season, and are his contributions going to play enough of a role to help turn the ship around, the answer is far less certain.

Either way, we'll take our chances.

The Phillies got better today, that much is unmistakeable. It doesn't change the fact that they are still battling injuries, or that the rotation has been less than dominant, or that the bullpen has been the opposite of dominant. They are better off with Utley than without though, and his presence alone could be a shot in the arm for his teammates.

Yet as exciting as tonight is, the five-time All Star's decline has been well documented, steady and consistent. After he came back in May of last year, he wound up having his worst season since '04, the year he became the permanent everyday second baseman.

So what kind of numbers does Chase Utley have to put up the rest of the way for this to be considered a successful campaign? It's probably not reasonable to expect '07 Utley to return, but is another season like last -- when he hit .259 with 11 HR and 44 RBI in 103 games -- going to cut it?

Sure, it's still better than what they have, but better than what they have isn't necessarily good enough for post-season baseball.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales


NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned


1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

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Opening week affects MVP odds of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid

Ben Simmons had himself a historic first week in the NBA and as a result, his MVP odds have changed substantially.

Listed by Bovada on Oct. 10 at 80/1 to win MVP, Simmons is now at 33/1, tied with DeMarcus Cousins and ahead of Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin and Damian Lillard.

Simmons became the first player since Oscar Robertson to produce at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in each of his first three career games.

Teammate Joel Embiid had a less successful start to the year, averaging 14.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in two games but shooting just 35.5 percent from the field and missing all 10 three-point attempts.

And yet somehow, Embiid's MVP odds have changed from 40/1 to 25/1. He has the same MVP odds as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis.

Griffin, at 50/1, is a sneaky good bet for MVP. The Clippers are his team now with Chris Paul in Houston, and Griffin has added long-distance shooting to his game, making three triples in each game. Two games in, he's averaging 29.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. 

If he can stay healthy (a huge if) and lead the Clippers to 52-plus wins in a loaded Western Conference, you'd have to think Griffin would be looked at more favorably in terms of MVP odds than someone on a star-studded team like any of the Warriors or Rockets, if Paul returns from his knee injury within a month and affects James Harden's stats even slightly. 

Giannis Antetokounpo and LeBron James look like the two players most likely to win MVP, but 50/1 for Griffin is good value if you think this is the year he stays healthy. If he didn't have a history of injuries, his odds right now would be closer to those of John Wall (28/1) or Towns (25/1).