Chase Utley

The inside story of Chase Utley's famous 2008 Phillies World Series parade speech

The inside story of Chase Utley's famous 2008 Phillies World Series parade speech

These are stories and quotes from the Phillies' 2008 Zoom reunion over the weekend.

This one is about Chase Utley's famous speech at the 2008 World Series parade and includes a story Pat Burrell has been waiting for years to share.

Utley, of course, took the mic at the parade (which you can watch at 4 p.m. Sunday on NBC Sports Philadelphia) and said: 

World Champions (dramatic pause) ... World (Bleeping) Champions.

It'll live forever on YouTube.

Many people felt his emotion, couldn't believe he said it, and absolutely loved it. The crowd erupted, the reactions from Phillies players and fans were priceless. It really was a legendary moment. Some parents felt it was inappropriate, and it's understandable that some with young kids watching live were ticked off. Can't please everybody.

"Right, great question Brad, appreciate it," Utley joked when Brad Lidge, who hosted the Zoom call, asked about the speech.

"The sea of red was something you'll never see again. We couldn't even anticipate what it was going to be like. Very emotional, exciting time. Then throw us on stage with a packed house. I don't remember at the time if we knew we were gonna say something. I expressed my emotion, said what was on my mind, got a little grief from it, but overall it was what I felt."

Lidge: "Every kid's gonna hear it every once in a while, so better out of your mouth than someone they don't know I guess." (laughs)

Burrell: "Hold on a sec, this has been killing me for years. We were sitting up on that stage and I don't remember if Chase remembers asking me this. But he asks me, 'Do you think this is live?' And I said, 'If anything's gonna be live, it's gonna be this. And he's like, 'OK, just making sure because I'm thinking of saying something.' 

"And I go, 'First of all, you could pretty much say whatever you want whenever you want at this point. This is the only time we can do this. So whatever you wanna do, just go for it.' 

"Those people went berserk when you said that. That was what it was all about. I'm sure some of the parents with young kids didn't appreciate it. But if you grow up one day and you get to win a World Series, you can say whatever you want, too."

Howard: "I thought it was the best thing ever. J-Dub (Werth) had this Incredible Hulk fist bottle holder. And as soon as Chase said it, J-Dub pops up, hands in the air like, 'Yes!' The whole place erupts. You've earned the right to say whatever the hell it is you want and express yourself however you want in that moment. We worked hard for that moment."

Werth: "That Hulk fist came out of the second deck when we were driving out onto the field. I somehow caught it. Whoever threw it, great throw."

More fun parade stories here from Phillies players.

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Highlights from the must-watch 2008 Phillies Zoom reunion

Highlights from the must-watch 2008 Phillies Zoom reunion

If you're a Phillies fan, and really if you're a baseball fan, you have to watch this. Nine members of the 2008 Phillies roster/coaching staff reunited to tell stories about that era and most specifically the World Series run.

Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino, Scott Eyre, Charlie Manuel and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer gathered on a Zoom call hosted by Brad Lidge and presented by Citizens Bank. The result was 45 minutes of laughs and some stories that haven't been shared publicly.

Some of the highlights were:

Parade hijinks and the World Series Game 5 afterparty at Burrell's

The inside story of Chase Utley's famous parade speech

• Everything Jayson Werth said

• A tall tale from Charlie

• Snacks in the bullpen bathroom

• A Billmeyer story about So Taguchi

You can relive the Phillies' 2008 World Series parade when it re-airs Sunday at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

More on the Phillies

Phillies win it all: Reliving one of the best nights in Philly sports history

The night Ryan Howard powered the Phillies to heaven's doorstep

A Phillies World Series walk-off win that was worth the long wait

The lessons that led to Cole Hamels' dominant 2008 playoff run

Time and again, Utley gave the Phils playoff breathing room they needed

2020 MLB draft: With so many 1st-round busts, Phillies have made up for it in 2nd round a few times

2020 MLB draft: With so many 1st-round busts, Phillies have made up for it in 2nd round a few times

From 1998 through 2002, the Phillies went 4 for 5 with their first-round picks.

They used the first overall pick in '98 on Pat Burrell, who didn't quite live up to the hype but had a very good major-league career that would look even better through today's lenses.  

In 1999, they took Brett Myers 12th overall. Myers went on to pitch more than 1,200 innings for the Phillies and was a key figure in the 2008 playoffs.

In 2000, Chase Utley was selected 15th overall. In 2002, the Phillies took Cole Hamels 17th overall. Both are Phillies legends who would be on any list of the 10 best players in franchise history.

The only miss during that stretch was Gavin Floyd, fourth overall in 2001. Floyd did have a serviceable big-league career but only solidified himself years later, and for a short period, with the White Sox.

Aside from that five-year period as the '90s became the '00s, the Phillies have had an ugly track record in the first round over the last 30 years. Of the last 32 players the Phillies have drafted in the first round (excluding the lost J.D. Drew pick), 17 can be considered flat-out busts:

Cornelius Randolph, Shane Watson, Mitch Gueller, Larry Greene, Jesse Biddle, Anthony Hewitt, Zach Collier, Kyle Drabek, Adrian Cardenas, Greg Golson, Eric Valent, Adam Eaton, Reggie Taylor, David Coggin, Carlton Loewer, Chad McConnell, Tyler Green.

A few, like Drabek and Cardenas, were used in trades. Drabek was part of the package to acquire Roy Halladay from Toronto, and Cardenas was part of the package to acquire Joe Blanton from Oakland.

The Phillies have actually had almost as much success in the second round as they have in the first. Mike Schmidt (1971), Scott Rolen (1993) and Jimmy Rollins (1996) were all second-rounders. Schmidt is the best player in franchise history, Rollins is the all-time Phillies hits leader, and Rolen is a borderline Hall of Famer who became a star here before winning a ring in St. Louis.

The Phillies' first-round pick the year they drafted Rollins was Adam Eaton (the pitcher). Their first-round pick the year they drafted Rolen was Wayne Gomes. It has been decades since they've "hit" on their picks in both rounds. 

That streak will extend by default because the Phils do not have a second-round pick in this week's draft. They forfeited it with the signing of Zack Wheeler. There will be only 23 picks in the second round because seven teams forfeited their pick: the Phillies (signed Wheeler), Yankees (signed Gerrit Cole), Angels (signed Anthony Rendon), Diamondbacks (signed Madison Bumgarner), Braves (signed Marcell Ozuna), Astros (cheated) and Red Sox (also cheated).

WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is not the be-all, end-all stat some make it out to be, but for comparisons like this, it can be a decent tool. 

The combined career WAR of the top five first-round picks in Phillies history is 233.6. 

The combined career WAR of the top five second-round picks in Phillies history is 272.4.

The deeper you go on the lists, the more of a comeback those first-round picks made. Extend it to Top 10 and it's 322.6 WAR for first-rounders compared to 309.8 for second-rounders.

Beyond Schmidt, Rollins and Rolen, the Phillies got decent big-leaguers in the second round such as Randy Wolf, Marlon Anderson, Kevin Stocker and Bruce Ruffin. In recent years they've selected Scott Kingery, Spencer Howard and Roman Quinn in the second round.

The first round of the 2020 MLB draft begins Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. on MLB Network. The first night includes the first 37 picks — the entire first round and Competitive Balance Round A.

Rounds 2 through 5 air Thursday, June 11 on MLB Network beginning at 5 p.m.

This year's draft will be only five rounds, one-eighth the length of a usual June draft.

The Phillies pick 15th overall.

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More on the Phillies