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Now is a fun time to look back at Chase Utley's history of tormenting Mets

Now is a fun time to look back at Chase Utley's history of tormenting Mets

Chase Utley torturing the Mets — a tradition unlike any other.

It's like Philly's favorite pastime.

There will be no more of it after the 2018 campaign as the 39-year-old Utley announced Friday night that he will retire at season's end (see story).

Mets fans haven't cheered this hard all season.

Think the Phillies' ticket office is a little busy right now? In 10 days, the club welcomes the Dodgers to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game series July 23-25. And while those are the hottest dates right now among the Utley devotees, don't forget Sept. 3-5 — his final, sweet goodbye to the Mets. That series will be played at Dodger Stadium. Man, if only it was at Citi Field — Utley's home away from home.

Still, it should be fun. Would anyone be surprised if Utley scripted one last memory into his Mets scrapbook?

No way, not when the guy has a résumé (let's assume baseball players have these) that likely states "proficient in making life miserable for the Mets' organization and its fans."

Some of the job's details …

• Hitting 39 career home runs vs. the Mets, most against any opponent.

• Hitting 14 career home runs at Citi Field, most at any ballpark outside of CBP and Dodger Stadium, obviously. In fact, No. 26 has put so many baseballs into the right-field porch of Citi Field that the section has earned the nickname "Utley's Corner."

• Delivering one of the biggest knockout blows during the Mets' epic 2007 collapse, which beautifully coincided with the start of the Phillies' greatest era in franchise history, featuring five straight NL East titles, two NL pennants, a World Series crown and a club-record 102-win season. Utley's pump of the fist on that late August day was special considering his uncanny go-about-your-business persona seldom slipped.

• Tying Willie Mays for eighth all-time in dominance of the Mets.

• Oh, and driving then-Mets manager Terry Collins up a wall. That was a delight.

Let's provide the context:

Remember when Noah Syndergaard whizzed a 99-mph pitch behind Utley's back during a May regular-season game in 2016? It was obvious retaliation stemming from Utley's hard takeout slide in the 2015 playoffs that resulted in a broken leg for Ruben Tejada. For those that know Utley, there was no malicious intent. He simply plays hard.

But anyway, Syndergaard was ejected and Collins went bonkers. You can watch here, but a warning that the video contains profane language. It also shows just how much Utley was in the heads of those Mets.

When it looked like things would escalate, Utley, cool as a cucumber, signaled to his bench as if to say: Stay back, I'm good.

He was better than good.

Utley went on to smack two homers, one being a grand slam, and the Dodgers rolled the Mets, 9-1.

It was just another day of Utley owning the Mets.

We'll miss it.

More on 'The Man'

• Phillies have World Series heroes Utley and Lidge on their minds 

• Fans react to news of Chase Utley's retirement

• This is such a Chase Utley milestone

• Utley's awesome quote provides further proof he's 'The Man'

• Utley, Phillies fans show appreciation for each other on special night

Chase Utley will retire at end of the season

Chase Utley will retire at end of the season

Updated: 9:31 p.m.

"The Man" will be calling it a day … effective at the end of the 2018 season.

Chase Utley will retire at the end of the season, he announced in a press conference Friday night. He is ready to be a "full-time dad," he said.

Utley, 39, had one year left on his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has two sons — Benjamin, who is 6 years old, and Maxwell, 3 years old.

"The thing I'm having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad," Utley said. "That's really the reason why I'm shutting it down because I'm ready to be a full-time dad."

Utley said he had not yet told his boys.

"They've asked me a few times, 'Dad, how much longer are you going to play? Why do you have to go to the field today?'" Utley said with a smile. "That conversation will come soon. I think it will be a good conversation."

Everyone knows why No. 26 became a legend in the Delaware Valley. The all-out hustle and blue-collar approach endeared him to fans. It also didn't hurt that he produced some of the organization's most iconic moments while playing an integral role in the club's golden era from 2007-11 — five straight NL East titles, two NL pennants, a World Series crown and a franchise-record 102-win season.

"Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, got a chance to play in the big leagues with them for a long time," Utley said. "Played in front of some amazing fans."

Utley was traded to the Dodgers in August 2015 as the Phillies were in full rebuild mode. With the Dodgers, his childhood team, he has left an immeasurable impact on the clubhouse and has played in the playoffs the past three seasons.

With the Phillies, though, is where he truly left his mark. Among the franchise's all-time leaders, Utley ranks first in hit by pitches (173), second in WAR (61.8), fifth in doubles (346), sixth in home runs (233), seventh in RBIs (916) and ninth in hits (1,623).

Not one for attention, Utley was happy to make this announcement now.

"I'll be at ease a little bit more," he said. "I can kind of go into my last chapter of my baseball career with enthusiasm and excitement, but most of all, a clear mind."

Utley's final trip to Philly is right around the corner as the Dodgers will be visiting the Phillies on July 23-25.

When he returned to Philly for the first time as a Dodger on Aug. 17, 2016, the standing ovation was surreal. He's received cheers every time he's been back since.

This time, Citizens Bank Park will be even more electric.

More on 'The Man'

• Phillies have World Series heroes Utley and Lidge on their minds

• Now is a fun time to look back at Utley's history of tormenting Mets

• Fans react to news of Chase Utley's retirement

• 26 times Chase Utley was The Man

• This is such a Chase Utley milestone

And the Oscar goes to … Maikel Franco

And the Oscar goes to … Maikel Franco

LOS ANGELES — Just a few miles down the street from Hollywood, Maikel Franco delivered an acting performance worthy of an Oscar.

And it helped the Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, on Thursday (see story).

Franco was credited with scoring the game’s first run even though he missed home plate so clearly it was noticed in real time in the Phillies' dugout.

“A couple guys asked me right away, ‘Did you touch home plate?’ And I was like, ‘No,'" Franco said. “But all that matters is we got the run and we won the game.”

The play occurred with two outs in the second inning. Jorge Alfaro singled to center field and Franco chugged around third. He and centerfielder Cody Bellinger’s throw arrived at the plate at the same time. Franco, who did not slide, sidestepped catcher Yasmani Grandal’s tag. As he did so, he missed the plate. By several inches. The mistake was not noticed by the Dodgers or umpire Will Little. He had been focused on the tag attempt and called Franco safe.

Franco realized his mistake but kept going to the dugout so he wouldn’t look guilty.

“If I try to go back, I’m going to be out,” he said.

Manager Gabe Kapler smiled about the play after the game. He noticed it right away in the dugout.

“Yes, we did,” he said. “Yes, we did. But our job is not to call the play for anybody.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained why no one in his dugout saw that Franco missed the plate.

“Yasmani asked the umpire if he thought he touched home plate, and the umpire said he had him as touching the plate, and I saw safe call,” Roberts said. “There was no awkward reach of the runner, so we didn’t appeal it. If we would have known, we could have asked for replay or appealed it.”

Play resumed quickly before the Dodgers’ replay folks could alert the dugout.

“We just didn’t get it done,” Roberts said. “It was all of us. I missed it. It’s all on us. It’s a play that we missed.”

Despite being very happy with the outcome, Kapler said Franco should have slid on the play.

Franco defended his decision not to slide.

“I didn’t know if the ball was right in front of the catcher, so I didn’t have any choice,” he said.

Pitcher Aaron Nola was on deck. He admitted he could have done a better job coaching Franco.


In the end, the Phillies got the run, a huge one in a one-run game, and Franco got the Oscar for best actor.