As the Phillies broke camp yesterday, Chase Utley finally broke his silence and spoke to the media about his injured knee. But as is often the case with the reticent second baseman, although he did speak, not much was said. With Chase, you often have to read between the lines to figure out what’s really going on. So here’s some of what he said with a little ‘translation’ added.
Q: Have you improved at all?
What Chase said: “Yeah, over the past few weeks I think we have made some progress for obviously the good… I’m optimistic at this point. We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing and go from there.”
What Chase really means: “No. Not really.”
Q: Are you close to running? Are you close to taking grounders?
What Chase said: “Yeah I’ve started to take some light ground balls the past few days… We haven’t started running yet. We’re going to let my body dictate how it’s going and make progressions from there. I think at this point we want to take steps forward and not backward, and so far we’re doing that.”
What Chase really means: “No. Not really. Unless they allow me to take my stool out to second base.”
Q: In your mind, do you think you will be on the field this year?
What Chase said: “I think so. As long as we continue to take steps forward and not backward that’s definitely a possibility.”
What Chase really means: “You might want to get those Luis Castillo jerseys ready for the Majestic Clubhouse store Opening Day sale.”
Q: Who is the specialist you saw? And how many have you seen?
What Chase said: “If I tell you I have to kill you.”
What Chase really means: “I’m not going to say any more than I have to. If I give you their names you might be able to find out how serious this injury really is.”
Q: How difficult has this process been?
What Chase said: “Obviously it’s been a little bit frustrating. I enjoy playing. I enjoy being on the field with my teammates. But I also understand I need to be patient with it. It’s not something that’s going to change overnight… So definitely it’s frustrating, but I’m trying to stay positive about it.”
What Chase really means: “OK, I’m trying to be patient here but what kind of idiotic question is that? What do you think? You really wanna know how difficult it is? As difficult as it would be for me to take this stool and shove it…”
Q: You said there is no timetable for your return, but do you see yourself back before the All-Star break?
What Chase said: “That would be a goal, yes.”
What Chase really means: “It depends which All-Star break you’re talking about. 2012 might be a possibility and by 2013? Absolutely!”
Whatever Chase says or means, this has to be an incredibly difficult time for a private man who lives and breathes baseball. Here’s hoping that this man of few words will have the chance once again to utter these few words that will forever live in Phillies history.