Wet field the culprit as Utley scratched
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Remain calm, all is well.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley was scratched from Tuesday's lineup just minutes before a 4-3 victory over the Yankees in a Grapefruit League game at Bright House Field. Hearts skipped a beat in the Delaware Valley, as Utley has missed the previous two springs because of chronically injured knees.
But it wasn't an injury that removed Utley from the lineup. It was wet field conditions.
The field received a ton of rain before the game and the infield tarp was dumped in shallow right field, which is where Utley might have had to chase down a pop fly. So Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decided to play things safe and sit him. Kevin Frandsen started at second base instead.
Told he gave folks a scare, Manuel said, "What's new? I give them a scare all the time. Knee jerk. Chicken Little. The world is coming to an end. I see it every day. You know? How many games have we played? I see it all the time, even when you win."