After sitting out the first month of Spring Training–not once appearing in a game and seldom participating in fielding drills–this morning Chase Utley announced that he was going to see a knee specialist about his chronic patellar tendonitis. That is, on March 19, just sixteen days prior to the first game of the season and after doing fuck-all for an entire month (and possibly the entire offseason), Chase Utley and the Phillies decided that maybe it was a good idea to see a guy about his shit.
The Phillies owe Chase Utley–arguably the best second baseman in baseball–$30 million over the next two years. I don’t know what kind of salary you’re pulling in, but I think we can all agree that is a lot of fucking money. If I ever had that kind of money invested in ANYTHING, I would do everything in my power to insure that my investment was as secure as possible.
So how the hell is it then that the Phillies haven’t hired an orthopedist to bug the living shit out of Chase Utley? I don’t mean weekly or monthly check-ups, I’m talking like Josh-Hamilton-accountability-partner annoying. Every day, by his side, making sure he doesn’t do anything that will endanger himself or the team’s investment.
I’m serious. Think about it. Why would you not do that?
I don’t mean for each and every player, I mean just Chase Utley. The guy who has suffered from chronic (meaning: never-ending)¬†tendonitis in his knees since at least 2010. The guy who is now probably sitting in an ass-less hospital gown waiting for an MRI.¬†The guy who is owed $30 million.
I have no idea how Chase Utley spent his offseason. Perhaps he spent every waking hour of his four and a half months off stretching and strengthening his knees with his own personal orthopedist only to still come up lame.¬†More likely is that he was largely left to his own devices to adhere to a regimen prescribed by the team trainer.
For what it’s worth I’m sure Phillies head trainer¬†Scott Sheridan is wonderful at his job, but there’s simply no way for him to be well-versed in treating every ache and pain that befalls the team. While the basic offseason workout probably works for a fair majority of players, someone with a unique ailment like Chase Utley (how many baseball player do you know that suffer from “jumper’s knee”?) should receive special, daily attention from a specialist.
If he already is receiving that attention, then fine. Good on the Phillies and that’s just tough luck.
If not, then that’s pretty poor management of an incredibly important asset.