PHILADELPHIA -- In a scripted family movie or at Disney World, Chase Utley would have said it differently.But this was the culmination of more than four hours of celebration on the streets of Philadelphia, on a beautiful blue-sky day in South Philly, at the loudest place on Earth, in front of fans who'd waited for a moment like this for more than two decades. His uneditable words on Friday afternoon, heard by all in real time, evoked the passion of the people who pack the sports bars and work in the city where he plays. Vince Vaughn had a line in a film called "Old School," one where he instructed his young son to cover his ears when the language would not be appropriate for kids. That might have come in handy on Friday. Didn't happen. And in the spotlight of spontanaeity and the roar of an adoring audience, Utley let it fly.
The eighth player to take the microphone during the Citizens Bank Park celebration to honor the 2008 World Series champions, Utley opened with the declaration: "World champions!"Pausing, he turned to some teammates, then, showing a sense of awe and an out-of-body cheesesteak grin, he added: "World [Phlippin'] champions!" Inserted in the middle was a term previously reserved for long-suffering Red Sox fans when they'd assign a middle name to hated Yankees Aaron Boone or Bucky Dent. Many in the crowd gave thunderous approval, putting aside the live TV, Internet and radio challenges. It was immediately apparent that we had a toothpaste-out-of-the-tube moment. There was no rewind button. Players doubled-over in laughter and clapped their hands, knowing this was a time where cutting up might not result in detention. Jayson Werth stood and raised his arms in jubilation. The boys were being boys. "They said they wanted short and sweet," Utley said. "That was short and sweet." Well, short at least. One of the team's most popular players, Utley, albeit in a choice of words more fitting for National Lampoon than a world champion National Leaguer, expressed his delight to undeniable approval. What he belted out, leading to various network apologies, represented what somehow was not only OK, but mood-capturing and unforgettable. It was a season that saw this team go 24-6 in its final 30 games, including 11-3 in the postseason. They did it. They stinkin' did it. See? Even Jimmy Rollins, who can crystallize any situation, was at a loss for words. "Honestly, I don't know how to follow up Chase," he said. "I wasn't stunned. I didn't expect it, not in this environment. Everybody knows Chase's personality. Chase finds a way to steal the show." "He may be a man of few words, but in those few words, he has a knack for getting his point across," Greg Dobbs said. "As brash as it seems, it was fitting. That's how we all felt. He just kind of let that out." Manager Charlie Manuel played down Utley's comment. "Chase is good, real good," Manuel said. "That's a common word anymore. ... That's not that bad, is it?"
Uh, he said that knowing Utley had overstepped somewhat.
Cole Hamels acknowledged some may want some kind of apology, but he said it is what it is, a party atmosphere line. Hamels was glad for his teammate's expression of pure emotion."Pardon his French," Hamels said. "And we are world champions." That's two words: world champions.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.