The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 15, 2014

Utley would rather remain in Philadelphia

MINNEAPOLIS — Chase Utley would prefer to remain with the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that drafted him 14 years ago.

With the Phillies last in the NL East at 42-53, it’s possible the team might try to deal veterans for prospects before the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers. A six-time All-Star, Utley is owed $15 million next season as part of a deal that contains options for $15 million in each of three additional years that could become guaranteed if he has 500 plate appearances in the previous season and doesn’t finish the season hurt.

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” he said Monday. “I’ve picked some brains over the course of the last few years. I really enjoy Philadelphia. I love playing baseball in Citizens Bank Park. I love playing in front of Philly fans. There’s no better place to play in my opinion. Obviously winning is important and you want to do that, and I would like to do that in Philadelphia.”

While he wants to stay, he understands the Phillies may decide to clear out veterans.

“If someone at some point comes up to me and says you’re not wanted in Philadelphia anymore, I might have to rethink that,” he said. “I think if I was a betting man I would say probably there will be no change.”

Take it slowly: The average time of a nine-inning game this season has been 3 hours, 3 minutes, which would be a record for a full season, according to STATS. Despite Major League Baseball’s efforts to speed the pace of games, the average is up four minutes from last years and 12 minutes since 2010.

That’s just fine with Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy, the NL’s starting catcher.

“I don’t think you ever want to speed up games. I think you should leave the game the way it is. I think it’s fine. It’s been like that for 100 years,” he said. “Any time you try to speed up the game I think you’re going to run into some more issues. Guys are going to be getting hurt. They’re not going to be getting loose enough. And on a cold night, you’ve got to let guys get loose. You can’t just be going, ‘Hey, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.’ Guys are going to get hurt. You’ve got to let guys take their time, man.”

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014