One thing lost in the Chase Utley long term signing is the job that Pat Gillick has done since taking over at GM. With the former GM Ed Wade, you had Chase Utley doing just about everything he could do in his auditions at 2B to show that he is a special player, but still he allowed Placido Polanco to have the foot hold on the job for years. After seeing Chase hit a grand slam in his first MLB game, that was evidence enough for me that he deserved a chance to see what he could do every day. But, it was not until Wade’s last year at GM that they finally gave Polanco has necessary role of on the bench watching Utley play. In addition to Utley, Ryan Howard had no role and got his chance shortly after Chase was installed as the regular 2B. It wasn’t until Jim Thome was done in Philadelphia that he also got to show what he could do beyond AAA. Both Howard and Utley are players that will be entrenched on the left side of the infield for years to come, but whats odd is that they are rather old for baseball players getting their first legitimate chance.
Had Ed Wade used the resources he had available to him, he might still have his job. By going with an old school manager such as Larry Bowa, the young players were just not going to get the chance they deserved. Ruben Amaro Jr. has served under both GMs, so he might be the best voice out there to know why it took so long for both these players to get their chance. For more on the Phillie perspective, check out blogs such as We Should Be Gms, and 700 Level .