Former Phillies coach John Vukovich proves prophetic

In my book “HARDBALL & HARDSHIP” I mention in Chapter 28 titled, “So You Think He Can Play”, a conversation I had with former Phillies coach the late John Vukovich. The chapter is in reference to Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Vukovich speaks to me as he hits ground balls to Utley in 2003. As Vuke hits grounders he chats about some of Utley’s defensive deficiencies. One of them being his ability to turn the double play. Well welcome to the 2009 NLCS and in particular the first two games. As we know by now, Utley has had his problems the past few days. Since the series began on Thursday I have received many E mails, phone calls and text messages from people who have read the book with all of them recalling Chapter 28. Here is some of what Vuke said to me on that day: ” Watch this Frog, he can’t go to his right or left. He has a hard time fielding the ball when he has to move laterally….. “Frog, this guy’s in the big leagues, he has to at least get his glove on them. “Watch his feet, he’s off balance… watch when he throws the ball, it’s not that good for a big leaguer. Here’s something that I didn’t put in the book. Did you know that the Phillies wanted Utley to play third base because they knew all along how bad Utley was playing second base in the minor leagues. Yes, he’s an average second baseman now, but let’s hope he didn’t cost Philadelphia another parade down Broad Street. Rest In Peace Vuke .

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