Chase Utley’s attempt at playing third base begins with a baby step.


CINCINNATI — Chase Utley might not play third base anytime soon for the Dodgers. Fact is, he doesn’t know if or when that will happen at all.

But if every journey begins with a single step, Utley is maybe a couple steps closer to playing third base than he was when he joined the Dodgers a week ago. Third base coach Ron Roenicke hit ground balls to Utley at third base, with bench coach Tim Wallach watching closely and Don Mattingly receiving the ball at first base, for less than 10 minutes before Wednesday’s game.

“It went fine,” Utley affirmed. “That’s my first time taking ground balls over there in probably a few years. It was short and sweet. Just talked with Wallach a little bit about his ideas on playing the position. Made a few throws. We’ll continue to make progress.”
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Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley bids Philly farewell with full-page newspaper ad.

CINCINNATI — Generally speaking, newspaper advertising revenues are like the stock market … if you were paying attention beginning in 1929 and ending in 1933. They only trend in one direction. For that small segment of the population who happens to be employed by a newspaper, it’s not a good direction.

In fact, it seems that there are so few groups of people or businesses who regularly buy ads in newspapers anymore, you can almost count them on one hand. One is professional athletes who live and work in one city long enough to feel an emotional connection when they leave.

So when Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Philadelphia Daily News, it tugged at my heart. Not so much because it was classy or respectful — though it was certainly both — but because it validated the daily newspaper as a social institution. You can take out a full page of the internet and no one will notice. Take out a full page of the newspaper and it means something, revenue trends be damned.

Here’s the ad (h/t Ryan Lawrence on Twitter):
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Game 121: Dodgers hitters meet their fiery end in Houston.

HOUSTON — The Dodgers could not collect a single hit off Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers on Friday. It was the first time the Dodgers have been no-hit in three years. The box score is here.

Chase Utley began his Dodgers career with little fanfare. Vin Scully was posterized.