And since Chase Utley was already one of my favorite players, you can imagine my reaction when I saw this go down earlier tonight.
Channeling Youk a little there, methinks. What a heads-up play! And on the grandest stage of them all. Game-saver. I've heard some people say it wasn't as good as Jeter's inexplicable flip against the A's, and while I love Jeter, I think you could definitely make the argument that Utley's play was as good - if not better - than Jeter's.
First of all, Jeter did it in the ALDS. Yeah, I know it's the playoffs, but there's really no substitute for the World Series. Second of all, Jeter's play took a certain amount of luck. DJ demonstrated a high baseball IQ and incredible instincts to be where he was, but let's face it: luck was a factor. Whereas with Utley's play, it was all anticipation. He knew going to first wasn't really a viable option. He also knew that Jason Bartlett is a fast, aggressive baserunner and that he might be able to sell the pump fake to first to goad Bartlett. And finally, the Yankees went on to lose the World Series in '01 to the Diamondbacks. So, it was all for naught. Granted, it was a classic Fall Classic, but things worked out a bit differently for the Phillies.
Coincidentally, both plays occurred in the 7th inning.
By the by, Cole Hamels was named World Series MVP. Pretty sure Holtzman was better in '74.