June 17, 2010
"Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats."
But never discount the desperation a month-long slump can bring. Prior to Wednesday's game against the Yankees, a shrine of sorts was built in front of Utley's locker. The result was something that looked like Prince's old symbol and was constructed using six bats, three pieces of fruit, a can of Red Bull and a pair of batting gloves.
Brad Lidge(notes) and Greg Dobbs(notes) declined comment to CSN Philly when asked about its origins before the game. Chase Utley feigned ignorance, but sources tell MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that Utley — who came into the game hitting .180 over his previous 25 games — was responsible for the hocus pocus-based appeal.
[PHOTOS: See Utley in action on the field]
Whether it was meant solely for his own bats or also the rest of the struggling Phillies' offense isn't known, but the baseball gods may have indeed been listening. The Phillies topped the Yankees, 6-3, and Utley went 1-for-4, also reaching base on a HBP.
We'll see if the configuration comes out again Thursday night in the rubber match of the interleague series and maybe the odds are good. According to this Tweeter, Utley was spotted at a bar in Soho with Paul Rudd after the game. I'm going to guess that Jobu needed a refill.
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