TWIB hits Philly to go behind streaks
Rollins, Utley profiled Saturday on FOX for shots at history
PHILADELPHIA -- Seems like the city known for cheesesteaks and Rocky Balboa has become a haven for something else lately.Philadelphia has emerged as the hitting streak capital of the United States, and "This Week in Baseball" is all over the phenomenon, as the crew recently visited the City of Brotherly Love. The Phillies get top billing on FOX's weekly TV magazine that features top plays, bloopers and an inside look at the Major Leagues. On Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET, the inside look is in the Phillies' clubhouse, which is home to a couple of streakers. First there was Jimmy Rollins, who held America in suspense as his 38-game hitting streak spanned an entire offseason. Rollins hit safely in the last 36 games of 2005 and the first two of 2006. Now as the shortstop looks one spot to his left in the infield, he sees a man gunning for not only Rollins' club record of 38, but Joe DiMaggio's Major League mark of 56. Chase Utley stands in second on the team's all-time list, the third Phillie to exceed 30 straight. But "This Week in Baseball" shouldn't expect too many good quotes from the young second baseman. Or any, that is. The superstitious Utley isn't talking to anybody about the streak, even a national broadcast like TWIB. "It's amazing to watch him hit right now, but I don't think anybody's really mentioning it," Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal said. "So, we're trying to kind of keep that quiet." Utley's silence doesn't make for a quiet broadcast, though, especially with the always-quotable Rollins around. TWIB also spent time with Rollins, Shane Victorino and Home Run Derby champ and National League home run leader Ryan Howard as they interacted with the Philly faithful on Photo Day at the ballpark. The program holds a special place for one Phillie, as well as baseball fans across the country who grew up with the great Mel Allen. "When the guy said he was from 'This Week in Baseball' and we're going to do a little segment on you, I set the time and walked away," catcher Chris Coste said. "About 30 seconds later, I thought, 'This Week in Baseball?' Saturday afternoon? I remember that 'How about that?' voice. That was my memory on Saturday mornings, listening to Mel Allen." Also featured on the upcoming episode are features on the clutch-hitting prowess of Howard, Boston's David Ortiz and others. Actress Alyssa Milano is featured as this week's Chevrolet Front Row Fan, and TWIB pays a special tribute to former relief pitcher Bruce Sutter, who was just inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Zachary Levine is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.