Howard, Utley take Philly style to Fan Cave
With the first-place Phillies in New York to face the Mets this weekend, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley each visited the Fan Cave on Friday.
They came about a half-hour apart, answered questions from fans on Facebook and both agreed that Howard is the better dresser of the two -- he wears vests.
The room positively smelled like cheese steaks.
Fans tend to focus on mundane more than the nitty gritty, so the sizzle mostly outweighed the steak here. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Many of the MLB and Phillies Facebook fans wanted to know about the duo's appearance on the hit FX comedy show, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," last year. The premise of their appearance centered around the character Mac's obsession with and love-letter writing to Utley. This is something the always-dapper Utley admitted to having to deal with on a regular basis in real life.
Since neither player had much experience in the acting realm, it was a rare opportunity to see the two stars performing on a different type of stage.
"It's definitely something I would do again," said Howard, who also relished his cameo on the HBO series "Entourage" in 2010, and named Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson as his thespians of choice.
The topic of their most difficult opposing pitchers was broached next. Both Utley and Howard provided borderline mind-bending answers. It appears as though Utley would prefer to face the likes of Tim Lincecum or teammate Roy Halladay before pretty much any lefty sidearm pitcher.
"You just see them so rarely," he said.
Meanwhile, Howard name-dropped Darren Oliver and Oliver Perez as his most-feared opposition. That's not a typo.
"I don't know why, but the 'Olivers' get me. Must be the name", Howard unabashedly admitted.
Without undertaking too much of a scientific case study, I'll take the liberty in suggesting that Howard is dancing by himself to the "I'm jazzed that Oliver Perez isn't around anymore" tune blaring through big league parks these days, after big league hitters battered the lefty to the tune of a 0-5 record dusted with a 6.80 ERA before he his release from the Mets in March.
Perez has not pitched in the big leagues since.
Moving on, a few interesting tidbits were sprinkled in throughout the interview. We learned that Howard was a member of his high school marching band (trombone), his favorite Subway sandwich (foot-long Roast Beef) and his favorite current big league players (Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez).
Utley revealed to us that he went to the same high school as Snoop Dog (Long Beach Polytechnic), holds Wally Joyner, Brett Butler and Jim Thome in his pantheon of all-time favorite players and watches his calorie intake before meals -- the body of a Philly female heartthrob is no happy accident.
Just another star-studded day at the Fan Cave.
This has been a bit of a strange year for the absolute two faces of the once-heralded Philadelphia offense. The Phillies have enjoyed incredible success this season, underscored by their Major League-best 57-34 record. However, despite the team's unmatched winning ways, both Utley and Howard were left off the National League All-Star teams.
Dave Feldman is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.