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May 31, 2024

Rob McElhenney spurns Chase Utley for Bryce Harper in video promo for Phillies' London Series

The 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' star reprised his role as an obsessive, letter-writing fan — but with a new target.

Celebrities Rob McElhenney
Phillies Always Sunny John Geliebter/USA TODAY Sports

Chase Utley throws the first pitch to Rob McElhenney before a Phillies-Marlins game in 2019. Utley is MLB's ambassador in Europe and appeared with McElhenney and Bryce Harper in a funny promo video for the London Series between the Phillies and Mets on June 8-9.

Rob McElhenney's unhealthy puppy love for Chase Utley is one of the all-time great storylines from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." The show's 16 seasons have featured a handful of cameos from the former Phillies star.

In the show, McElhenney's character, Mac, writes childlike letters to Utley in an attempt to befriend him and have a catch. The silly interaction between the two even has transcended the show. McElhenney has caught the first pitch from Utley at a couple Phillies games, including during the World Series in 2022.

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As the Phils get ready for their two-game London Series against the New York Mets on June 8-9, McElhenney decided to spice up his flirtation with a new object of affection: Bryce Harper. In a nod to another famed episode of "It's Always Sunny," McElhenney posted a video on social media with the show's familiar title screen reading, "The Bryceman Cometh."

In the video, a promotion for the London Series, Harper confides in Utley that he's concerned about a stack of letters he's received from Mac — written almost verbatim to Utley's letters — about wanting to have a catch in London.

"Did you think I wouldn't find out about the letters?" Utley tells McElhenney over the phone.

"Man, it's just that he's so clutch! And that beard, it's like golden lamb's wool," McElhenney says. "Having a catch with Bryce in London doesn't mean anything to me."

The video is a tie-in to Utley's role as MLB's ambassador in Europe. He and his family relocated to London two years ago for Utley's job promoting baseball to European audiences. McElhenney, who became friends with Utley in Los Angeles, has spent plenty of time in Wales in recent years as the co-owner of soccer club AFC Wrexham.

The league-best Phillies are off to a historic start as the team looks to sustain enough mojo for another World Series run. If Harper can lead them to a title, he'll be on even footing with Utley — and McElhenney will have a true lovers' dilemma on his hands.