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May 06, 2019

Chase Utley talks 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia,' perfect fit with Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies legend Chase Utley has been making interview rounds lately, taking flack last week from a "sweetheart" New York Mets fan on WFAN's "Boomer and Gio" show.

This week, Utley joined Sporting News for a conversation about his time with the Phillies and his connection to "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

In 2010, Utley and teammate Ryan Howard appeared on the FXX series in a sequence that mostly involved Dennis and Charlie getting incredibly drunk. The show's creator, Rob McElhenney, badly wanted to meet his hero — Utley — and wrote a love letter to him.

It took Utley a few years, but he eventually responded to Mac's letter outside the confines of the show. 

Ever since Utley went on the show, he and McElhenney have been good friends in real life. They both live in Los Angeles, where Utley finished his career with the Dodgers.

Sporting News asked Utley about the episode and the relationship that followed:

It was a great experience. It was way more casual than I was anticipating. You have a few lines. You're not saying a lot. And they have their lines. But it didn't have to be perfect. Every shot, every time we did a scene, we did it five or six times. Every one was a little bit different — different dialogue. And then they picked whatever one they thought worked best. It was a great experience. I actually played golf the other day with Rob (McElhenney) and Charlie (Day). They live in L.A. We've become friends; our kids hang out. It's developed into a cool relationship.

Utley also was asked about what it was like for him to play in Philadelphia.

"Playing in that city, that type of style, it was a good fit," Utley said. "Not knowing anything about the East Coast growing up in Southern California, I didn't realize how good of a fit it was until I got there."

Since Utley is retired and lives in Los Angeles, it's only fitting that he'd make one more appearance on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," which is on track to become the longest-running, live-action sitcom in television history. Let's hope the Gang makes it happen.