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All About Jazz, Chase Utley and the USA Today

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This article appeared as part of the cover story in the May 14-20, 2008 issue of USA Today's Sports Weekly.

Chasin' the Hits: AllAboutJazz.com reviewed phoney CD by Chase Utley

JAZZ CD HOAX ILLUSTRATES DIFFERENT SIDE OF CHASE

He hits home runs and makes All-Star teams, drives in runs and wins Silver Slugger awards, speaks out on global warming and rescues mistreated animals. Is there anything Chase Utley can't do?

Even his closest friends were taken aback last month when a review of the jazz CD Chasin' the Hits by Utley showed up on AllAboutJazz.com.

The review cited the CD's up-tempo version of “Enter Sandman," the Metallica tune that accompanies the entrances of major league closer Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner, complete with first baseman Ryan Howard on electric bass. Plus, Utley scats and Jimmy Rollins raps on a cut called “Rollins Wuz Wright."

Most surprised by the review was Utley. There is no such CD, despite the apparent cover showing him swinging at a pitch.

It was part of an annual April Fool's Day exercise started six years ago by Michael Ricci, who runs the Philadelphia-based website. Edward Zucker, one the site's regular reviewers, also is a regular at Phillies games, and Utley is the favorite of Zucker's three children.

Utley's close friend Garrett Atkins, a Colorado Rockies third baseman, wasn't so sure when he first heard of the supposed CD.

“I don't know if I'd buy that," said Atkins, not aware at that point the CD was a hoax. “I'd have to hear it. I do remember he was musically inclined a little bit, but I never envisioned him making a CD... He never busted out any jazz flute or anything like that at parties."

Ricci said the review was all in fun: “I sure hope nobody was offended."

Utley got a laugh out of the “review," except for Atkins hearing about it.

“He's going to wear me out," Utley said, shaking his head.

~ Paul White

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