Chase Utley leads Dodgers into Game 5 by his actions

first_img“I know this probably isn’t the right parallel if you’re talking about people,” Byrnes said. “But, on the field, Chase is Ty Cobb. He’s the modern-day Ty Cobb of this game.“For a while we went through a time in baseball where it wasn’t cool to hustle, that players looked down on you if you played all-out and weren’t out there styling. Chase came along and I think he had a lot to do with changing that. You do whatever it takes to win.“That’s why that slide was so typical,” Byrnes added. “That’s why he made that play a couple of weeks ago, when he’s on his chest and he sort of shovels it the ball back to first base and got the out. That was such a sick play. He was willing to try it.”That happened in the fourth inning against Colorado on Sept. 22. But Utley also pulled the 27th out of Game 4 from potential chaos Tuesday, making the flip play on Harper and making Thursday’s game necessary.“It’s not just that he studies their pitchers,” Dodgers reliever Joe Blanton said. “He can see when you’re tipping pitches, helps you correct all that. He does all the little things that make a difference.”And Utley is an invaluable guide for shortstop Corey Seager, who is 22 and accustomed to big brothers.Utley comes from the 2007-11 Phillies, a homegrown crew that made the playoffs each year, won the 2008 World Series and played in the 2009 Series. They were taken apart when salaries became burdensome and their body clocks had supposedly stopped. But Cole Hamels helped pitch Texas into these playoffs. J.A. Happ won 20 games for Toronto. Jayson Werth is still a mid-lineup force for Washington. Blanton was one of the league’s best setup relievers, and Carlos Ruiz homered for the Dodgers in Game 3 on Monday.Next year? Well, Ty Cobb had a league-leading OPS of 1.066 when he was 38. The numbers aren’t Utley’s barometer anymore, since he drove in 52 runs and hit .251 this season, but the Dodgers are past all that.Most would vote to spend 2017 on Utley’s team. The Dodgers play the Nationals in a mutual-elimination Game 5 on Thursday night. Mutually high anxiety, too.The Nationals lost in the first postseason round five years ago and again three years ago. They have Max Scherzer, the best starting pitcher in the league this year, waiting for the Dodgers, pitching right on schedule. They also have the bullpen they never had in those previous stumblings. If not now, when?The last time the Dodgers even got to a World Series was 1988, when Whitney Houston and George Harrison were still topping the charts. The Dodgers have already played the Clayton Kershaw card. The starter will likely be 36-year-old Rich Hill, who has pitched effectively but not for long. Behind him, 20-year-old Julio Urias has the freshest arm in town. Both bullpens are buying Advil by the gross.But they also have Utley. Los Angeles is not a marketing opportunity for him. It’s home, or at least Long Beach is, and it doesn’t matter anyway. In coarse and unsentimental Philadelphia, Utley got standing ovations this year every time he came to the plate. For 13 years his attitude was their attytood. Win. No elaboration required.Tellingly, Utley is still vigorously booed when he comes to the plate in Washington, a frequent N.L. East opponent of the Phillies. Eric Byrnes was on Chase Utley’s team at UCLA. That’s pretty much how he remembers it, even though Byrnes was a senior and Utley was a freshman. You were on Utley’s team.Byrnes went on to a distinguished outfielding career, mostly in Oakland and Arizona. He is now an MLB Network analyst. Utley is 37, a guru in some ways, still a freshman in others. Every day brings a chance to make the team.“I guess the one play everybody remembers was in the playoffs last year,” Byrnes said, remembering Utley’s rulebook-changing moment in the National League Division Series, when he broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada with a ruthless slide right out of the Harding administration.“But I remember another play. He was running to first base after he struck out and the ball got past the catcher, and he was trying to beat the throw to first. The ball goes by and he jumps up like he’s trying to get hit in the head with the ball, so he can be safe. I’ve never seen anybody do that. But then I never played with anybody like Chase.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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Wonderlic scores in the NFL: Highest, lowest test scores in Combine history

first_imgWhile most NFL prospects flex their muscles on the field at the NFL Combine to try and dazzle scouts, a their brains will come under a different kind of scrutiny with the Wonderlic test.The Wonderlic test is similar to an IQ test, created in 1936 by E. F. Wonderlic to measure general cognitive ability in math, vocabulary and reasoning. It was used by the Navy during World War II to determine candidates for pilot training and navigation. Job TitleAverage Wonderlic ScoreSystems Analyst32Chemist31Electrical Engineer30Engineer29Programmer29Accountant28Executive28Reporter28Teacher28Copywriter27Investment Analyst27Librarian27Electronics Technician26Salesperson25Secretary24Dispatcher23Drafter23Electrician23Nurse23Bank teller22Cashier21Firefighter21Clerical worker21Machinist21Receptionist21Train conductor21Craftsman18Security guard17Warehouseman15Janitor14Average Wonderlic score in the NFL by positionBased on data gathered from wonderlictestsample.com (which is not​ a complete aggregation of all Wonderlic scores from NFL combines, but does include scores from 622 different players), here’s a rough look at the average score for NFL prospects by position.PositionAverage ScoreQB25.9RB17.5WR19.7TE26.7OL26.8DE22.3DT22.4LB23.6DB18.9AVG24.1It might come as a surprise to some that the big hog mollies on the offensive line had the highest average score, narrowly edging out tight ends, though it makes sense if you consider all of the blocking schemes they have to learn and blitzes they have to read. Quarterbacks come in a respectable third, while linebackers, defensive tackles and defensive ends all come in with above average scores.Want to see how you compare to NFL players? Try taking a sample Wonderlic test. Tom Landry, a two-time Super Bowl champ as head coach of the Cowboys and innovator of the now-popular 4-3 defense, started using the Wonderlic test in the 1970s to evaluate players. With the success Landry had, many teams began to follow suit, and now it’s regular practice in the NFL for draft prospects to take the test.Over time, players have benefited from taking the test while others never even got to sniff the NFL because of it. Here’s a look at the best and worst reported scores in NFL history.​MORE: ​Wonderlic scores by current players, from Tom Brady to Ryan FitzparickHighest Wonderlic scores in NFL history50 — Pat McInally (punter)The only known player to get a perfect score on the Wonderlic test came from Harvard and played primarily on special teams (though he was used occasionally as a wide receiver and hauled in five TDs throughout his career). Go figure. McInally was chosen in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Bengals and appeared in one Pro Bowl and one Super Bowl. He also completed 3 of 4 career passes for 81 yards. Consider him an Ivy League Taysom Hill.49 — Mike Mamula (defensive end)Mamula’s tale is a cautionary one for NFL GMs. The Eagles were so impressed by his Wonderlic scores and his combine performance they traded up to select him seventh overall, ahead of Hall of Famers Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. Mamula played six seasons and never made a Pro Bowl.48 — Kevin Curtis (wide receiver)Curtis posted the highest recorded Wonderlic score by a wide receiver in NFL history and was selected in the third round in 2003 by the Rams. He played eight seasons, compiling 253 catches for 3,297 yards and 20 touchdowns.48 — Ryan Fitzpatrick (quarterback)It’s no surprise that Fitzpatrick, another Harvard product, wound up on this list. He’s certainly seen some highs and lows throughout his career, playing for eight different teams since being drafted by the Rams in 2005. But 15 seasons later, “Fitz Magic” is still going strong.48 — Ben Watson (tight end)Watson posted the highest Wonderlic score for a tight end back in 2004, catching enough interest for the Patriots to select him with the 32nd pick in the first round. Watson won a ring his rookie year in Super Bowl XXXIX, though he only played one game before getting injured and missing the rest of the season. He won the Bart Star in 2018 with the Ravens and has played 16 seasons in the NFL.MORE: Tom Brady’s NFL Combine performance, revistedLowest Wonderlic scores in NFL history6 — Vince Young (quarterback)Coming off a National Championship at Texas, expectations were high for Young coming into the league, though some were concerned about his low Wonderlic score. Still, the Titans gambled on him by taking him third overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. The gamble didn’t pay off, though. In six seasons, Young threw 46 touchdowns and 51 interceptions.6 — Frank Gore (running back)Gore’s poor Wonderic score might have had a negative impact on his draft stock, as he was selected 65th overall in the third round by the 49ers in 2005. It doesn’t look like it ever affected his productivity, though; he’s accumulated 15,347 yards and 79 touchdowns in 15 seasons. He currently stands third in all-time rushing yards in NFL history, just 290 yards behind Walter Payton.6 — Oscar Davenport (quarterback)Davenport was projected to be a late-round prospect with developmental upside in 1999. Then the North Carolina QB scored a 6 on his Wonderlic test and went undrafted, never making it onto an NFL roster.5 — Ed Prather (safety) Another player who never played a down in the NFL, “Pig” Prather had a bad reputation for blowing coverages, and to NFL GMs, his poor Wonderlic scores seemed to reflect poor decision-making skills on the field as he went undrafted in 2001.4 — Darren Davis (running back)Davis rushed for 3,763 yards in four seasons at Iowa State. Then he scored a 4 on the Wonderlic exam at the 2000 NFL Combine and went undrafted, eventually going on to play four seasons in the Canadian Football League before being cut.4* — Morris ClaiborneWhile most players with low Wonderlic scores have seen teams shy away, the Cowboys actually traded up to get Claiborne with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. In eight seasons, he’s managed seven interceptions and 265 tackles. He sat out the first four games of the 2019 season due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but still won his first Super Bowl ring as a member of the Chiefs despite being inactive for the game.Claiborne’s score should come with an asterisk, as he was later reported to be diagnosed with a learning disability.​MORE: ​NFL mock draft 2020What is a good score on the Wonderlic test?The average score for the Wonderlic test is 20 out of a possible 50, according to Wonderlic Inc. The test is timed and composed of 50 questions, with one point awarded for each correct answer.​ A person who scores a 10 or above is considered literate, while anything lower might suggest illiteracy.While the average score on the Wonderlic is 20, the definition of what is a good score on the Wonderlic test varies. Often times, the quality of the score can be equated to the types of position or job an applicant or test taker is pursuing. Here’s a look at average scores by job title:last_img read more

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