Chase Utley
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Dodgers release Chase Utley

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The Dodgers have officially granted an unconditional release to second baseman Chase Utley, according to an announcement made Friday. Utley is expected to formally retire during the offseason, bringing his storied 16-year career with the Phillies and Dodgers to a close.

The 39-year-old infielder capped his fourth campaign with the Dodgers in 2018, during which he managed a .213/.305/.305 batting line with just one home run and three stolen bases across 187 plate appearances. The downward slope of his career trajectory was hastened by several injuries — notably, a left thumb sprain and a bout of left wrist inflammation — and he finished the year with just 87 games under his belt, his lowest single-season total since 2012.

Despite the setbacks Utley weathered during his final season in the majors, he leaves behind a remarkable legacy as a prolific hitter and much-beloved personality. Between 2006 and 2010, he earned five straight All-Star nominations with Philadelphia and was awarded four Silver Sluggers in that span, to boot. Setting aside regular-season accolades, the hot-hitting infielder also hitched his wagon to six playoff-qualifying teams from 2007 to 2017 and helped carry the Phillies to a World Series victory (their first in nearly two decades) in 2008.

Utley originally announced his intent to retire back in July. At the time, he told reporters the decision was spurred by his desire to spend more time with his family. It’s not yet clear when his retirement will be made official or whether he intends to sign a one-day deal with the Phillies before hanging up his cleats for good.

Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th game as manager

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The Giants handily defeated the Red Sox on Wednesday night, 11-3. The win marked No. 2,000 of manager Bruce Bochy’s storied career, bolstering an already airtight case for the Hall of Fame.

Bochy, 64, is retiring at the end of the season. The skipper began his managerial career in 1995 with the Padres. He led them to the World Series in 1998, but they were swept out of the Fall Classic by the Yankees. Bochy would manage the Padres through 2006, amassing a 951-975 record (.494).

Bochy went to the Giants in 2007, which turned out to be a terrific decision. Bochy’s Giants won the World Series in 2010, ’12, and ’14, beating the Rangers (4-1), Tigers (4-0), and Royals (4-3), respectively. Including Wednesday’s win, Bochy has a 1,049-1,047 (.500) record with the Giants.

There have been only 11 managers in baseball history to win at least 2,000 games as a manager. Connie Mack leads overwhelmingly at 3,731, followed by John McGraw (2,763) and Tony La Russa (2,728). Also in the 2,000-win club are Bobby Cox (2,504), Joe Torre (2,326), Sparky Anderson (2,194), Bucky Harris (2,158), Joe McCarthy (2,125), Walter Alston (2,040), Leo Durocher (2,008), and Bochy.

Next stop, Cooperstown.