The last time Chase Utley had been seen in public, at the end of the championship parade, he thrilled some in the packed crowd at Citizens Bank Park - and scandalized others - by referring to the Phillies as "world bleepin' champions."

So it didn't take long yesterday when the All-Star second baseman showed up to discuss the hip surgery he underwent 3 weeks ago for him to be asked about his use of clubhouse language in public.

"That was definitely an emotional day we all had," he said, smirking slightly. "That drive down Broad Street to the park was one of the best days of my life. And I imagine for a lot of Phillies fans, it was the same.

"I could have used different words to express myself. At the time, I didn't. I tell all kids not to use that word . . . but if they're 29 and they win the World Series, they can say that.

"I definitely would say to all the kids out there, 'Kids, it's a bad word. Don't say it.' I'm dead serious. And move on." *

- Paul Hagen