Ron Costello

Monday, October 12, 2015

Here's why Utley's two game suspension is BS.

Here's the situation. Utley came on to pinch-hit in the seventh — the Mets leading 2-1 — and singled to right. The Dodgers then had runners at the corners.

It was the second game of the NL Division Series. The Mets won the first game.

Utley in this shot has already hit Tejada and spun him around. 
No way did the Dodgers want to lose the game and be down in the series 0-2.

The Dodgers Howie Kendrick hit a ball up the middle.

Met's second baseman Daniel Murphy gloved the ball and flipped it underhand to Tejada.

The shortstop Tejada, with his back to the oncoming runner, Utley,  took Murphy's toss, which pulled him slightly off the bag and into the sliding Utley.

Tejada got hit hard!

First, anyone who's played the game knows that a base runner, to break up the double play has to take out the shortstop. Short of that and you're labeled a wimp, in baseball phraseology, of course. It's how you play the game.

It's similar to ice hockey where the skater is removed (checked) from the puck. Since we last checked, nobody's crying about checks in hockey. Only the Mets in baseball.

Tejada comes around and starts his downfall.
Umpires from Little League to the MLB give the runner leeway. Utley's hit was vicious, no doubt. Vicious, but not dirty, as the Mets — and Joe Torre, MLB's head honcho — claim.

The Mets say Utley's slide wasn't a slide but a tackle. A block.

Okay, that's right. Nobody's arguing that. The runner has to do all he can to prevent the throw from going home, or first to complete the double play. It that's a block, it's a block.  But it has been that way since day one.

Unfortunately, the shortstop Tejada suffered a broken leg.

Coming down on Utley — who looks like he's more out of the base path than
he was — Tejada get tangled with Utley and this may be where he fractured
his leg.
With the game and the series on the line, Chase Utley — who the Faithful know will do anything to win — did what he had to do.

The Mets are crying foul, and Torre, a former Met, ruled against Utley.

The umpire crew reviewed the video and allowed the play to stand. But it wasn't enough for Torre.

Here's what Utley said: "I feel terrible that he was injured. I had no intent to hurt him whatsoever. Anytime there's a double play you should do your best to break it up."

Absolutely.

With an NLDC game on the line, the Faithful know Utley and will have no problem with his slide. In fact, they will say that's what makes Utley — Utley. It appeared that Utley started his slide late — perhaps he paused to see what Murphy would do — Murphy could have gone home —or he just started his slide late. It happens.

He led the Phillies not because he proclaimed himself the leader, but because of plays like this. Not only has Utley broken up double plays, but he's been the recipient of similar hard hits through nearly 2,000 games as a Phillies' second baseman.

You think Utley ever once said, "Oh, he hit me too hard.  He was out of the base path. Oh, that's cheating."

Get real.

You can study the photos and look at the video above right, which clearly shows Utley hitting Tejada over the bag.

If MLB thinks the game is  getting too rough, they can change the rules, or, create rules to keep the runner from taking out the infielder. They can dumb-down the game so the namby-pamby liberals are happy.

Until then, Torre's decision is BS.

Note: After the Utley-Tejada collision, the Dodgers went on to score four runs in the inning and won the game, 5-2. You think the collision had anything to do with the win? You bet it did. It fired up the Dodgers. That's why Utley did it. To the Mets, Utley is a goat. A goat who will get one in the ribs the next time up in the series. To the Dodgers, well, in the words of Harry Kalas: "Chase Utley, you are the man!"

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