Legends On Deck

Utley Suspended For Games 3 And 4 For The Slide That Injured Tejada

Utley cheats

Photo courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

So MLB decided to suspend Chase Utley for his slide in the 7th inning of Game Two that resulted in Ruben Tejada‘s leg being broken.

I have to disagree with the decision. To me not only does it not change anything because the momentum shifted at that point in the game, and the Mets lost, but it also protects Utley from facing the New York fans and truly dealing with the actions he chose to take part in.  It puts Utley back in the game when he is at Dodgers Stadium where he won’t face any scrutiny.

There is so much wrong with all of this that I truly don’t even know where to start.  I am a die-hard Mets fan that can deal with a loss, but to have to see the umpires and league not make a swift decision on the field and the Challenge crew truly blow it, really upsets me.

SNY-NY posted the Rule 6.01 (6) that does protect a defensive player and after reading it, it makes you wonder where it was all lost and why was it not enforced on Saturday night.

MLB Rule - SNY

So what we see here is that Utley (the baserunner), willfully and deliberately interfered with Tejada (the fielder) and the umpire did not make a judgement call that the play was dead. So a run was allowed to score even after the challenge was awarded of over turning the out call to safe.

MLB Rule - SNY -1

So the umpire was supposed to call Utley out and the double play would have been in play and the run should have never scored.  So where did it all go wrong? It clearly states what the ruling should be, doesn’t it?

I feel that the out call should not have been allowed to be challenged, and the thought that the Mets were penalized for not tagging out Utley for not tagging second base, if we all remember, the umpire called him out, only because of Mattingly’s challenge was the call reversed. In my mind everyone from the umpires, MLB and the challenge crew all messed up and they are not even following what the rules say.

I would be okay with Utley appealing his suspension, which has already been reported, and allowing him to face the Mets fans and possibly even some retribution for his dirty play. If the suspension is allowed, all it says is that MLB failed to truly make the right call on the field, but they are doing all they can to protect a player that never thought about what barreling into a fielder could do, and as we already know, this action broke Tejada’s leg.

I heard an announcer yesterday say that ‘Utley just plays the game the old school way of playing and it’s just hard-nosed baseball’, well if we are going to take that into account, the old school way of playing also saw guys get drilled for playing dirty. So Mr. Utley is you want to play dirty, you may have to face the consequences.

Now do not get me wrong, I do not condone anyone getting drilled, but in baseball somethings are just what it is.


David Conde
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