The reality is, Chase Utley went in pretty hard on Ruben Tejada the other night. Tejada left hurt and that sucks, but just so you know Mets fans... Utley didn't go in with the intention of hurting the guy... it was an unfortunate incident. That being said, I stand by my opinion... Chase Utley's job is to go in hard to break up that double play... Tejada's gotta be nimble there... bottom line.
Now Utley was suspended for his "actions", whatever that means, and I don't get it. As I stated in comments yesterday, there have been several... several similar incidents with similar results... yet no player was disciplined, and furthermore... the umpires didn't follow the rules as many Mets fans were trying to point out to me. Relax Mets fans... you shouldn't be mad at my opinion.... you should be mad at the officials. They NEVER follow the rules that apply to breaking up a double play. Well... now they may.
ESPN writes: "Major League Baseball has suspended Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley for Games 3 and 4 of the National League Division Series... Utley will appeal the suspension. The Dodgers expect the matter to be heard quickly, likely well before game time Monday night, a source said....'The Dodgers stand behind Chase Utley and his decision to appeal the suspension issued tonight by Major League Baseball,' the team said in a statement. 'Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation -- break up the double play,' Utley's agent, Joel Wolfe, said in a statement."
And that's what all you Mets fans forgot about when your cherished Tejada got hurt... every players job is to break up a double play... even Tejada if he was chugging into second. It's your job!
The reaction to my piece SORRY FOLKS. RUBEN TEJADA NEEDS TO BE MORE AGILE was comedy... but to be fair, it was also opinion different than mine and so, I wanted to share some of the really good ones... check it out:
"ahem..the difference is Tjejada's back was to him. Utley is an All-Star. He must have thought Ruben was the second coming if he thought the play would be made. By rules Utley should be out for intentionall missing the bag to slide like that. It's the RULES!!!!! .00–IMPROPER PLAY, ILLEGAL ACTION, AND MISCONDUCT
6.01 Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions
(a)(7.09) Batter or Runner Interference It is interference by a batter or a runner when:
(5) Any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate;
(6) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner;
(7) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a batter-runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball, with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead; the umpire shall call the batter-runner out for interference and shall call out the runner who had advanced closest to the home plate regardless where the double play might have been possible. In no event shall bases be run because of such interference."
"Rules are rules. That is 100% correct. Here's the problem; The umpires rarely follow that rule and go as it happens. If you apply that rule to last night, apply it to when Justin Turner of LAD slid hard on Rockies' Nolan Arenado in September. How about when the Rangers played the Angels in the beginning of October when Rougned Odor went in hard on Angels' Johnny Giovotella? Nothing happened there either, just complaints, no discipline.
Back in April, Alcides Escobar was hurt when Brett Lawrie of the A's went in spikes high to break up a double play. In all these instances, while all the slides were "controverisal" like Utley's, the umpires did not refer to the rule book. What makes this case any different? Your complaint is not with me... it's with the way they umpire this game. You should send them a letter.... ahem."
Here's a fun one on Twitter:
Nice right? Come on.@lendog1313 @E_Rock14 sure we would, but I think Jeter may be a bit more coordinated around the bag. Don't get angry, it's an opinion— Robert Casey (@BleednYankeeBlu) October 11, 2015
Facebook had a bunch:
"I'm disappointed in this article and attitude. Just because this has always been allowed to let slide (pun intended) does not mean it's right. As quoted above rules are rules and they should have always been enforced and haven't been. We don't need to go back and re-correct all the wrongs, we just need to stop doing it wrong from here on out!"
"Hate the article, you are entitled. Don't hate the attitude, it's an opinion. This kind of play has been going on forever. I am NOT saying it should be allowed. I am saying umpires never ever call it despite the rule. It's unfortunate."
Kathryn wrote back:
"I just said disappointed, neither the article or opinion warranted being hated. I agree it's been going on forever, I just don't think it should be. Its a sport, it's a game but it's also a business and the players' livelihoods. Therefore I feel that the rules are in place for very good reasons and should be adhered to. In this specific example of course I don't believe it was Utley's intention to break/fracture a bone, but his actions were without regard to the consequences beyond the one he desired. A broken bone can for all intents and purposes end or at least adversely effect a player's career. I'm hugely disappointed in that type of play."
There's a common theme in all of this... opinions, ALL opinions in this situation are welcome... even mine. It appears that the biggest complaint was that the officials didn't do enough. Guess what, I don't umpire any games and haven't since I was about 15 years old when I did it for Little League. I also will not apologize for having a baseball mentality opinion when it comes to a hard slide into second base. Things happen and it sucks for Tejada... but life goes on and MLB is doing their thing now.
That suspension by the way? Is something else I disagree with. I leave you with this... it's a quote from my wife...
"How about people stop being such wimps... and toughen up. It's a competitive sport... he's not gonna tip toe in there." --Mrs. Casey
Boom. That just happened.
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