Wednesday, October 14, 2015

If Tejada Isn’t Injured is Utley Suspended?

We all know what happened by now, even the ones living under a rock and the ones that don’t watch baseball surely know by now, Chase Utley slid late into second base on a play that resulted in a season-ending injury for Ruben Tejada. Joe Torre immediately reviewed the play and decided to suspend Utley, maybe for his own safety, for Game 3 and Game 4 of the NLDS that were to be played inside Citi Field in New York while Utley almost immediately appealed the decision and suspension. We have seen our fair share of late slides and “dirty” slides in Major League Baseball in our lifetimes but I can’t recall anyone ever getting suspended for it, did the suspension only come down because of the fact that Tejada’s postseason is now over due to the injury?

Look, the Utley slide was not only late but it was illegal as well but it was far from unprecedented. Take for instance the American League Wild Card Game from this season between the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros. Didi Gregorius was Chase Utley in this scenario sliding past the bag and making contact with Jose Altuve, or Ruben Tejada in this instance, but the difference here was that Altuve ate the contact and is still playing today. I couldn’t even find a link or a video to compare the two slides for you because that’s how insignificant the slide was to the general MLB fan base. Why? Because Altuve didn’t get hurt. The Yankees did the same thing just a week prior to the Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia without a comment made. Guess the rivalry gets a pass too.

I hate that Tejada broke his fibula and will miss what could be a deep and magical postseason run for the New York Mets, I do, but the rule is written pretty clear if you ask me. If you can make contact with the bag, which Utley did with his left hand, then the slide is legal. You’re allowed to disrupt the second baseman or shortstop to the point where you’re making “deliberate” interference, hence the whole touching the bag during the slide guidelines. The play was dirty, the slide was late and the injury was unfortunate but the suspension was complete and udder BS. If it works for one it works for all. If you suspend Utley you have to suspend everyone, and if you don’t suspend everybody then you can’t suspend Utley.

Just my two pennies, leave yours in the comments section. 


  1. Legal slide, nothing wrong with it except a star player got hurt.
    Star players are so into themselves (not all) that nobody would dare slide into them. They get careless as did Tejada, he knew he was wrong when he turned his back (unnecessarily) trying for a play that wasn't there.
    IF he had turned the other way, nothing would have happened, except he still wouldn't have compleated the play.
    I may be old and old school but if he can touch the bag...IT IS A LEGAL SLIDE!

    1. It's more than just if he can touch the bag. He's supposed to start his slide before the bag, it could be argued he started his slide after the bag. It's all semantics, it's the game. Some play it tougher and harder than others and there is nothing wrong with that.

      if Tejada doesn't get hurt this is a non-issue.

    2. Truer words were never spoken (er, writen down) Daniel.


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