Friday, October 16, 2015

The Chase Utley Rule is Coming

Ladies, gentleman and Justin Upton the Chase Utley rule is coming. Much like Major League Baseball, and specifically Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred, vowed to protect the catchers in the game the league is now making strides towards protecting their middle infielders as well. We all know the back story by now, Chase Utley went hard and late into second base during the NLDS against the New York Mets sliding well past the bag in a play that resulted in a broken fibula for the Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. The slide was dirty and it was late but the slide was no worse than any other in recent memory but despite all that Utley was suspended for two games, which he is appealing, for the play. The league, its fans and the players, Justin Upton I’m looking at you here, were immediately up in arms about the play voicing their opinions and those opinions have been heard.

The Chase Utley rule is coming. The rule likely won’t be called that but I think the nickname will stick. Manfred wants to meet with the owners, the players, the umpires and the unions to hammer out a plan to protect middle infielders before the beginning of the 2016 season. Manfred said he began contemplating a rule change as early as this summer, before the Utley and Tejada incident, before the Didi Gregorius and Jose Altuve incident, before the Jung Ho Kang and Chris Coghlan incident that also resulted in a broken leg for the Pittsburgh Pirates rookie and other incidents happened this season. The Utley and Tejada incident was just the icing on the cake for Manfred to work with the league to get a deal done in some capacity.

The league may be reactive instead of proactive here but with a union, the strongest union in the world mind you, and so many moving parts sometimes that can be impossible. Kudos to the league for doing something to protect their assets, MLB is a business first and foremost, and for protecting the young stars playing the game. Some may say the game is getting soft or following in the NFL’s footsteps (the No Fun League) but let them talk because Ruben Tejada’s not having any fun right now and neither is Chase Utley. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)