Just to continue the Chase Utley dirty-slide, no-dirty-slide discussion a bit longer before Game 3 of Dodgers-Mets tonight, here’s an interesting counterpoint from SportsIllustrated.com to my thought that the Dodgers’ Utley did what players have done in baseball forever — with baseball’s tacit endorsement, despite take-out slides actually being contrary to the letter of the law.
MLB right to suspend Utley, now must ensure play never happens again
The umpires got it wrong on Saturday night. On Sunday, Major League Baseball got it right.
With its precedent-setting suspension of Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley for Games 3 and 4 of the NLDS against the Mets, the commissioner’s office all but admitted that the umps erred by not ruling Utley out for his overly aggressive takeout slide in NLDS Game 2 that ultimately resulted in the tying run scoring and left New York shortstop Ruben Tejada with a broken right fibula.
In the very first words of its statement announcing the suspension, MLB calls Utley’s slide “illegal.” Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer said, “After thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley’s action warrants discipline. While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base.”
Read the rest here.