The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the most talked about teams this postseason not for their play on the diamond, but because of one single play made by second baseman Chase Utley.
In the seventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series, Utley made an aggressive slide towards second base as he tried to break up a double play opportunity. In the process he collided with New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada and it resulted in a fractured fibula for Tejada.
After assessing the video, the Major League Baseball office decided that the 13-year-veteran would be suspended for Games 3 and 4 for the controversial play. Utley then appealed the decision and was made available until his appeal is heard. His suspension has raised many questions around the league as to whether it was justified or harsh.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw gave his take:
I feel like MLB got maybe a little bit bullied into suspending him. Never happened before. I’ve seen slides a lot worse.”
Meanwhile, Manfred didn’t believe MLB was bullied and doesn’t want to compare Utley’s slide to past slides:
I think it’s important to realize no two on-field incidents are exactly the same,” Manfred said. “To say there was another slide at second base that kind of looked the same to a layman and that was the same as the incident we had the other night, I just think it’s hard to jump to that conclusion. Each is unique.”
In latest Dodger News, regardless of any differing opinions, the suspension still stands and will until Utley’s appeal is heard on Oct. 19. Whatever is decided may end up having a significant impact on the future of baseball.