The next person who tells me (in person, online, in a text…) that what Chase Utley did to Ruben Tejada last night was okay by the rules of MLB so we shouldn’t blame him for what ended up happening is going to make my head explode.
Utley didn’t just come in with a hard slide and knock out the shortstop. He waited until he was practically on second base, ran out of the base path and then decided to slide and wipe out Tejada. (As Ron Darling puts it in the video clip below, “(He) Didn’t even start sliding until he was even with the bag.”)
You can watch it here because this is apparently a video no one wants us to embed.
There’s a questionable slide and Tejada ends up with a broken leg. As if that wasn’t devastating enough, the icing on this cupcake is that eventually the umpires ruled that Tejada didn’t touch the bag, the neighborhood play wasn’t in effect and even though he was originally called out, Utley was safe. After the game the umps said that Utley would have been out had any of the Mets tagged him as he left the field, leading David Wright to say:
“Once obviously the player is called out, you don’t go tag him, especially when you’re lying there with a broken leg.”
The Dodgers ended up taking the lead in this inning and the Mets didn’t come back so they head to Flushing with the NLDS tied at 1-1.
What everyone who is a Dodgers fan or who just wants to annoy Mets fans will tell you is that what Utley did is perfectly legitimate under MLB’s rules. What I (and many other people) will tell you is that is utter bullshit.
It isn’t bullshit that it’s allowed in MLB. OBVIOUSLY it is. It’s bullshit that MLB allows it and that a player like Utley (who has done this before, just not with such horrible results) feels perfectly fine going in that way with the knowledge (regardless of what he says) that someone could get seriously hurt.
“We’re going to have to reevaluate the way we go into second base.”
That was five years ago. No reevaluation. No admission from MLB last night that something needs to be done. Just a young player in the playoffs for the first time in the hospital with what could very well be a career-ending injury. Joe Torre tried to sound concerned but if you read this transcript from last night his concern sounds more for saving Chase Utley’s reputation and defending the umpires than worrying about Tejada or any other infielders getting hurt.
So I’m angry and I have no solutions except to stop allowing players to tackle other players. We hear all the time how bat flips or watching a home run disrespects the game. None of those things will end up with a player being broken. How do you not believe going at someone with no protection and usually no way to avoid you is a legitimately clean play? Maybe it IS finally time that Major League Baseball does some evaluating? I’m not holding my breath.
Well last night was pleasant enough, eh? Seeing Burnett leave before even getting three innings under his belt was sweet but seeing Chase Utley tie Reggie Jackson’s World Series home run record was sweeter. All Utley has to do is hit another home run before this series is over and we can say goodbye to “Mr October”. I approve greatly of this.
EDIT: Well, I have to take back the whole Brett Myers being an asshole rant since the story is coming out that it didn’t happen. Of course that could be spin so’s not to make Myers look like the ass I believe him to be (regardless of whether the confrontation happened)…oh well. It was fun typing out “Brett Myers is an asshole” a few times, anyway!
In spite of the assholiness of Myers, I’m still holding out hope that the Phillies can pull out two more wins. They need to just take them one game at a time and focus on the game at hand, right? No getting ahead of yourself and thinking about game 7. Game 6, with Pedro pitching again at Yankee Stadium against a short-rested Andy Pettitte is quite enough to focus on right now.
I know it’s a long shot but I still think they can do it. And, because baseball keeps pulling me back in, I’ll definitely be watching tomorrow night!
Who wants to go shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year? Sure as hell not me. SO I sit at my computer and shop in a much less stressful manner – online!
Looking for the perfect gift for your baseball-loving friend or relative? MLB.com is selling those caps the players wore on the 4th of July (Memorial Day? Both?). Chase Utley, Charlie Manual…get the cap your favorite player or coach wore. (The only Red Sox player listed is Ramon Ramirez and that isn’t in a Red Sox cap!)
But here’s one I sense I know a person or two might like: Craig Breslow! Bidding starts at $150 and ends on December 5th.
Hey, there’s also an autographed photo of Bronson Arroyo going for…well, I forget how much, I’m distracted by the leg.
They’re also auctioning off an MLB authenticated, game used home jersey that Mike Timlin wore in the last game of the season this year. Totally bittersweet for me, as you all know. Opening bid? $450. Nothing says love like buying a USED jersey for what you might be able to pay for a smart phone or a really good digital camera.
Okay, so that’s out of my price range…how about a Mike Timlin hot wheels car?? You think I kid?
See? There’s plenty of baseball-related stuff out there to buy!
I absolutely lose my shit when people compare the Red Sox to the Yankees. It drives me up a wall. Used to be that comparisons to Yankee fans and Red Sox fans pissed me off too, but lately, well, lately they almost seem appropriate.
It’s amazing how many blogs, message boards and articles I’ve read this week where Red Sox fans are absolutely convinced that this ALCS is a mere formality and a way for the Sox to kill time before they play in the World Series. Where the hell does that come from?
Certainly I’m not “afraid” of the Rays. I’ve never been afraid of any team the Sox are playing. I believe that the Red Sox have as much of a chance to win the ALCS as the Rays do. Which means, I believe the Rays have as much of a chance to win the ALCS as the Red Sox do.
Hey, I’m the first to admit that I was one of those “this team is going to fail by the end of the season” people when it came to Tampa Bay. But guess what? They didn’t. The won the freaking Division, folks. That was no fluke.
Again, we all know winning the division doesn’t equal winning it all. We know that quite well! Even still, it does warrant a little bit of respect. This team played the Sox hard, especially in September. They aren’t the laughing stock they used to be and it boggles my mind that people still think they are.
My prediction? I see the Sox winning this in five or six. (OOH! Going out on a limb there, Cyn!) I don’t see it going seven games, but I also don’t see the Rays going away quietly. I see the Sox winning because I have faith in my team, not because I don’t think the other team is good enough to win.
According to KellyO, my losing streak at Fenway ends Monday afternoon with Crabcakes on the mound. That seems fitting somehow.
8:37pm it starts, folks. Be there. Aloha.
(Oh, one side note: Last night I totally wanted to be the cream in a Pat Burrell/Chase Utley oreo! That is all.)