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PUNISHMENT FITS THE SLIDE

October 11, 2015, Queens, NY  In this case, the punishment fits the crime. Major League Baseball has suspended Los Angeles Dodger infielder Chase Utley for an illegal slide that broke New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg. Tejada will miss the rest of the playoffs.  Joe Torre said, “After reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley’s action warrants discipline.” And discipline the he got. Two games.

Utley is appealing the decision through the union (Major League Baseball Players Association). Maybe they reduce it to one game, but that is highly unlikely since there has been such an uproar about Utley’s slide. Moreover, this isn’t Utley’s first rodeo. He slid hard into Tejada a few years ago.

Utley’s agent, Joel Wolfe, issued a statement: “A two-game suspension for a legal baseball play is outrageous and completely unacceptable. Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation–break up the double play.  We routinely see plays at second base similar to this one that have not resulted in suspensions. … We will be appealing this suspension immediately.”

Monday’s game will prove to be interesting as Matt Harvey will be on the mound. Don’t be surprised if Harvey chin checks one of the Dodgers. Harvey has extra motivation to do it since he is not in good graces with the fans and teammates. He can get a measure of redemption by plunking one of the Dodgers and will probably do so. Mets captain, David Wright, who has been somewhat critical of Harvey, would probably approve since he was apparently incensed by Utley’s slide.

Expect the Mets fans to be very vocal. The game will be televised on TBS tomorrow. The time of the game, as of this writing, has not been confirmed.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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