"I recognize that there has been much commentary and many questions regarding the unfortunate play in last night's game in which Ruben Tejada was injured. As I said after the game, the determination of whether a baserunner has intentionally interfered with a player attempting to turn a double play is left to the judgment of the Umpire on the field, and that judgment call is not subject to review. I should add that determining where to draw the line between an illegal slide and a legitimate hard play is an extremely difficult call for our Umpires.
"However, 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.
"We have been in discussions with the Players Association throughout the year regarding potential rule changes to better protect middle infielders, and we intend to continue those discussions this offseason," Torre said.
"The New York Mets completely support the decision made by Major League Baseball to suspend Chase Utley for two games and feel this was the appropriate course of action. With this decision behind us, the team and our fans can now focus on playing winning baseball," The Mets said in statement.
Utley plans to appeal the suspension.
"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.
"Chase feels terrible about Ruben Tejada's injury and everyone who knows him knows that he would never intentionally hurt anybody. We will be appealing this suspension immediately," Utley's agent Joel Wolfe said.
The rule in question states:
"A batters is out when:
"A preceding runner shall, in the umpire's judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play.
"Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire's judgment play."
You be the judge, was Utley's slide a dirty play?
Post a Comment