Gary

2015 MLB Season Thread with Postseason Discussion

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cmm just posted the rule a few posts ago...

It was an illegal slide/tackle and there is a rule against it but it wasn't enforced:

5.09 Making an Out

(a)Retiring the Batter

A batter is out when:

(13)A preceding runner shall, in the umpires 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;

Rule 5.09(a)(13)(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 umpires judgment play.

Utley clearly intentionally interfered with Tejada and it was deliberate, unwarrented, and unsportsmanlike. He was obviously and admitted to crashing the pivot man on the DP attempt and wasn't trying to reach base (as he still hasn't touched it). They should have called both Utley and the batter out, inning over. By suspending Utley, MLB has basically admitted this rule has been violated and it should be 2-1 Mets, top 8. But because it is a judgement call, the Mets couldn't protest and so here we are.

TL;DR It was an illegal slide, as evidenced by the suspension instead of a rule change debate.

Again, the slide was out of the baseline, high and late. It's sometimes hard to justify one of those when they are really obvious, let alone all three.

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I have some thoughts on Utleys slide. I really liked it. Its a shame that Tejada was hurt so badly, but thats a great baseball play to me. Whether or not it was legal is up for debate, but if it is in fact illegal, why are people clamoring for rule change? If what happened to Tejada was due to something illegal, why would you want to change what is already legal? There are zero problems with slides within the current rules, one guy gets hurt on an illegal slide and everybody wants change to the rules. it doesnt make sense to me. I hate kneejerk reactions to single injuries that change the rules of an entire sport forever.

Maybe if it was your leg that had broken and you now had terrible pain in it, then you probably would think differently
No I would not think differently. I really feel this way about the rules. People get hurt playing sports sometimes
I read that Craig Biggio had his knee or leg blown up like that and also said the rule shouldn't be changed.

As for why he was called safe even without touching the base, once he was originally called out he didn't have to touch the base (because why would you if you were out?) so once the out is reversed he's safe automatically.

Now should have been called out for interference? Yeah most likely. Is it illegal? I don't know the official rule, but the eyeball test says it's illegal. Is it malicious and was there intent to injure and is utley the worst person since That guy who jacked up the AIDS pill price? No.

He was jogging off the field into the dugout right away without even waiting for the umpire's call. Had he been called safe, the Mets would have had the chance to tag him. But why would they even bother if he was called out?

And I get that he wasn't trying to kill Tejada. But it was clearly a late, high, dirty slide from a guy with a history of dirty slides. Utley should be held responsible for his reckless actions just like a hockey player who is careless with his stick is.

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All I'll say with regards to the Utley play is that there's a difference between a hard slide and just taking somebody out.

The fact that Utley never touched the base is all I need to hear in terms of what his intentions were. You look where the two made contact, Utley had to be about a foot and a half to the right of the base. He's not even in the baseline. He had just tackled Tejada like he was wide receiver coming across the middle, it would have been only been a marginally more dirty play in my view. There is simply no way you could tell me he was trying to slide into second and just hit Tejada by virtue of him getting in the way.

As it was the Dodgers may have taken game two because of that play. If the Mets turned the DP, the game is still tied at 2 going into the eighth and the complexion of the game completely changes.

The only question I have is would Utley have still been suspended had he been called out on the play? I don't expect an answer to that. MLB is going to deny it whether it would have been the case or not. I'm not sure what I would have done myself. I think the idea of any injury factoring into suspension is wrong, because you should be punishing the action and not the aftermath.

At the same time, you don't want to reward dirty play, especially in the playoffs and doing nothing about it would be doing just that. You're also just asking for this series to turn into a bean ball war if the conclusion is that its all on Tejada for what happened. Bad enough we got one guy hurt in this series. You don't need more guys going down because the umpires lost control and as mentioned before how do you expect them to do that if you have one team that's just livid at the other who feels like they've been seriously wronged? With the Utley suspension, the umpires can at least say to the Mets you got something out this, now drop it and focus on the task at hand which should be trying to win the NLDS and nothing else.

I think this is just one of those things where ideals and reality clash. Who's to say what's fair and not fair?

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All I'll say with regards to the Utley play is that there's a difference between a hard slide and just taking somebody out.

The fact that Utley never touched the base is all I need to hear in terms of what his intentions were. You look where the two made contact, Utley had to be about a foot and a half to the right of the base. He's not even in the baseline. He had just tackled Tejada like he was wide receiver coming across the middle, it would have been only been a marginally more dirty play in my view. There is simply no way you could tell me he was trying to slide into second and just hit Tejada by virtue of him getting in the way.

As it was the Dodgers may have taken game two because of that play. If the Mets turned the DP, the game is still tied at 2 going into the eighth and the complexion of the game completely changes.

The only question I have is would Utley have still been suspended had he been called out on the play? I don't expect an answer to that. MLB is going to deny it whether it would have been the case or not. I'm not sure what I would have done myself. I think the idea of any injury factoring into suspension is wrong, because you should be punishing the action and not the aftermath.

At the same time, you don't want to reward dirty play, especially in the playoffs and doing nothing about it would be doing just that. You're also just asking for this series to turn into a bean ball war if the conclusion is that its all on Tejada for what happened. Bad enough we got one guy hurt in this series. You don't need more guys going down because the umpires lost control and as mentioned before how do you expect them to do that if you have one team that's just livid at the other who feels like they've been seriously wronged? With the Utley suspension, the umpires can at least say to the Mets you got something out this, now drop it and focus on the task at hand which should be trying to win the NLDS and nothing else.

I think this is just one of those things where ideals and reality clash. Who's to say what's fair and not fair?

Nobody is saying that the contact was simply a coincidence. He was trying to break up the double play and its a play that has happened hundreds of times this year, just not as hard as Utley did it. His entire left arm went right over the bag which normally makes it a good play. What happened was Tejada broke his leg. If he doesn't get injured, nobody would even be talking about it. just like if Buster Posey never got injured, plays at the plate would still make sense.

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All I'll say with regards to the Utley play is that there's a difference between a hard slide and just taking somebody out.

The fact that Utley never touched the base is all I need to hear in terms of what his intentions were. You look where the two made contact, Utley had to be about a foot and a half to the right of the base. He's not even in the baseline. He had just tackled Tejada like he was wide receiver coming across the middle, it would have been only been a marginally more dirty play in my view. There is simply no way you could tell me he was trying to slide into second and just hit Tejada by virtue of him getting in the way.

As it was the Dodgers may have taken game two because of that play. If the Mets turned the DP, the game is still tied at 2 going into the eighth and the complexion of the game completely changes.

The only question I have is would Utley have still been suspended had he been called out on the play? I don't expect an answer to that. MLB is going to deny it whether it would have been the case or not. I'm not sure what I would have done myself. I think the idea of any injury factoring into suspension is wrong, because you should be punishing the action and not the aftermath.

At the same time, you don't want to reward dirty play, especially in the playoffs and doing nothing about it would be doing just that. You're also just asking for this series to turn into a bean ball war if the conclusion is that its all on Tejada for what happened. Bad enough we got one guy hurt in this series. You don't need more guys going down because the umpires lost control and as mentioned before how do you expect them to do that if you have one team that's just livid at the other who feels like they've been seriously wronged? With the Utley suspension, the umpires can at least say to the Mets you got something out this, now drop it and focus on the task at hand which should be trying to win the NLDS and nothing else.

I think this is just one of those things where ideals and reality clash. Who's to say what's fair and not fair?

Nobody is saying that the contact was simply a coincidence. He was trying to break up the double play and its a play that has happened hundreds of times this year, just not as hard as Utley did it. His entire left arm went right over the bag which normally makes it a good play. What happened was Tejada broke his leg. If he doesn't get injured, nobody would even be talking about it. just like if Buster Posey never got injured, plays at the plate would still make sense.

Correct. The thing that bugs me about plays like this is that when an important player gets taken out, then we change the rules.

Does anyone remember the Twins' failed experiment from Japan, Tsyushi Nishioka? In his 6th game (April, 2011, I think), he had his leg broken on a leg-whip by Nick Swisher...It was pretty much the same thing. Both Swisher and Utley could reach the bag with their arms but they both slid out of their way to break up the double play. Neither wanted to injure their opponent but that does not make it less reckless. Utley's slide was a little bit later, but for all intents and purposes, the act was the same.

After the Posey outcry, it occurred to me that the primary reason the home plate change was occurring but no changes had occurred for second base was the importance of the player. Whether I am right or wrong, the message from MLB, media, and fans was clear: home plate collisions were a problem; second base leg-whips were not. So now Utley does the same thing Swisher did, with the same result in a broken leg. As far as I can tell Utley did something that has been condoned by MLB, the media, and the fans. Suspending him seems to be pretty arbitrary; the NFL MLB seems to be making it up as it goes and basing their suspension on internet outrage. Utley had no reason to believe this "slide" would result in an out at first (it did not) or his suspension. To suspend him now for something that has always been condoned is wrong.

All that said, I personally feel a slide into the base should serve one purpose, landing safely at (without overrunning) the bag. That's it. I feel this kind of sliding is reckless. And now that it has happened in an important spot, if MLB reacts with a rule change for next year, that's fine by me. In fact, I hope so. I think this practice is reckless and don't feel that barreling into a guy is really the way a double-play is to be stopped.

(Regarding Nishioka; try not to take this as a Twins fan belly-aching. Anyone who remembers Nishioka knows that his injury was no big loss for the Twins. It's funny though, part of the problem there was said to be that he was ill-prepared because they just don't do that in Japan. I suppose we can thump our chests and call 'em wussies, but I rather like that about their game).

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The rules don't even have to be changed. Had the existing rule been enforced, Utley (and Kendrick) would have been called out.

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The rules don't even have to be changed. Had the existing rule been enforced, Utley (and Kendrick) would have been called out.

If Utley was going for the bag the play would have been fine.

But when the fielder is more then a foot off the bag, how can you argue your intention was anything other then I was trying to take out the fielder, which under the current rules is interference and not legal.

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He didn't even start to slide until he was even with the bag, and then it seemed like he did it at a funky angle, missing the bag entirely on purpose.

I don't think he meant to injure him, but rather distract him so the guy would throw an error as he was throwing to 1st. Utley thought he was out as he saw him "touch the bag" and turn.... at least that's my opinion.

2 games is fair.

Let's Go Blue Jays.

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The rules don't even have to be changed. Had the existing rule been enforced, Utley (and Kendrick) would have been called out.

If Utley was going for the bag the play would have been fine.

But when the fielder is more then a foot off the bag, how can you argue your intention was anything other then I was trying to take out the fielder, which under the current rules is interference and not legal.

True, a rule change would be needed to eliminate hard takeout slides where the runner is still in the basepaths. I just meant in this case.

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The rules don't even have to be changed. Had the existing rule been enforced, Utley (and Kendrick) would have been called out.

If Utley was going for the bag the play would have been fine.

But when the fielder is more then a foot off the bag, how can you argue your intention was anything other then I was trying to take out the fielder, which under the current rules is interference and not legal.

True, a rule change would be needed to eliminate hard takeout slides where the runner is still in the basepaths. I just meant in this case.

Yes, but I don't think Utley was in the base line. If that play occurred on the bag, or near the bag that's fine. But where that play happened its not even close.

I don't think there is a rule change needed either. The umps just blew the call.

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Haha, we are on the same page then. Should've been called a DP.

Edit: And it looks like the Mets did have a shot at the double play anyway, so all this talk about the neighborhood play not applying is wrong.

Therefore the play shouldn't have been reviewable, Utley should have been out regardless of the legality of the slide.

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Anyone curious as to how TBS is going to handle this double-header? Cards-Cubs starts at 6, Dodgers-Mets at 8:30. I'm pretty sure there's not much chance the Cardinals and Cubs will be done by 8:30.

Seems like an odd decision by TBS and MLB to schedule the games 2.5 hours apart.

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Anyone curious as to how TBS is going to handle this double-header? Cards-Cubs starts at 6, Dodgers-Mets at 8:30. I'm pretty sure there's not much chance the Cardinals and Cubs will be done by 8:30.

Seems like an odd decision by TBS and MLB to schedule the games 2.5 hours apart.

Bigger strike zone.

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Anyone curious as to how TBS is going to handle this double-header? Cards-Cubs starts at 6, Dodgers-Mets at 8:30. I'm pretty sure there's not much chance the Cardinals and Cubs will be done by 8:30.

Seems like an odd decision by TBS and MLB to schedule the games 2.5 hours apart.

The Dodgers/Mets game will start on TNT.

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Houston's bullpen may have just dropped this game on its head. Yikes. That 6-2 lead was very short lived.

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What an absolute meltdown by the Astros today. That's gonna be hard to bounce back from.

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What an absolute meltdown by the Astros today. That's gonna be hard to bounce back from.

What an absolute meltdown by the state of Texas today. Rangers down 7-1, Astros blow a 4 run lead.........

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