Monday, October 12, 2015

Utley Suspended Games 3 & 4 of League Division Series

Perhaps out of a desire on Major League Baseball's part to make sure they don't have a brawl on their hands at Citi Field on Monday night, they have suspended Public Enemy No. 1, Chase Utley from playing in both Game 3 and 4, but not the entire series.

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre, who is the League's disciplinary czar came down with the ruling that Utley should be suspended for his tackling of Ruben Tejada at second base that resulted in Tejada breaking his leg. While the suspension is nice, Utley has appealed, and word is the appeal will not be heard on Monday, meaning Utley could play in Game 3.

Overall this is a total disaster that accomplishes nothing. What is a suspension of Utley for just the games at Citi Field, and not the series really say about what baseball thinks of the slide? What about the umpires who made the horrible ruling to begin with? And how about reviewing the rules of instant replay?

Of course we have no answers to any of those questions and more.

The fact that baseball suspended Utley for only two games and not the rest of the series, let alone the entire postseason is a joke in itself. It's baseball's way of trying to placate to the Mets, while also acknowledging they had no problem with the slide. Again, if it were Troy Tulowitzki, not Ruben Tejada, who broke his leg, I guarantee Utley would have been suspended for the entire postseason and fined a pretty penny.

In addition there is no word on an investigation of the umpires or discussion of a possible rules change to allow teams the ability to challenge for a review on interference. While Utley got away with a dirty slide on Saturday, he is getting away with it even more here, with a suspension that means nothing while baseball hides from taking responsibility for botching the call at second to begin with.

Don't expect the suspension to go anywhere either. Utley will play, because the Players Union will make sure he does -- another hypocritical mess that is the result of this mess. Baseball should have discipline Utley a long time ago and they let him get away with it for far too long.

Worst of all, even with this move what does it mean for this series? Nothing. The series may have been flipped because of that play. If the Dodgers win this series, everyone will point to that play at second as being the turning point. And that in itself is the biggest crime of all.

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