The Sliding Scales of Baseball Justice

If you follow baseball, you know what happened, but just in case, here’s a quick recap. During Saturday night’s game between the Mets and Dodgers, Chase Utley was the runner at first when there was a ground ball up the middle. If the Mets turned a double play, the Dodgers were out of the inning, so Utley had only one goal, to break up the double play. Anyone who knows anything about baseball knows that. Utley wasn’t trying to make it to second safely, he was trying to break up the double play. He slid very late, like when he was on the bag late. He succeeded in breaking up the double play, but Ruben Tejada, the Mets’ shortstop, broke his leg on the play.
It was announced today that Utley will be suspended for the next two games. That strikes me as completely ridiculous. Yes, it was a late slide, but the injury was an unfortunate accident. Utley wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. And, frankly, if Tejada had been in the proper position, he wouldn’t have gotten hurt. Utley has slid like that dozens of times and never gotten suspended for it before. And Utley is a second baseman. He’s had people slide into him like that dozens of times before, and they never got suspended. It was an unfortunate accident, that’s it. There’s no need for a suspension or a rule change. Let’s just go back to watching baseball, and hope Tejada fully recovers in time for next year.

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