Forgive me in advance for the inevitable hyperbole here. It's because I'm upset, and this is ridiculous.
Chase Utley should be arrested for assault.
This was just so clear. Utley hates the Mets. The Mets hate Utley. The Dodgers were desperate. Utley did what he felt he needed to do, and he didn't feel bad, because he is a bad bad man.
This is going to down in history as one of the worst plays the game has ever seen.
Utley wasn't anywhere near the base. He never even touched the thing. And he was ruled safe! I've never heard of a player being safe, when he failed to touch the base altogether!
Lots of players have tweeted reactions but Justin Upton said it best - "If that was a superstar shortstop we would have a Tulo Rule being enforced tomorrow."
He's absolutely right. In any case, though, something must be done. Utley has been suspended two games, but that's not enough.
It's not take-out slides that need to be outlawed. I don't have an inherent problem with a player trying to break up a double play. To me, that is part of the game. What needs to be removed from baseball is this kind of slide. The kind where there is no attempt made at touching the bag. The tackle. That's not baseball.
I actually defended these tough slides a few weeks ago when the Pirates' Jung Ho Kang went down after a nasty slide. But that was different - the player who took Kang out seemed to have at least tried to slide into the base. That's not the case with Utley. He made no attempt to do anything other than completely incapacitate Ruben Tejada.
That's where the distinction comes in - there must, must, must be intent on the sliding player's part to get the base. This is not football. Chase Utley hates the Mets, so he took it upon himself to go to crazy lengths to hurt their chances of winning. And that's not OK.
Today's game is going to be fascinating. The Mets will certainly look to appease this ridiculous loss from Saturday night. My gut is the umpires will issue warnings to both teams before the game even starts - they won't want any shenanigans in this game. If they don't issue warnings, expect to see a Dodgers' player hit right away. Frankly, I'd plunk the first batter who walks up with the first pitch he sees. Send the message: the Mets will not stand for this.