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Cheap shot or good baseball?

The baseball playoffs are underway this weekend and we’ve already seen some great games. Perhaps the most notable thus far, and one that will be discussed in detail in the off-season, is last night’s match-up between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

With the Dodgers down 1 game to none in a best-of-5 series, the pressure was on LA to get a win at home before the series moves to New York. By the 7th inning, that prospect was starting to seem unlikely, as Mets pitcher, Bartolo Colon was shutting down the heavy-hitting Dodgers with a 2-1 lead. Then, with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out, this happened…..

The play scored a run to tie the game. The Mets shortstop, Ruben Tejada, suffered a broken leg, and the Dodgers went on to score 3 more runs, winning the game 5-2 and evening up the series at 1 apiece.

Now, it is certainly the responsibility of the runner to try and break up a double-play. But did Chase Utley go too far in doing so? He clearly goes out of the base path, ignores the base, and aims for the defender rather than the bag.  A baseball catcher has protective gear and isn’t even subjected to this type of contact.  For that matter, even an NFL receiver would likely be classified as “defenseless” in this same position in relation to the opponent, and a similar hit be penalized.

Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, has decided that the slide “certainly was late”, and suspended Utley for 2 games. Utley has said he will appeal the decision.

You decide. Did Torre make the right decision?

The bar is open.