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Utley the Untouchable: How a Dirty Slide Turned a Ballplayer into the Baseball Equal of Elliot Ness

from: blacksportsonline.com This slide injured Ruben Tejada in the NLDS series between the Mets and Dodgers and has made Chase Utley public enemy number 1 for Mets fans at Citi Field.

from: blacksportsonline.com
This slide injured Ruben Tejada in the NLDS series between the Mets and Dodgers and has made Chase Utley public enemy number 1 for Mets fans at Citi Field.

For those not familiar, Elliot Ness was a member of the so-called, “Untouchables”, a group of federal agents who were fearless in utilizing Prohibition laws to take down the legendary criminal Al Capone.

Utley is just as fearless and just as “untouchable” but for a very different reason.

In last year’s NLDS, the former Phillies’ second baseman, who had tormented Mets fans with his bat for years, became a key figure for the Dodgers.

In game 2 of the series, Utley attempted to break up a double-play by sliding well beyond the base to knock over then Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada.

The slide broke Tejada’s leg, ending his season, and earned Utley a suspension that was later overturned because the rule on the books was unclear in relation to slides at second base.

The slide led to a rule change, but Utley was allowed to start 2016 on the field for the Dodgers.

Although the teams had played three playoff games, and five prior regular season, nothing had happened until last night.

Arguably, nothing happened last night either.

Noah Syndergaard, in the third inning of last night’s game, threw a fastball behind Utley and with no warning, was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Adam Hamari. Manager Terry Collins was also ejected.

The only reasoning for an ejection would be a preconceived notion from the home plate umpire that Utley would be thrown at.  I’m sorry, aren’t umpires supposed to be impartial?

So now, Utley can sit in a lawn-chair at home plate and wait comfortably for his pitch knowing that Mets’ pitchers can’t pitch anywhere near the inside of the plate.

Chase Utley, untouchable, just like Elliot Ness and his group of prohibitionists.

 

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