If you own a phone, TV, or computer there’s about a 99% chance you’ve seen Chase Utley wipe out Ruben Tejada more times than you can count.
I’m not writing this to convince anybody that the slide was dirty or not. Practically all of the baseball loving world has an unbreakable opinion on the matter. There is zero point in trying to sway people one way or another. Interpret it how you want baseball fans.
I do realize, that no matter how you slice it, the worst outcome possible happened. Two players in the midst of October baseball found themselves in a career altering event. One is a grizzled veteran, lauded for his Pete Rose-esque hustle for years-on-end. The other is a budding talent on a young and promising team, who was getting his first taste of playoff baseball. They both tried to make a tough play. Devastating injury ensued. No decent human being would ever want to see that happen.
Regardless of opinion, the treatment of Chase Utley is a shame.
The media has every right to call him out on the slide. The Mets fans at Citi Field had every right to boo him. But some of the things being said about Utley are vile.
If you think it was the worst slide ever and think he should be reprimanded, that’s reasonable.
But if you think one slide makes him the anti-Christ, please think again.
There are so many more examples, just google it.
So one slide and people are treating him like he shot John Lennon, invented the income tax, and kidnapped all the wild killer whales and stuck them in SeaWorld ???
That’s a *bleeping* travesty.
I’m not writing this as a fan. I’m writing this as a person tired of our respectable athletes getting crucified by fans and mainstream media, while athletes and celebrities that are; punks, jerks, and criminals face a lot less scrutiny (There’s too many for me to start listing them).
So the guy that started a foundation resulting in over $1 million for the Philadelphia PSPCA, gave a cancer survivor the experience of a lifetime, nearly always signed autographs for his fans before games, and even apologized for the slide,(just to name a few) deserves to be dragged through the mud and have his character and integrity slammed ?
Not a chance.
Dirty or not, one play can’t define a single person.
The slide will probably be the catalyst behind a new rule pertaining to breaking up double plays. A “rule” lacking specifics and guidelines will be surely adjusted. It only took how many years for this topic to come to the forefront of our attention ? The slide in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS will become synonymous with how not to fly into second base. It needs to be.
And the legacy of Chase Utley will suffer for it. Like it or not.