We’re about a half day removed from last night’s disastrous 7th inning of the NLDS in which a Chase Utley rolling tackle not only broke up what would’ve been an inning ending double play, but also managed to knock Mets SS Ruben Tejada out of the playoffs. Depending on your perspective, Utley’s either a hard-nosed vet whose penchant for physical violence might’ve saved the Dodgers season, or he’s a serial offender, reduced in the twilight of his career to earn a playoff roster spot thru goonery.
Either way, even the most ardent Mets fan will admit the situation called for some attempt at breaking up the DP, and had the aggressor been, say, Michael Cuddyer trying to interfere with a Dodger infielder, it is highly unlikely said rooters would’ve found the actions nearly as diabolical.
What none of the above explains, however, is precisely how the Dodgers were granted a 4th out or how Daniel Murphy’s flip to Tejada was considered wild enough to nullify an almost-universally observed neighborhood play. Putting aside for a moment the insanity of Cal Ripken arguing Utley’s collision with Tejada, “looked worse than it was” (tell that to Tejada, carted from the field, placed in an air cast and left to hope Wilmer Flores’ storybook 2015 has another chapter), why was Tejada’s foot on the bag worthy of review but Utley’s inability to come within a fuckin’ mile of the sack apparently has nothing to do with whether he’s safe or out? Perhaps Terry Collins was more concerned with Tejada’s immediate welfare to have the presence of mind to make a challenge of his own, but was there no thought of calling Utley out for interference and ruling the inning over? Among other targets, Metsradamus turns his attention to MLB’s video replay crew of Kerwin Danley, Paul Nauert, Brian O’Nora and Tim Welke :
Kerwin Danley, Paul Nauert, Brian O’Nora and Tim Welke are the replay officials. And they jumped through hoops to try to explain why they called Utley safe because Tejada never touched the bag even though MLB made clear when replay was instituted that the neighborhood play wasn’t meant to be looked at by replay. Their explanation was that Murphy’s throw pulled Tejada off the bag so it wasn’t a neighborhood play. Total crap. Tejada was moving towards the bag during the throw and all Tejada did was reach up for it. His line to the bag never changed, so he wasn’t pulled off anything. And yet the replay officials still never came up with a suitable explanation as to why Utley was ruled safe when he never touched the base himself because he never made an effort to do so!!!
So the replay officials will look at a toe off the base all day but nobody looks at that slide?
And neither did Joe Torre, who at least to his credit said the slide was late. I wish he would have conceded that because the slide was late, he should have been called out and so should have Howie Kendrick.
But I do applaud MLB’s ability to make stuff up on the fly to cover their own. Their own who changed the outcome of a playoff game by awarding a safe call to a runner who never had any intention of touching a base.