Sports reporters are having a heyday with Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley’s recent post-season slide into New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. Most sports media pundits agree Utley went in too late and too high. As a result, Tejada’s right leg was broken.
Sports pundits now are debating whether or not Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, was correct in suspending Utley for what many seem to agree was a dirty play where the Dodgers’ infielder was more intent on taking out Tejada than in reaching second base. As FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal put it, “I’ve got no problem with baseball suspending the Dodgers’ Chase Utley….” http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chase-utley-ruben-tejada-slide-2nd-base-broken-leg-2-game-suspension-new-rule-mets-dodgers-101115
But while sports journalists are debating whether Torre’s two-day suspension is or is not excessive, it’s curious why these reporters are arguing over what amounts to a mere slap-on-the-wrist warning. Why, for example, are sports writers not recommending suspending Utley for the entire time Tejada is sidelined with a broken leg?
A two-day –- or less –- suspension will do nothing to curb Utley’s future play, protect other shortstops or help put an end to dirty plays. A suspension with teeth will send a message to baseball thugs.
Sports writers, those call-it-like-it-is journalists, are missing this story in the same way umpires missed the Utley-Tejada call. And two wrong calls don’t make a meaningless suspension right.
All that said, no doubt all’s well that ends well as the Mets beat the Dodgers Thursday in game 5. Fittingly, Utley lined out as a pinch hitter in the Dodgers’ futile 9th inning.