With the new baseball season creeping up on us, New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada is still waiting for an apology from the man who ended his 2015 season, Chase Utley.
In Game 2 of the National League Division Series last year, the eventual National League champions lost their shortstop for the remainder of the postseason after Utley took a hard slide into second base, fracturing Tejada’s right leg in the process. Months later, has Utley reached out to Tejada?
“No,” Tejada told the New York Post. “He sent me a couple of things. But nothing has changed. I haven’t talked to him.’’
Utley has a history of playing the game at a hard level and he has never been one to apologize for his approach to the game. You either love him or you hate him, and Mets fans have long had reason to hate the longtime Philadelphia Phillie, who was traded to the Dodgers last season.
Utley’s hard slide has forced Major League Baseball to evaluate its rules in the offseason, leading to the discussion of what is now being called “The Utley Rule” to protect infielders in the same manner catchers are now protected at home plate. When asked about the potential rule changes, Utley has said everyone should abide by them and play within the rules.
The Dodgers and Mets are scheduled to meet for the first time this season in late May, at which time Tejada will wait to see if Utley approaches him.
“I would hear what he has to say first before I said anything,” Tejada said. “I would like to hear an apology.’’
Utley may apologize, but deep down inside, it is unlikely Utley feels he did absolutely anything wrong and would surely do it again if he felt it gave his team a chance to win.