The Art of the Slide

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Seems like this has become a huge issue so far this season for the MLB. I feel like it has been more hurtful this year than many of the years before. Sliding into second to break up a double play has brought down a few players so far. I mean I have only seen Jung Ho Kang and Ruben Tejada with my own eyes, but I assume there to be a lot more. Seems like dirty slides are becoming more and more dirty with the season going on. I mean to some people Chris Coghlan‘s slide was dirty, and to some it was clean. Everyone has a different outlook on these slides and I think if you are a baseball player you mostly side with the non-dirty slide side of the argument because you may have been the slider to break up a double play and tie the game or even give your team the lead. I get the fact that these teams need to break up the double play, but I mean to what extent. Two guys have gone down with some serious injuries, Kang with a torn MCL and fractured leg and Tejada with a fractured right fibula. That all just sounds like it hurts.

It just feels like there will be some change coming from the MLB soon because of how relevant the injury is now. I mean it probably happens a lot more than I think, and the field player is taught to jump over the runner, but sometimes it always does not happen. It sometimes is just an unfortunate situation where the baserunner is helping his team and just hits the fielder right in the wrong spot. I see some instances of where Coghlan could have avoided the contact but it is baseball and that is part of the game. Also, Kang had his own dirty slide last year I think where he was at least 5 feet of the base going for the fielder, I could not find the video of course, but here is a refresher on Coghlan’s slide.

Then to last night’s Mets and Dodgers game. I realized a man I sort of looked up to in baseball for just always being there and seemingly always being good defensively, Chase Utley is a dirty slider. I found a lot of tweets and pictures of Utley making dirty slides, seemingly in an attempt to hurt the player and break up the double play. Now I know it is not his intention to hurt the player, but his slide begs to differ. The manner in which he slides and how late he started to slide last night really showed me he had intent to hurt.

Horrible call by the umps last night calling him safe. Utley never even came close to the base and then left his helmet on the field and left the field of play. Great tweet here to show you that no matter what he should have been out. He left the field of play accepting he was out. Just so many ways he should have been out and it is really a disgrace to baseball and how well the Mets played before the slide. I think the Mets have the better team, even their pitching rivals each other. These are two well matched teams, but one dirty slide could end up hurting the Mets, which sickens me. To think that the only way the Dodgers even tied the game was to hurt another player. But that is baseball to some people, I get sliding to break up double plays, but there should be a line. I do not know if I see or want a rule change, but something needs to happen with these players and I think Chase Utley lost a lot of respect around baseball last night. Here are a few more instances of his dirty slides over the years, even had another one on Tejada in 2010.

Last point I really like that Keith Olbermann brought up through his twitter.

Even Chipper Jones was pretty upset at Utley.

Well you are either with the guy or against him and I am pretty sure Utley has been slid into a few times in his day, but that is baseball and we will see what happens in the coming days.

UPDATE 8:52 PM: It appears that MLB’s attention was raised, and Chase Utley will be suspended:

Note that it leaves the reasonable option for the player to appeal, which Utley will.

The consensus appears to be that this is a bit of a sham decision by MLB even if the slide was dirty and the call on the field was incorrect.  Hopefully nobody gets beaned in tomorrow’s Game 3 between the Dodgers and Mets, but let the hot takes resume…

 

About Drew

South-side guy who loves the Cubs and has never heard the end of the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series and how its been 100+ years since the Cubs have. Hoping the hardware comes to the North Side sooner rather than later. Follow me on Twitter @DrewPoo92

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