Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley was scheduled to have a appeal hearing for his two-game suspension on October 19. Utley was suspended two games by Major League Baseball after a late slide in Game 2 of the NLDS that broke up a double play and fractured the fibula of New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.
Utley was originally suspended for Games 3 and 4 of the NLDS; however, he appealed the suspension and was allowed to play until his case was heard. It was an unprecedented suspension for a takeout slide and Utley didn’t believe he should be suspended for a play that has been generally accepted. Had the Dodgers made the NLCS, the appeal hearing was scheduled for the off day between Game 2 and Game 3.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Utley won’t have his appeal on Monday after all:
Sources: Utley’s hearing, scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed to later this year and possibly spring. With #Dodgers out, no urgency.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 18, 2015
With the Dodgers elimination, Utley could still be suspended, but it wouldn’t be until the 2016 season. Utley may not even be with the Dodgers next season, making the idea of a suspension less likely. Instead of using Utley as an example in the postseason, MLB may just decide to change the rule on takeout slides at second base, or at least better enforce the rule that is already in place. Utley has an $11 million option for the 2016 season that the Dodgers might not pick up considering he would be nothing more than a backup and veteran presence.