During Game 2 of last year’s National League Division Series, Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley ended up breaking Ruben Tejada’s leg with a slide into second base. That slide, which has now been outlawed by Major League Baseball, earned Utley a suspension. It appears, according to various sources, that the suspension is no longer happening.
In a Los Angeles Times article released today, it sounds as if the higher-ups at MLB decided to drop the case and suspension against Utley because it was, in effect, retroactively punishing him for something that wasn’t yet outlawed in the rules of the game. According to the report, Utley now won’t be suspended.
Major League Baseball has dropped its suspension of the Dodgers’ Chase Utley, a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to discuss it told The Times on Sunday.
Utley essentially won his case on an appeal. While he didn’t play in either of the final two games of last year’s NLDS, Major League Baseball still went through with a suspension. Utley ended up appealing that ruling, and the result today is a byproduct of him appealing the suspension.
The veteran second baseman only hit .202 with the Dodgers last season in 141 plate appearances. He also had 3 home runs, 9 runs batted in, and 14 runs scored. Utley is a former All-Star looking to still make an impact on a team that has a chance to win a World Series.
Utley, now 37 years old, is entering his 14th season in the Majors, and one that will likely see him enshrined into the Hall of Fame when it’s all said and done. He re-signed with the Dodgers for one year and $7 million back in December. He will, most likely, retire after this season.