It’s been a whirlwind the past few days for Chase Utley and the Los Angeles Dodgers, more than just the normal whirlwind associated with a playoff series.
Utley was suspended two games by Major League Baseball for a takeout slide in Saturday’s Game 2 victory. The slide was late and broke Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg; however, Utley was attempting to break up a double play and denied any malicious intent. Once the suspension was announced, the veteran infielder appealed, making him available until the appeal process is completed. It was thought that the appeal would be heard before Game 3, but that wasn’t enough time for Utley and the MLB Players Association to make his case.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, the appeal hearing has been set:
Source: Chase Utley's appeal hearing has been scheduled for next Monday (Oct. 19).
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 13, 2015
That date makes Utley available for the rest of the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS, should the Dodgers advance that far. It’s believed that the suspension could be overturned or reduced because it lacks a precedent. Also, it was reported that MLB offered Utley a one-game suspension before they eventually handed him a two-game suspension.
Utley did not play in Game 3 after being booed during player introductions. Mets fans chanted “We want Utley” throughout the night, although manager Terry Collins said he instructed starter Matt Harvey to not retaliate.
In order for the hearing to matter this year, the Dodgers need to first win on Tuesday night with their ace on the mound.