Utley to appeal two game suspension for illegal slide
(Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley has been suspended for two games for taking out New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada with an illegal slide in a playoff game on Saturday, though he will appeal the decision.
Major League Baseball chief baseball officer Joe Torre said Utley would miss games three and four of the best-of-five National League Division Series as a penalty for his hard slide in the seventh inning that broke Tejada's right leg.
"After thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley's action warrants discipline," Torre said in a statement on Sunday.
"While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base." Utley's agent Joel Wolfe said he would appeal the decision.
"Chase did what all players are taught to do in this situation break up the double play," Wolfe said in a statement.
"We routinely see plays at second base similar to this one that have not resulted in suspensions.
"Chase feels terrible about Ruben Tejada's injury and everyone who knows him knows that he would never intentionally hurt anybody. We will be appealing this suspension immediately."
The Dodgers also said they supported his decision to appeal, which is expected to be heard before the third game of the series that is locked at 1-1 in New York on Monday.
(Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both/Greg Stutchbury)
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