Monday, October 12, 2015

THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL SLIDE SINCE THE CHA-CHA SLIDE:  Will Leitch explains why the two-game suspension of Chase Utley (YATM) is so troubling (to me, at least):
It took one play, the Buster Posey broken leg, to make people realize that this was no longer what they wanted baseball to be, and they used it to change the game. The one thing MLB didn't do after that play was suspend Scott Cousins, the Marlin who ran into Posey in the first place. How could you? He was just doing what everybody does in that situation. Now, if he were to do that now, he'd be suspended, because the rule has been put into place: Everyone in baseball knows that MLB takes getting rid of home-plate collisions seriously and acts accordingly. But players don't know that with pivot plays. That's why Utley did it. That's why Chris Goghlan did it when his slide took out the Pirates' Jung Ho Kang in September. That's why everybody does it. Because no one has told them they can't. Because 100 years of baseball has told them they should.... 
It is reacting to the public response to a play rather than the play itself. Now, I understand why everyone is so angry. Tejada is out of the playoffs now. The Mets lost a game they might not have otherwise. Utley was defiant afterward. The optics are bad. But that is precisely why you don't suspend Utley. When you suspend Utley, you are not fixing the circumstances that led to the situation happening. You are reacting to how angry people are. People want blood, and you're giving it to them.

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