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Good school?

If you had the chance to watch and/or see the replay, what did you think of the Jesus Flores-Chase Utley home plate collision last night? Was Utley being clean, or was he being Brian Urlacher? After the game, the consensus in the Nats' clubhouse seemed to be that the play was understandable, not dirty. It was a tight ballgame. Philadelphia is in a pennant race. And that's what you do during plays at the plate: If the catcher's blocking the plate -- and Flores does it well -- you go in hard.

Deadlines prevented a true sampling -- I'm guessing Gallup doesn't conduct its research in such a frenzied state -- but even with tape recorders off, those in the Washington clubhouse appeared OK with the play.

As for on-the-record comments...

John Lannan: "That's just the way [Utley] plays. It wasn't dirty. That's just the way he plays, and that run, in a playoff race, he's going to do whatever he can to get an extra run. ... Everybody knows how he plays, so it wasn't dirty."

Ryan Zimmerman: "He's a player that plays hard. I don't know if it was out of line, but I don't think it was. Kind of just unfortunate."

Manny Acta: "We looked at the video several times, and he was right in front of the plate, he went hard at him just trying to knock the ball out of his glove... We didn't think it was a dirty play. When you're trying to knock the ball out of the catcher's hand, you usually go head-first."

And as for the Philadelphia perspective...

Chase Utley: "[Lannan] kind of has a slow delivery to the plate and a slow delivery to first base. If figured, if he picks off, I might have a possibility of stealing home. I was ready for it. I felt like I got a good jump... I thought the only opportunity to be safe was to knock the ball loose. I didn't know he was hurt until I went back on the field. I do feel bad that he's hurt. My intention was definitely not to hurt him. My intention was to try to knock the ball loose."

Charlie Manuel: "That's the way you play. I wish every one of my players played that way. That would be good."

Manuel was then asked if he considered the play old school.

"Don't say 'old school.' That's 'good school.' That's not old school, that's good school. That's the way you play the game unless you want to put some rouge and makeup and lipstick on."

By Chico Harlan  |  September 3, 2008; 7:53 AM ET
 
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Next: Nats: Flores expected back this year

Comments

Carrying forward (now, with an add-on):

he he ... sorry, ce. I guess that I was too busy putting on rouge and makeup and lipstick. What the? Do people even wear rouge, anymore, Charlie? (Other than, say, your momma?)

"I wish every one of my players would play that way. That would be good. Don't say 'old school.' That's good school. That's the way you play the game. Unless you want to put some rouge and makeup and lipstick on you."

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 7:34 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

As for the play, I don't know about clean or not, but it definitely irked me (mostly because Flores was injured, I think). My initial thoughts were something along the lines of Utley's words in response to his being booed at the All-Star Game in NY this year (i.e., Clean? @#$* you.)

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

"Don't say 'old school.' That's 'good school.' That's not old school, that's good school. That's the way you play the game unless you want to put some rouge and makeup and lipstick on."

Love it.

Posted by: Quote of the Year | September 3, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Chico, someone needs to proofread the listings in the paper better, which say that tonight Joe Blanton is pitching for the Nats and Odalis Perez is up for the Phillies - or else you have been scooped badly.

On Utley at the plate, it reminded me a lot of Austin Kearns, who is aggressive in the same situation, and I would consider it part of the game.

Flynnie, Mike Hinckley's performance was the big bright spot in the Nats' performance last night, and it will be good to see more from him.

Posted by: Traveler | September 3, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Nonsense. Find me a video of Kearns hurling himself like a linebacker. He doesn't do it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Not on purpose? From Aug 1 of this year on Philly.com:

Posted on Fri, Aug. 1, 2008


Utley a target? Charlie thinks so

By DAVID MURPHY
Philadelphia Daily News

dmurphy@phillynews.com
WASHINGTON - Though the Phillies did not react on the field last night, they certainly took notice of Nationals reliever Jesus Colome's eighth-inning pitch that hit Chase Utley in the back.

"The catcher set right in behind him," Manuel said. "Yeah, he threw at him. No doubt about it."

The play was likely in retaliation for two pitches by Kyle Kendrick that hit batters, one of which got Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman on the wrist and knocked him out of the game. Utley appeared to glare at Colome as he ran to first base, but that was the extent of the fireworks.

Could there be retaliation in store in the future?

"That's something you don't say a word about," Manuel said.

Utley took the high road after the game.

"It's part of the game. No big deal," he said. "The important thing is, we won."

But his teammates took notice.

"It's a baseball thing, it definitely is," short stop Jimmy Rollins said coyly. "But there's a little more to that baseball thing."

Coincidentally, the pitcher who started the game for the Nationals, lefty John Lannan, was the man who broke Utley's wrist with a pitch last year, sending him to the disabled list.

That catcher? Jesus Flores. The pitcher? John Lannan. It's the last time the Phillies faced that battery.


Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Kearn is no school. Or high school. When was the last time Austin hit the weight room? Seriously, he is a stick. Somebody tell him to stop shooting HGH into his ears!

Philly should be lucky Utley didn't dislocate his shoulder.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I've refrained from commenting until today to give me some time to think.
I'm really upset the way Utley left his feet. That's a huge no-no in my book. You want to drive a shoulder into him, like Pete Rose did to Ray Fosse in the 1970 all-star game? Fair enough, but notice Rose didn't leave his feet. I'm upset about it, and I hope Jesus gets well, and soon.

Posted by: Section 138 | September 3, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The play at the plate was hard-nosed baseball. Remember Ray Fosse?

Posted by: 425 | September 3, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Ray Fosse is Exhibit A of when "hard-nosed baseball" crosses the line, 425.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. Kearns plays clean. And he is most definitely NOT a stick. Have you seen him up close? Tree trunks for thighs.
________________
Nonsense. Find me a video of Kearns hurling himself like a linebacker. He doesn't do it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 9:05 AM

Posted by: Kearns's mom, er, I mean NatsNut | September 3, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

That play was EXTREMELY close to a dirty play... I have no problem trying to knock the ball out of the glove (Flores was totally blocking the plate and asking for the contact) but I have a problem with Utley catching air and going in like a Scud missile.

Posted by: Ryan | September 3, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Nice find 506! Definitely feels like revenge, doesn't it? That's baseball.

I remember an old Jackie Robinson story (couldn't find it after a brief search). Jackie R once scored a run, but didn't stop running. He slammed smack into the pitcher who was backing up home, obviously leveling the guy. His teammates asked him, why did he crush the pitcher? Jackie said, eight years ago, that guy beaned me.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"The play at the plate was hard-nosed baseball. Remember Ray Fosse?"

Remember Ray Fosse??? Are you kidding me? He was never heard from again after that vicious attack by that crimimal, Rose, in a meaningless game. Fosse had a great future, which all went up in smoke and he was never the same.

Posted by: sock hop | September 3, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Agreed. Kearns plays clean. And he is most definitely NOT a stick. Have you seen him up close? Tree trunks for thighs."

I actually try to avoid looking at him at all costs. I avoid looking at his season stats when he's at the plate. And I typically close my eyes to avoid watching him whiff.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the play was dirty, but Utley does need to reign it in. Leaving his feet to go in very much like Brian Urlacher, is just plain dumb. Flores got the worse of it just because his foot got caught, Utley just as easily could have broken his collar bone (of course then we'd all be laughing our @sses off).

Play hard, play tough, but don't be stupid out there. If guys start doing this more often and getting hurt next thing you know they'll give them shoulder pads and then things really get out of control.

I was part of a big debate a long time ago working with the NCAA about helmets for Women's Lacrosse, my view was (and is) that the more protective gear you use the MORE violent the game becomes and thus players will be MORE likely to get hurt.

Posted by: estuartj | September 3, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Following up on yesterday's discussion on our 1B options for next year and FA vs Trade options...this is from mlbtr.com

Q: Which names do you think are going to be floated around this off season in regards to trades and major acquisitions?

A: Lot of first basemen...Howard, Fielder, Jacobs come to mind. Holliday should be mentioned. I will have to think about which starters.

Posted by: estuartj | September 3, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

You either slide to avoid the tag or try to run through the catcher to knock the ball loose. You don't dive into the catcher helmet-first.

I don't think it was intentionally dirty, but it was recklessly stupid . Too bad the wrong player got injured on that play.

Posted by: joebleux | September 3, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

mlb.com has the replay of the collision and the 2nd angle is right down the 3rd base line. From that angle, you can see Flores blocking the entire plate.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I said it last night, but to me it's pretty simple, and the "old school"/flynnie/Charlie Manuel side and my lip-stick-wearing sides will probably never agree.

Manuel/flynnie/et. al. basically believe that more or less anything is ok, as long as it's not specifically banned by the rules. Under this line of thinking, Rose's assault on Ray Fosse was great, Jack Tatum was just a hard, clean player, Ray Allen's chop-blocking is fair game, Roy Williams's horse-collaring was good, clean football before it was outlawed--all these plays were once "how the game is played." The old school says all this stuff is not just ok, but you are a lip-stick wearing wuss if you don't take advantage of the opportunity to take out the other guy. Daryl Stingley, Ray Fosse, and Jesus Flores have nothing to complain about. They knew the risks when they took the field.

To me, though, a play is dirty if it's highly likely to get the other player hurt. This case is even worse, because the safer play, a hook slide, would have actually been a better way to score. He actually reduced his ability to score in his desire to show what a big man he is. The intent to injure the player is much clearer when there's actually a better option available that is safer for the opponent.

But for whatever reason, the tradition in MLB is that it's ok to destroy catchers like this. By this rationale, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't also be ok to blind-side the first baseman on a close play at first. On every groundball ever hit the runner could increase his chances of being safe if he just spiked the 1B's Achilles' tendon on the way by. Now that's illegal in baseball, but it's the same thing, except that for whatever reason baseball deems it ok to make hamburger of catchers but not 1Bs. You could be safe on all infield flys if you could get your runners to punch the infielders in the face while the ball was in the air. There are lots of things that you could do if this kind of thing was accepted in other contexts in baseball.

This is a barbaric artifact of a different era in baseball. The rule should be changed to reduce the risk of collisions at home. In the meantime, just because it isn't specifically illegal doesn't mean it's not dirty. Utley's a thug, Manuel's a thug, and calling thug-ism old school or good school or whatever doesn't change what it is.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 3, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I have a post up with pictures of Rose/Fosse and Utley/Flores. Say what you want, but Rose never came close to leaving his feet.

http://gnatsgnation.blogspot.com/

Posted by: gnatsgnation.blogspot.com | September 3, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I can't view the video at work, but here's a question for folks at the game...

Did Utley go over to talk to Flores? On TV, he never did. They zoomed on him throwing the ball for warmups while Flores was still on the ground and he was smiling (I thought smirking, but that's a bit of a judgment call, I'll admit) and acting as if nothing had happened while the guy he hit was carted off in a truck.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I only caught the aftermath last night, didn't see the actual play. Since I didn't actually see it last night, just read a little bit about it, I didn't think much of it. I just watched it again on mlb.com, and I am disgusted. Utley could have broken Jesus' leg, or his own neck.

Posted by: Cavalier | September 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Agreed. Kearns plays clean. And he is most definitely NOT a stick. Have you seen him up close? Tree trunks for thighs. "

That must be what gives him that impressive warning track power, eh? Someone who hopes to be projected for 25-30 homers without being laughed at really needs tree trunks for arms. But I quibble.

Posted by: this pastime of nationals | September 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"My intention was definitely not to hurt him. My intention was to try to knock the ball loose."

That's called interference folks. A base runner is not allowed to interfere with a fielder making a play or intentionally try to knock the ball loose. Utley should have been tossed out of the game and Howard (the next batter) should have been dinged up.

I don't know which is worse, the umps not calling out interfering players, or the Nats not protecting their player. Catchers should be protected just as, if not more than any other player. If this was a pitcher there would have been retaliation. The Phils are just a bunch of thugs cheating anyway they can to make the playoffs. No wonder they are the worst team in the history of recorded sports.

We should run them out on a rail.

Posted by: IBC | September 3, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the mlb tip. It's the first time I saw the video. That was really risky of Utley to do and I'm really surprised he wasn't more hurt.

I love that Flores gave him one last little shove with his glove, just for good measure, before he went down. He did that last year too against Dave Roberts: blocked the plate like a brick wall, got the guy out, but still gave one last instinctive shove with his glove to make sure the out stuck.

Posted by: NatsNut | September 3, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Flores is not allowed to block the plate either, so should he be thrown out as well?

Posted by: MLB Rule Book | September 3, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

anybody care to guess what Frank's opinion, and response, would have been?

*****
This is a barbaric artifact of a different era in baseball. The rule should be changed to reduce the risk of collisions at home. In the meantime, just because it isn't specifically illegal doesn't mean it's not dirty. Utley's a thug, Manuel's a thug, and calling thug-ism old school or good school or whatever doesn't change what it is.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 3, 2008 10:12 AM

Posted by: NR FR | September 3, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Utley and Flores made the "Photo of the Day" on CNNSI.

http://tinyurl.com/59nh8w

Posted by: BofG | September 3, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

All you who want to see a game where the rules are to avoid the collision will enjoy Little League. ESPN does a great job covering it for two weeks in August.

Posted by: Tom | September 3, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Flores gave him one last little shove with his glove, just for good measure, before he went down"

It's shown best at about 1:40 on the mlb clip:

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200809033411087

Posted by: NatsNut | September 3, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Caramba. Talk about Exhibit A -- that bs.com post is exactly the kind of crazy talk that anonymity and lack of accountability fosters. And probably a felony, too.

*****************
I have a post up with pictures of Rose/Fosse and Utley/Flores. Say what you want, but Rose never came close to leaving his feet.

Posted by: gnatsgnation.blogspot.com | September 3, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: ce | September 3, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Looking at gnatsnation blog post, 756*, I don't know how you can say that Utley couldn't have made an outside slide to go for the plate? It would have been easy.

And whoever said Flores shouldn't be in the baseline without the ball? Take a look. He's got the ball with Utley more than a body length from the plate.

The throw simply beat Utley, he made a mistake trying to go for home, but rather than going for the outside slide in order to salvage what he could from a bad decision. But he didn't choose to do that.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Lets look at the evidence:

July 31 -- Kendrick hits Zimmerman on the hand with a pitch
Sept 1 -- Kendrick throws at Zimmerman's head
Sept 2 -- Utley tries to STEAL HOME (how many times has that been attempted by anyone in the league this year), and comes in with his elbow aimed at Flores collarbone and his knee aimed directly at Flores knee. He's out by 20 feet but flies into Flores body rather than trying to knock the ball out of his glove.

Its very clear to me that the Phillies are trying to hurt the best players on the Nats. Its happened every day the teams have played since late July. And I am extremely disappointed at Manny Acta's "aw, gee shucks" attitude. Its his job to stick up for his players. He sets the tone. This will continue to happen until the manager calls attention to it.

I really don't like having a wuss for a manager.

Posted by: Ray | September 3, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way, Charlie Manuel? You seem to have failed to notice this, but on Utley's little showboating "I'm going to show everyone what a genius I am and steal home on a pickoff play" move? He was out. By a mile. Just thought you might want to know. Good school? How about Stupid School?

Posted by: joebleux | September 3, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"That's called interference folks. A base runner is not allowed to interfere with a fielder making a play or intentionally try to knock the ball loose."

Geez, then no need to tag with two hands.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"Looking at gnatsnation blog post, 756*, I don't know how you can say that Utley couldn't have made an outside slide to go for the plate? It would have been easy."

Yeah, he could have slide to the right and snuck his left hand in, but with the catcher moving that way, he would have exposed his arm to possible disintegration.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Setting aside the issue of whether or not baserunners SHOULD be allowed to run into catchers seeking to dislodge the baseball, the fact is that at the moment, they're allowed to do so. For this reason my position is that while it may have been an aggressive play, it wasn't a dirty play.

Utley is right, Flores had the plate blocked (as he is supposed to), the ball had him beat, and his only shot was to try to knock the ball out of the glove. It looked to me like Utley's dive was an effort to get there faster, as when players sometimes dive into first base. He dove at the glove, and went through it and hit the shoulder. But the way Flores was (properly) positioned, it was a glancing blow that spun Flores around, instead of a full-on linebacker-type hit that would have knocked him straight back. I think the problem is that when he spun around, Flores' spikes may have caught in the dirt, leading to what looks like a severe sprain.

Bottom line: I thought Utley dove aggressively at Flores' glove in an effort to dislodge the ball, that the resulting shoulder-to-shoulder contact was solid but not particularly unusual in similar circumstances, and that the ankle injury was an unfortunate and unintended result.

It sounds like that view puts me in the minority here, but that's how it looked to me.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 3, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Its very clear to me that the Phillies are trying to hurt the best players on the Nats."

And to think that they should be taking it easy on us, knowing our track record as spoilers last year and the fact that we have 6 games remaining with the Mets.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Say what you want about Kearns' abilities as a batter, but last year against either the Phillies or the Reds, Kearns slammed into the opposing catcher blocking the plate, trying to score a run. I don't remember whether he was safe or not, but I DO remember Kearns bending over and speaking to the prone catcher immediately afterwards.

Posted by: Juan-John | September 3, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Well the Nats did help the Mets a bit last summer, when Chase Utley's hand hit a John Lannan fastball. Yes, that's how it happened because the Philly cretin practically stands on the plate.

Posted by: Kev | September 3, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Bob, if Utley didn't have such a history with the Nats I might agree. But with the past bad blood, with the disinterest in Flores being carted from the field, and with his manager saying things like "that's something you don't mention" when people have asked him about retribution in the past....

And then there's the fact of that dive. Wouldn't simply running into him hard have accomplished the same thing in a more traditional way?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I haven't seen the video where Utley is "smirking" or "smiling", but maybe he was doing so at the irony that he nailed Flores in the body and he ended up spraining his ankle.

Much like how I smirked when I found out the young Palin was hold a baby the other night to cover up the fact that she, indeed, was herself pregnant.

Posted by: 756* | September 3, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

506, the retribution case can be made in theory, but I find it a bit hard to believe that Chase Utley planned this in advance. I agree with those who have said it was a borderline stupid play by Utley, who risked serious injury to himself and made an out in the process. But my sense is that Utley really did think Lannan was slow enough to first, and maybe that Belliard was inexperienced at the position, such that he could steal a run in a tight game. I don't think he said to himself gee, here's a chance to injure the catcher. I'm about the same size as Utley, and I certainly wouldn't want to run into Jesus Flores, who outweighs me by over 30 pounds. And I'm not sure that the dive increases the magnitude of the impact; it might even lessen it.

On another note, Go P-Nats! The Carolina league playoffs start tonight.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 3, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the play was dirty in itself, but the result of the play, to me, dictated some sort of response.
I was hoping Dukes would have just steamrolled Utley at second during a double play later in the game, as he would have been able to make the same claims ("I was just playing the game the right way") and that smarmy, greasy Utley would have had some time to think about it while he cleaned the spike marks in his shins.
Just a thought ...

Posted by: MJ | September 3, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Bob, I would make fun of myself if I thought Utley had planned this from third base. He would need a little thin, curly mustache and a sinister cackle.

(note to someone with PhotoShop, please assist)

I do think that he went to steal home and muttered to himself something similar to "Great Heavens! I've made a terrible error in my calculations and it looks as if my daring scheme to advance to home plate is going to come to an unfavorable conclusion. Well, at least I'll make this fine bloke who previously set up inside on me feel a thing or two, what ho! I should jolly enjoy that!"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

An MRI taken this morning on catcher Jesus Flores confirmed a left ankle sprain.

Flores is expected to return to play this season.

Posted by: The Latest | September 3, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Utley told Zimmerman before he took off he was goint to punish Flores. And Utley also cursed at two little girls behind the Phillies dugout. Utley doesnt like puppies or baby ducks, too. He is evil.

If the teams were reversed and the Nats were 2 games out of first, I would hope one the Nats stars would put forth the same effort to win a game. Sucks Flores was injured, but I really dont find a difference between diving at the catcher or running through the catcher to try and dislodge the ball. Utley made an effort to touch the plate. Call it dirty or old school, doesnt really matter since the umps allow it to happen.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | September 3, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The video is on the Nats site (it says Flores injures ankle or something to that effect), and I had the same impression as 756.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm with Bob L. I reluctantly concluded, after watching it a number of times, that it was a clean play. I happen to think the rules should be changed, because it's always a stupid play that risks injury, but - within the rules as currently written - I thought Utley was clean.

You still plunk him or run him over at second, by the way. Hard.

Posted by: 220 | September 3, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I'll buy that, 506. The thought might have crossed his mind and he might have put a little something extra into the dive (although I think the jury's out on whether diving in those situations is beneficial or not). In any case, Utley's claim that he didn't know Flores was hurt until he got back out on the field is clearly bogus. So I'll give you this: Utley might not have intended to injure Flores, but in view of the history, he probably wasn't too sorry that it happened. And that's unsportsmanlike. It will be interesting to see if Perez plunks him tonight.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | September 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The play...just hard nosed baseball. Unfortunate that Jesus was injured, but, what did you expect in this year, the season of injuries to beat all. Payback is a beach...we'll return the favor next year when the Nats are in the hunt come September. All together now...GO PNATS.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | September 3, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Jolly good show, 506!

I'm relieved that Flores' injury seems to be no worse than a sprain.

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, and go P-Nats! Go NATS!

Posted by: natsfan1a | September 3, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough, Bob. And, LDO, I saw that, too. Did you catch when he took Levale Speigner's lunch money? The poor kid needs his milk so he can grow up to be strong.

The issue wasn't that what Utley did was cheating -- it clearly wasn't. It was irresponsible because it needlessly put himself and another player at risk of serious harm (again, the outside slide could have gotten him a better shot at being safe AND eliminated harm).

And it was disrespectful because he showed no interest in a fellow player's health. Not right after the play, when he was still excited, not a little after the play, when he got back to the dugout and might have taken a minute to look back on the field wondering what happened to that guy he just pounded, not when warming up when the whole sad scene was playing out in front of his face.

Kearns (who might be the only one who has collided at the plate, can we think of others?) certainly would not have done that.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | September 3, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I was not happy with the play because I didn't think the situation called for it. Actually I think Utley might have been safe if he came in feet first.

However, I was more disappointed that Dukes was unable to send Utley flying to the visitors bullpen when he attempted to break up the double play later in the game. When the other team takes out your catcher and you are presented with the opportunity to take that very same player out at second by using "Good School" base running you better take advantage of it.

Posted by: Section 307 | September 3, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

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