Joe Torre, MLB reviewing Chase Utley’s slide which broke Ruben Tejada’s leg
MLB is’s Chief Operating Officer and former Met and Mets manager Joe Torre was on-hand for game two of the Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Torre is also responsible for overseeing on-field operations, including in-game officiating and discipline, and said the play in which Chase Utley slid into Ruben Tejada and subsequently broke his leg was strictly a judgment call, which was why it was not deemed interference and an automatic out for Utley.
“That’s a judgment play,” Utley explained. “I’m still watching replays. They get one shot. There are a lot of things they’re looking for.
“Chris Guccione didn’t think it was a violation. That’s a judgment,” he said.
Torre said Utley is not required to touch the base once he was called out, but since the call was overturned Utley was then awarded second base.
But since Utley never touched the base, had the Mets tagged Utley with the ball, Torre said Utley would have been ruled out, although interference was still not a question which, if called, Utley and Kendrick would have been out and the inning would have been over.
“Tejada showed that he didn’t touch the bag, and Utley never touched second base,” Torre explained. “The fact that he was called out meant he didn’t — he’s not required to touch second base once he’s called out. So when the play was overturned, he gets awarded second base on that.”
Torre said once the play becomes a judgment call, the neighborhood play is out of the equation.
“It wasn’t a neighborhood play. That’s judged on the field. Once it goes to replay, that’s not a neighborhood play,” Torres explained.
Torre said the replay corrected the call on the field made by the field umpire.
“He never needed to touch the base because the umpire called him out,” he said. “You’re correcting umpire’s mistake. In that situation by going to replay and they see the runner never touched the base, but the umpire called him out, by replay rules we can correct the situation and put the runner on the bag.”
Torre is hopeful Utley didn’t intend to hurt Tejada on that play, rather he simply tried to avoid a double play albeit with a late and hard slide.
“It saddens me, and I think everyone else, that Tejada gets hurt here,” Torre explained. “I’d hate to think that Utley tried to hurt someone. [The slide was] certainly was late, and that concerns me. But we are still basically talking about it.”
Torre didn’t fault the umpire for his judgment call on the field, although he said he is still in the process of reviewing the play to determine the proper course of action.
“I am still in charge of determining if the slide was an over-the-top type of thing,” Torre explained. “It was a hard slide, and looking at it a number of times, I thought it was a little late. So that’s what Im digesting right now.”
Torre will review the play to determine if any disciplinary action needs to be taken on Utley.
“Im looking at it to see if there’s something that should be done,” Torre said. “I have to determine if I thought it was excessive. As I said, the late slide is probably the only thing in question right now.
“I certainly don’t feel he was trying to hurt somebody. I think his goal was to break up a double play. In doing that, he broke [Tejada’s] leg.”
Torre said there aren’t different standards for different players, and that he feels the outcome of the play would have been the same whether the victim was Tejada or anyone else.
“I think every player’s important,” Torre said. “Because someone’s not an All-Star player, that to me is not part of the circumstance here. God forbid it should ever be.”