Category Archives: Dirty play


When you look up a profile of Joe Torre, you quickly realize that he has been successful in every facet JOE TORREof his career, and never has that been true more than in his current position as MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer. As a player, he finished a distinguished career withi (1) a .297 batting average, appeared in nine All Star Games, and won a NL Batting Title in 1971. Then, as a manager he won four Championships more than 2,300 games. Culminating his career as a manager, he was rewarded with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. (left) Oh, and by the way, he’s also a member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

And from the looks of things, he’s just getting warmed up. Since 2011 (his first year as a baseball executive), joe-torre-jpghe has presided over the introduction and refinement of instant replay, the creation of the “Buster Posey Rule” for collisions at home plate, the adoption of the 20 second rule designed to speed up games, and is now poised to lead the way with the adoption of a “Chase Utley Rule” requiring a runner to be sliding directly at second base when attempting to break up a double play. 
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The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees
all citizens the right to a speedy trial.  Chase Utley
received that and more from Joe Torre on behalf of Major League Baseball. His suspension of Utley for games 3 and 4 of the Series against the Mets which resumes tonight is now going through the appeals process covered under the Players Bargaining Agreement, based on the premise that Union lawyers need time to prepare a case for Utley.
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It’s going to be a made for TV show when Matt “The Brat” Harvey takes the mound Monday night toimages-48 face Chase Utley for the first time. The event will give us a preview of Harvey’s mindset as he makes the most important start of his career. Based on his immature behavior to date (most recently missing a mandatory workout just before the Playoffs), it’s likely he’ll also “miss” this one too – and forgot that his job is to get the batter out and move on to win the game. Terry Collins (pictured above counseling Harvey) has his hands full with this guy, but you can be sure that he will be miffed if Harvey decides to take the “law into his own hands”. And that’s the way it should be.

The play by Utley on Rueben Tejada is obviously questionable from many standpoints. Of one thing we can be sure – it turned the game upside down and propelled the Dodgers to victory. For Utley, he executed a play that is taught and preached by every coaching staff in the Majors. Your job, in that situation, is to break up the double play. He did that. The fact that he didn’t begin his slide until he nearly reached the bag is a given. The fact that he never touched the base himself is a given. The fact that Tejada was in a awkward position after receiving the ball is a given. The fact that the umpire accepted the “neighborhood play” and called Utley out is a given. It’s really all about judgment with several things happening in a split second. The second judgment call belongs to Joe Torre who has the unenviable job of sorting things out after the fact. Complicating things further is the splendid call by Don Mattingly to have the entire sequence reviewed, resulting in a safe call that negated the judgment call on the field (Tejada’s foot never touched the base). A train wreck if there ever was one…….

Still, life goes on. Terry Collins has been in the game long enough to know that. images-32And that message better be delivered long and hard to his entire team. But most especially, he needs to hit “The Brat” over the head with a bat if he has to. “Play the game son, we need 27 outs from you so don’t give them anything”. Because ultimately, the best form of retaliation for the Mets (and Harvey) is to win the game and take a commanding lead in the series.