Don’t do the cowardly thing, Metropolitans.
As a baseball fan, I’m begging you not to throw at Chase Utley late Sunday afternoon—in his last at-bat of your three-game series with the Dodgers; in what will probably be your final opportunity this season to retaliate against the second baseman because of what happened last October.
Don’t take the easy way out and bean the guy that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg six months ago when you could have handed down your punishment earlier this month in Los Angeles.
Basically, I’m asking you no to look like spineless chumps and do what the Rangers did to Jose Bautista two weeks ago because that was baseball at its lamest.
If you somehow missed it, the Rangers and Blue Jays brawled two Sundays ago with Rougned “Rocky” Odor landing a right cross to Bautista’s jaw. Kudos to Bautista for taking the punch like a champ, but the circumstances leading up to the throw down are strikingly similar to what we could see go down at Citi Field between the Mets and Dodgers this weekend.
Still salty from the personal slight Bautista perpetrated on them last October in Game 5 of the ALDS—aka The Greatest Bat Flip of All-Time—the Rangers had opportunities to go after Joey Bats when the two teams faced off the first time in Toronto back in early May. But Rangers pitchers didn’t throw at Bautista then, apparently deciding Texas Justice was best served in the Lone Star State.
After striding to the plate in the eighth inning of the final game of a three-game series—and the final time the two teams will see each other until possibly October—recent call up Matt Bush fired a 96 mph fastball into Bautista ribs. Rangers fans moronically gave Bush—who was in prison during last year’s ALDS, just to give you an idea of how intimately tied he is to this rivalry—a standing ovation when we he was pulled before the next batter.
Three pitches later, Bautista went hard into second base trying to break up a double play. Just like he has been taught to do his entire life. Odor felt it was a bush league play, but if you think that slide was dirty then baseball has successfully sanitized you. On a scale of dirty to clean, Bautista’s slide was a midsole scuff mark; Utley’s was a pair of grape stained Yeezys.
Ironically, Bautista was called out and the Rangers completed the double play thanks to the “Utley Rule,” baseball’s controversial new law that’s supposed to protect infielders and cut down on injuries. Well intentioned, baseball has instead further neutered the game thanks to a foolish, high-profile play by a foolish player.
So please, Metropolitans, don’t follow the Rangers lead and stand on your high horse, defending baseball’s antiquated and often ridiculous unwritten rules. Baseball punished Utley for the slide and, let’s not forget, Tejada isn’t even on the Mets anymore so who, exactly, would you be retaliating for? The fans? The ones who sent death threats Utley's way last year? Just let it go. Don’t do the obviously idiotic thing. But since we’re talking about the Mets here, that’s asking a lot. Anyone else remember Roger Clemens vs. Shawn Etes?
This time around, when your fans are clamoring to bean a hated adversary, be the bigger club. Fuck the unwritten rules for a change and let Utley (figuratively) slide. You guys didn’t buzz him in Game 5 of the NLDS because you couldn’t with the series still on the line. You guys didn’t buzz him during the four-game set at Dodgers Stadium earlier this month. The window on retaliation should be closed.
Don’t be a bunch of chumps and throw at him in the eighth inning like the Rangers did. Yeah, that may anger the baseball gods and their unwritten rules, but Ty Cobb was (probably) an awful racist and Babe Ruth was nothing more than a fat old man with little girl legs (JK, he's the GOAT). It would be cowardly, gutless, and above all else petty to throw at Utley this weekend. And petty ain’t a good look—or good for your checkbook—in 2016 unless you’re Beyoncé.