Utley's slide into Tejada irks Mets

Chase Utley's late takeout slide into second baseman Ruben Tejada trying to break up a double play in the fifth inning irked the Mets. David Wright suggested if Utley, a second baseman, is comfortable with sliding like that, he better be willing to receive them like that, too.

Chase Utley

Chase Utley

#26 2B
Philadelphia Phillies

2010 STATS

  • GM108
  • HR15

  • RBI58

  • R69

  • OBP.392

  • AVG.280

According to Shane Victorino, Mike Pelfrey gave Utley an earful from the visitors' dugout, but there were no subsequent fireworks in the game. According to Tejada, Utley did ask immediately afterward if the rookie second baseman was OK, and Tejada indicated he was.

Utley, who was nearly at the bag when he slid, did not speak about it after the Phillies completed a 3-2 win against the Mets on Friday at Citizens Bank Park.

Philadelphia won its 11th straight and now has the best record in the majors, while the Mets lost their season-high sixth straight. The Phillies can clinch Saturday with a win against the Mets and Nationals victory over the Braves.

Asked if it was a clean play, Wright responded: "You can ask him. He's a second baseman. If he wants guys sliding like that into him, then it's perfectly fine. He knows how to play the game. If he doesn't mind guys coming in like that when he's turning a double play, then we don't have any problem with it. It's a legal slide. It's within the rules. But somebody is going to get hurt. So I guess that's a better question for him.

"Chase, he plays the game hard. He plays the game passionately. But there's a thin line between going out there and playing the game hard and going out there trying to get somebody hurt. That's a thin line. Nobody is going to push us around. We're going to have our teammate's back. I think cooler heads prevailed, but we've got to let them know that over on our side we didn't appreciate it and that we're going to go out there and have our teammates' backs. I think our bench let him know. As far as I'm concerned, it's done. We move on. We'll reevaluate the way we go into second base."

Ruben Tejada

Ruben Tejada

#11 2B
New York Mets

2010 STATS

  • GM70
  • HR1

  • RBI13

  • R27

  • OBP.293

  • AVG.202

Said starting pitcher R.A. Dickey: "I came in here and looked at it on tape. It's better to ask a position player. I don't know, as a pitcher, the etiquette about around the bag. He waited to slide until he was even with the bag. And if that makes it dirty, then it was dirty. I mean, that's a fact. It's not me giving my opinion. That's what happened. He took our second baseman completely out of the game. Some people probably view that as a good, hard-nosed play. Other people probably have the opinion it was dirty; he could have done it differently and still gotten the same result."

Dickey acknowledged it's important not to get bullied.

"Absolutely. One hundred percent," he said. "If you deem as a team that it's a dirty play, then you should take action. Absolutely. You've got to protect your teammates, for one. And you've got to show the other team you're not going to roll over and let them step on your neck. That's just part of the game. Any game. You don't want to ever be a team that has the reputation you can be kicked around and you're going to go back into the dugout at the end of the game with your tail between your legs."

Tejada stayed in the game until Chris Carter pinch hit for him in the seventh inning.

"I feel good," Tejada said. "I feel OK. I'll keep playing hard every day."

Asked if he was angry with Utley, Tejada said: "No, no. It's baseball. He asked me, 'Are you OK?'"