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Mets' Ruben Tejada says Chase Utley has to play game 'the right way'

NEW YORK -- Three weeks after a late slide from Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley ended his postseason, New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada offered his first public comments on the play.

"It was really late, but I can't do anything right now," Tejada said Saturday, before the Mets' 5-3 loss in Game 4 of the World Series.

Asked if he believed Utley was trying to hurt him, Tejada added: "Not directly, but he did it."

Tejada suffered a fractured fibula in his right leg as a result of the play, which occurred during the National League Division Series.

Major League Baseball subsequently suspended Utley for two games. He appealed and remained eligible for the remainder of the round. A hearing was put on hold once the Dodgers were eliminated by the Mets in a winner-take-all Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.

Tejada's unavailability prompted the Mets to have Wilmer Flores take over at shortstop for the rest of the postseason.

On Saturday, Tejada navigated Citi Field wearing a bulky walking boot as well as a Mets-themed cane given to him by Mets owners. Tejada expects to shed those items in two weeks and be ready for spring training.

Tejada was trying to accept a throw from second baseman Daniel Murphy and record the first out of a double play. After a replay review, Tejada was deemed to be off the bag, so Utley was awarded second base. Umpires insisted it was not a "neighborhood play" because Murphy's throw pulled Tejada away from second base.

"He's a veteran guy," Tejada said about Utley. "We know he plays hard. It's different when you play hard, and you try to do something else."

Tejada has attended home games during the last two rounds but has not been on the road with the Mets. He has received boisterous cheers from fans during pregame introductions during the National League Championship Series and World Series.

"I enjoy it a lot when I'm there, but I feel a little bit nervous when I'm home watching the game," Tejada said.

Utley apologized to Tejada via a message left with captain David Wright. Asked if he accepts Utley's apology, Tejada said: "I did, because you know I'm really a good person, but I can't do anything. He knows what he did, and he has to do something to figure out how to play the game the right way."

Tejada added that he has no interest in personally speaking with Utley.

Tejada said that he was angry after the game, but not anymore.

"I don't want to say anything to him because he knows what he did -- only, 'god bless him.' That's it," Tejada said.

Ian O'Connor contributed to this report.