NEW YORK (AP) — Turns out Chase Utley’s appeal made no difference in New York this week: The Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman sat out Games 3 and 4 of the NL Division Series, even though he was eligible to play.
Utley was suspended two games by Major League Baseball Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre for his rough slide in Game 2 that broke the right leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.
His hearing on his two-game suspension has been scheduled for Monday, according to a person familiar with the process. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because no announcement was authorized.
In the meantime, Utley could have played, but the Dodgers started Howie Kendrick at second in both games. He went 3 for 9 with a three-run homer as the Dodgers split a pair of games at Citi Field, sending the series to Los Angeles tied 2-2 going into a decisive Game 5 on Thursday.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Tuesday’s game that he wouldn’t hesitate to use Utley in the right situation.
John McHale Jr., the baseball executive who will hear the appeal, informed MLB and the players’ union of the timing of the hearing on Tuesday.
“The fact that they felt the play was unnecessary and they did what they did was enough,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Now we’ve moved past it, and you got to get ready to play.”
If the Dodgers’ postseason is over at the time of the decision, any suspension that is upheld would be served at the start of the 2016 regular season.
Mets fans greeted Utley a former Philadelphia star, with loud booing and profane chants before and during Game 3.
“He played at Philly,” Mattingly said. “You play in Philly, I mean this is the same. Right? I think he was fine.”
Utley did not speak with reporters after Game 3.
“I know people are still probably up in arms about the whole thing, but I know Chase, he felt horrible about the kid getting hurt,” Mattingly said. “That’s one of the things, I think guys that play the game hard, they feel like they play the game right. ... They want to play like that, but they’re not looking to hurt anybody.”