Sexy monster and Dodgers lead-off hitter and former Phillies second baseman and always Phillies legend Chase Utley is up to his old, horizontal tricks - the same tricks that got him his reputation last October.
For some reason, everybody hates it when Utley tries to throw his body at opposing players during close plays. The Mets hated it when he did it and broke Ruben Tejada's leg in the playoffs; and the Padres hated it tonight when he seemed like he was trying to do it again to San Diego catcher Derek Norris.
Reactions are understandably strong.
Utley's teammate Brandon McCarthy was quick to jump to his defense.
The rule preventing this is new and interpretations will vary as the umpires learn how to enforce it and the sport adjusts to it, the way it still hasn't really to the Buster Posey Rule. This is a play that will be getting people to hitch up their britches and start pointing at each other on any occasion and certainly more so after any plays of its kind involving Utley as the runner. The first time that he is the defender in one of these plays... just wait for the takes to come off the grill (They will be hot, I'm saying).
Meanwhile, in Tampa...
A "history-making play" Harold Reynolds called it on MLB Tonight. "This game is getting too easy," his colleague Pedro Martinez said. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons opened a whole different can of worms with his thoughts.
The ink on the Chase Utley Rule is still wet, and it makes perfect sense that players and fans already being victimized by it would trace their current misfortunes back to him, including Braves fans from Nick Markakis' slide last night and Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin.
If only they had called it the Ruben Tejada Rule, everyone would be furious with a Cardinals shortstop who just went on the 15-day DL. Curse baseball and its liberal rule-naming policies! Chase Utley is the real victim here!
**Bolts door, peaks out with shotgun**
Anyways, I have a feeling people will be sarcastically thanking Chase Utley all season for his contributions to the coolest, most fun aspect of baseball: the litigation. Each instance will result in a brief intensification of the Chase Utley hatred-orgy, and then it will subside when everyone stops caring about/goes back to hating baseball in a few days.
In the mean time, we must all remain vigilant in case we turn our bathroom lights on and discover an already full-speed Chase Utley barreling at us with a level of intensity only accessible by history's greatest monster. Stay on your toes, everyone!