RUSH: You know, I’m kind of pleasantly surprised here. I’ve got people in the e-mail asking my thoughts on the Chase Utley suspension in the Dodgers-Mets game on Saturday night. And I figured if I went into that, the low-information crowd would actually have a fit. And, by the way, the Royals are playing an elimination game right now, they’re tied 2-2 in the fifth inning with the Houston Astros, and if the Astros win, the Royals are out, which means I’m not going in to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, because this is it. Well, not that I was scheduled to. No. No, no. I wasn’t scheduled to. I just made a joke — that’s what happened, you need ceremonial first pitch and anthem singers to guarantee victory, that’s what I did when I worked there.
Look, on Chase Utley, the league suspended him for two games. The reason the league did this was to prevent the Mets retaliating. I’m convinced that they suspended Utley for two games that the Mets would not retaliate and have a bench-clearing brawl during the playoffs. But now that he’s appealing the suspension, he can play, which means the Mets are gonna retaliate. They will. There’s no question the Mets are gonna retaliate.
I don’t blame Utley. I mean, Utley, it’s who he is. It’s how you play the game. For those of you people who have not been taken care of by modern-day political correctness, that’s how you play the game of baseball. He was not breaking up a double play. He was taking a guy out. That’s exactly what you do. He didn’t even start sliding until he was past the bag. The problem in that play very simply was I think made by the umpires. The umpires ruled that Tejada missed the bag — he’s the Mets’ shortstop — by centimeters. The replay showed that he missed the bag, but he was trying to touch the bag and he got taken out. And they awarded Utley safe, they awarded him safe at second because the shortstop missed the bag. Utley never even tried to touch second base and never did touch second base, so how do you assume? He left the field and gave himself up. I don’t understand you calling him safe at second, after that play when he made no attempt to touch second base and never did.
And I remember an axiom I was told way back in my days of the Royals. I can’t source this, folks, ’cause I don’t want anybody… But there’s a rule of thumb on close bang-bang plays. You know, umpires don’t see everything. They’re human beings, they miss some things, now there’s replay. But it’s always been determined that calling somebody out has the least effect on the outcome of the game. Close bang-bang play, this is not including plays at the plate, just a bang-bang play at first, bang-bang play, on a stolen base at second, an out call has the least effect on the game. If you call ’em safe and if you’re not sure… but that’s what they did. They called Utley safe when he never even touched the bag, made no effort to touch the bag, that’s where I think this all went — but that kept the inning alive, that changed the whole shape of the inning and the Mets fell apart. They lost their shortstop. So that’s my two cents.