The basic premise of this rule has always been in effect. They just didn’t use it. It was always up to the umpires, but rather than getting out of their comfort zone, they chose to ignore it. Really, just the name “Takeout Slides” defines the action. It doesn’t always have to do with Chinese food or pizza. Takeout in this context meaning; “To cause to die; kill or destroy”.
I don’t know. I’m just saying the umpire is supposed to have total charge of the game. In the Buster Posey-Darrell Cousins home plate slide, the umpire, who was standing directly over the play at the time it happened, even had the gall to rule the runner safe (which he was not). Replay photos showed that Cousins plowed out of the baseline directly at Posey, who was standing out of the baseline and not on home plate, attempting to dislodge the ball from Posey, who never had the ball in the first place. Posey was injured and out for the rest of the season, and this game was in April so it was a big deal!
This happened a lot. Sure would be nice if some of these umpires would have stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and said something like “No More! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.
And now they’re calling it the Chase Utley Rule. Yah – let’s keep Utley’s name alive and well for the glorious honor of breaking a guy’s leg with an illegal play. How about naming it the “Ruben Tejada Rule, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, Ray Fosse or the Willie Randolph Rule for the injured player instead of naming it for the guy who intentionally and maliciously attacked and injured a fellow ballplayer who was just trying to do his job?
The rule’s always been there. The only thing that’s changed is the instant replay part and a penalty that the runner and hitter are both out. Here’s an idea! Let’s leave the penalty in and add another …. like, automatically throwing the perpetrator out of the game. Twice, and he’s out for the rest of the season.
Back in 2006, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California assume the risk of being hit by baseballs, even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury. The powers-that-be over at Major League Baseball must not have heard about this one, or we’d have to wait for another broken leg or two to get some action.
While writing this, I borrowed some excerpts from my post back in February, 2014, “Revisiting the Posey Play – OR – Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone.”