Even it up…. and a controversial and painful play.

The Cubs and Dodgers evened their series up vs. the Cardinals and Mets respectively at one game apiece in their respective NL Division Series.

But the Dodgers/Mets game didn’t come without controversy, because Dodger Chase Utley, in making a hard take-out slide, broke Met SS Ruben Tejada’s leg.

Hard take-out slides have been part of the game forever, from Ty Cobb to now. Heck, in the early 1960’s, Al Kaline, in talking about Maris and Mantle, wasn’t talking about their home runs in one interview. He said that the two were the hardest in the league at going in to take out the fielder to break up a DP.

Little guys like Phil Rizzuto and Fred Patek were targets for guys trying to take them out.

Was Utley’s slide dirty? It was hard, it was clean, but until baseball changes the rules to where a runner must touch the bag or go DIRECTLY over it  (Utley didn’t, and the rule states be within reach of the bag) and slide a certain feet in front of it so that they don’t go so far past the bag, it was legal. Legal but very unfortunate.

Baseball has already changed the rules to protect catchers on a play at the plate. We’ll see if they do the same here.

Want to see one takeout slide of the past? Here is Hal McRae taking out Willie Randolph in Game 2 of the 1977 ALCS. Click on the link. Oh, by the way, it was legal and nothing was done to McRae…. just saying.

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