Derek Jeter weighs in on controversial Chase Utley-Ruben Tejada play
Derek Jeter may be one year removed from the game, but the media still seeks out the retired New York Yankees captain to hear his thoughts on the goings on in Major League Baseball.
Given that Jeter starred at shortstop for two decades, his input could prove insightful regarding the infamous play in Game 2 of the NLDS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets when Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada on a hard slide, a play that resulted in a broken leg for the Mets shortstop.
Jeter, who has avoided watching much baseball because in his words he “had to get away from the game,” nevertheless managed to catch the ballgame in question. And in a word, he thought the incident that highlighted it was “nasty.”
“I saw it and I feel bad for Ruben,” Jeter said Wednesday while talking to reporters at a Turn 2 foundation fundraising event, via the New York Post. “When you play shortstop, you’re going to be involved in plays like that where you get blindsided. I’ve been involved in double plays where I’ve been hit hard, but never to that extreme.”
Jeter noted that in a bygone era of baseball these kind of plays were more commonplace.
“If you watch video from years ago, that kind of stuff happened,” he said. “It’s nasty. It’s tough when it knocks a guy out like that, especially in the playoffs.”
When asked if the play was dirty and in turn whether Utley deserved a two-game suspension — one he is appealing — Jeter left that up to his former manager, Joe Torre, who is now Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer.
“That’s Mr. T’s department,” he said. “That’s the good thing about being retired. I don’t have to think about rules.”
Jeter was asked after being away from the game for a year has made him miss it.
“I don’t,” he said. “I don’t know why. I’m pretty busy doing other things.”
Indeed he is. And watching plays like the one in question probably makes him miss the game even less.