Chase Utley is still persona non grata with the New York Mets faithful, but booing him didn’t exactly work out in their favor this time around.
The Mets hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers for a weekend series at Citi Field, where Utley always gets heartily booed ever since his infamous takeout slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in the 2015 NLDS. The veteran infielder started Saturday’s game (an 8-3 win for the Dodgers) and entered Sunday’s contest in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter, hearing the usual chorus of boos both times.
Enter Dodgers utilityman Enrique Hernandez. Sunday’s game (an 8-7 victory for the Dodgers) saw Hernandez homer twice as part of a three-hit afternoon. Afterwards, Hernandez said that he was motivated by the Mets fans’ rough treatment of Utley, according to Pedro Moura of The Athletic.
Kiké Hernández said the way Mets fans treated Chase Utley motivated him to homer twice. “I really don’t like the way they boo him here,” he said. “That adds a little bit to my game.”
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) June 24, 2018
The Mets also lost the series-opener on Friday by the final of 5-2, making for a quite forgettable sweep at the hands of the visiting Dodgers. In the past, Utley himself has also turned the Mets fans’ boos into a serving of humble pie, so maybe they will rethink their approach the next time that he comes to town.
Chase Utley, man. That guy sure knows how to play the villain like a regular Jack Parkman.
Utley delivered the ultimate F-You to the New York Mets on Saturday, his second game of a series that marked his first time playing in Citi Field since the infamous slide incident in last year’s playoffs.
As a refresher, Utley’s reckless slide broke Ruben Tejada’s leg during the NLDS against the Mets. He had a suspension overturned, but the slide led MLB to change its rules.
The slide became such a controversial point around baseball that it led the former longtime Phillie to become even more hated among NL East rival Mets fans. Their fans even sent him death threats.
On Friday, Utley proved he wasn’t shaken by the hostility from Mets fans by going 1-for-2 with 4 RBIs, including a bases-clearing double in the ninth to tie the game at five. On Saturday, he was even more productive.
First Utley struck out to lead off the game. When he faced Noah Syndergaard again in the third, the massive pitcher was ejected for throwing at Utley — and missing him — with a 99 mph heater. Utley struck out in that at-bat, too. But that would not portend what was to come.
Utley clubbed a solo shot in the sixth to break a scoreless game, all while Mets fans chanted “Hit him!”
Crowd chanting "hit him, hit him" and then Utley hits a bomb. Ultimate heel move. pic.twitter.com/Eu2gZFKST9
— Kevin Munie (@KMunie7) May 29, 2016
As if that weren’t enough, he then mashed a grand slam in the seventh to put the Dodgers up 6-0.
So let’s just recap:
– Utley is hated in New York
– Utley is booed by Mets fans who want the team to hit him
– Syndergaard is ejected for throwing at Utley but missing him
– Utley rebounds from two strikeouts to hit two home runs
Utley now has 38 career home runs against the Mets, the most he’s hit against any opponent. He just loves making their lives miserable.
James Shields may not want to remember what happened last Saturday, but it won’t be something soon forgotten by Mets fans.
In case you missed it, Colon did the unthinkable, clubbing a no doubt home run at Petco Park, a stadium not known for being a home run haven. As if the 42-year-old pitcher wasn’t already an internet sensation, this cemented his status.
One of the results of Colon’s home run, besides a priceless reaction by his teammates, is that one fan had to pay up on a preseason declaration. The man kept his word and this tattoo now resides on his arm.
In addition to the photo posted by The 7 Line, there is also a lengthy caption providing background on how the ink came to be. Here it is in its entirety:
There are few things in the world less important than a mans word. In this case, a statement was made at the beginning of the season, and it came true.
Matt Sassi said to his buddy, Anthony Triola: “If Bartolo Colon hits a home run this year, I’ll get a commemorative tattoo”. Before the game on Saturday I met them in McFadden’s and they told me about this bet. You’d think, ok… that’s not happening. Right? WRONG!
Coolest part of the bet was that they were both there to witness the feat in person. Matt is a Middletown, NY native that moved to San Diego. What were the odds that Bart would be on the hill the day of our invasion? What are the odds he’d go yard? Slim to damn near impossible.
Matt could have chickened out and not gotten it at all, or gotten something small that could easily have been hidden. Instead he went balls to the freakin’ wall with pretty much a half sleeve. Tossed THE 7 LINE ARMY on there for good measure and added the date of Bart’s now famous swing.
You manned up, Matt. Bravo.
Among the things you could say at the beginning of a Major League Baseball season that you would think had no chance of happening, Bartolo Colon hitting a home run would be really close to the top of the list. Hats off indeed to Matt.
H/T Eye On Baseball
A fight that broke out between baseball fans outside Dodger Stadium on Friday reportedly left a New York Mets fan in critical condition.
Witnesses told KABC 7 in Los Angeles that Dodgers and Mets fans were fighting when a New York fan was punched and hit his head on the way to the ground. One onlooker, Maria Carecer, said people rushed to help the injured fan.
“I walked closer and there was a gentleman on the floor and was bleeding profusely from the head,” Carecer explained. “We got free rally towels that night, so they were holding the rally towels to his head.”
Police said Monday that the victim remained in the hospital but had been stabilized. The fight reportedly broke out when a group of people were arguing after Game 1 and things escalated. Investigators were still trying to determine who was responsible for the attack.
As we know, there is a history of violent acts among fans at Dodger Stadium. The most well-known incident took place in 2011, when two men brutally beat a San Francisco Giants fan and left him with brain damage.
Pretty much every New York Mets fan is upset over the slide from Chase Utley that resulted in a broken leg for Ruben Tejada Saturday night, but don’t expect anyone to show more emotion over it than Will from Queens.
Will from Queens called into Mike Francesa’s WFAN show Sunday morning, and he was so overcome with emotion over the slide that he began to sob. Will nearly lost it while talking about how Matt Harvey has to “put the team on his back” in Game 3.
“I would say it’s dirty. It bothers me as a Met fan,” he said while very clearly beginning to choke up. “But Matt Harvey better step up tomorrow night. I’m disgusted with him, but this is his one chance. Put the team on your shoulders and then you’ve got my faith back in you.”
Francesa didn’t exactly show Will any sympathy, but at least he didn’t go off on him the way he has gone off on some callers in the past. Prior to hearing that call, I didn’t really care if the Mets or Los Angeles Dodgers won the NLDS. Now that I know how much it means to Will, I just might order a David Wright jersey and have it sent via overnight shipping.
- New York Mets fans
New York Mets fans have seen their frustration with the team’s owners steadily rise in recent years due to lack of spending and a payroll less than you would expect for a team in New York. It’s gotten to the point where two fans worked together to have two billboards placed near Citi Field urging the owners to sell the team.
Gary Palumbo raised the $6,700 needed on Kickstarter to pay for the billboards and received some help from David Restiano, who came up with the designs. The one not pictured above reads “Fred, Jeff & Saul, Ya gotta leave.” In the case of both billboards, the names refer to Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz.
Despite the growing resentment from fans, it looks as though they will be stuck with the Wilpons for the near future as they have reiterated their intent to remain in charge of the franchise. As for how the billboards were received, Mets manager Terry Collins thought the money could have been put to better use.
“I think it’s a waste of time, but that’s just my own opinion, Collins said via Newsday. You want to spend $6,000? Go feed the homeless.”
There was considerable optimism around this year’s Mets team prior to the season. New York has quality starting rotation led by Matt Harvey, a now healthy David Wright, and an exciting young center fielder in Juan Lagares. And it’s quite possible a winning product on the field would go a long way towards easing the hard feelings towards management. It may not be enough, but it would be a good start. That said, a change in ownership seems to be the near unanimous choice among Mets fans.
Photo via: Twitter/MetsBillboard
- New York Mets fans
During the fourth inning of Monday’s Phillies-Mets game, Daniel Murphy doubled off the right field fence. As Grady Sizemore went to play the ball off the wall and relay it back into the infield, a fan threw the contents of his drink at the outfielder.
The drink didn’t appear to reach Sizemore, and at least the liquid looked clear, so he probably wasn’t too affected. Still, that’s just poor behavior by a fan. We’ve seen Chicago Cubs fans actually do worse, and even Philly fans have crossed lines when throwing drinks, so this isn’t terribly surprising. Hopefully the fan was kicked out and taught a lesson.