MLB News: Rule Change For Slides Into Second Base Being Discussed
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Dodgers trailing the New York Mets, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 2 of the National League Division Series, they were threatening to tie the game with runners on the corners and one out.

Howie Kendrick hit a grounder up the middle that had the makings of a potential double play ball, only for Chase Utley to spark a ally and controversy.

Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy flipped the ball to Ruben Tejada, who attempted to spin, jump and throw over to first base. He was upended by Utley, and suffered a broken left fibula.

The tying run scored on the play and the Dodgers went on to plate three more runs in the inning, en route to a 5-2 win that evened the best-of-five series.

Many people considered Utley’s late slide dirty, while some considered it clean and a byproduct of postseason baseball. Above all else, it raised questions as to whether a change was needed.

Modifying the rule on slides into second base has been a talking point between Major League Baseball and the Players Association, and reportedly will be among the topics discussed during the owners meetings that begin Wednesday, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports:

MLB officials raised the possibility of a rule change in the aftermath of Ruben Tejada’s broken leg suffered in the National League playoffs on Chase Utley’s controversial slide. Representatives of MLB and the MLB Players Association have had productive discussions on the matter throughout the offseason, sources say, but so far the union has been reluctant to approve a mandate that baserunners slide directly into second base on potential double-play balls. Still, a compromise remains possible that reduces the chances of a violent collision while more clearly defining to runners — and fielders — what constitutes a legal slide. On a related note, club representatives also are expected to discuss possible modifications to interpretation of the “neighborhood play” rule at second base.

While Utley’s slide was the most recent, Chicago Cubs utility man Chris Coghlan’s hard slide last September broke Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang’s leg, ending his season.

Utley was suspended for two games, though appealed and remained eligible to play during the postseason. However, he didn’t appear in Games 3, 4 or 5. Utley’s appeal hearing is expected to take place during Spring Training.

He re-signed with the Dodgers on a one-year deal in December. In 34 games with Los Angeles he hit .202/.291/.363.