May 26, 2016
In many ways, Chase Utley was the story of last year’s baseball playoffs. The greatest second baseman in Phillies history had an infamous takeout slide that both helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win a baseball game and also broke New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg.
Right after that game, the NLDS moved to New York. The next couple of nights in Queens weren't for the faint of heart, and in the middle of Andy McCullough’s strong Utley profile in the LA Times, we learn that Utley even received death threats:
But before that, a hornet’s nest awaited Utley in New York for Game 3. His family received death threats, according to people familiar with the situation. Utley did not stay at the team hotel, an occasional custom of his that coincided with the infamy.
“That was the plan prior to anything,” Utley said. “It was probably better off that way.”
Utley only played in those games after appealing a two-game suspension (which was later dropped), and the fans that he had already frustrated as a division rival weren't happy to see him. From McCullough’s story again:
Utley did not appear in either of the next two games at Citi Field, but his presence loomed over the proceedings. The mayor of New York denounced him. Jeers drowned out his name during introductions. As the Mets rolled in Game 3, fans screamed “We want Utley!” One sign in the crowd, eventually confiscated, declared Utley supported Islamic State.
The Dodgers’ record currently sits at 25-23. Utley will go back to Citi Field this weekend with the Dodgers, having his best season (so far, at least) at the plate since 2013 with a .289/.379/.408 slash line through 42 games.
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