LOS ANGELES -- As the Dodgers head to New York on Sunday, now tied with the Mets 1-1 in their National League Division Series, they await word on possible discipline of Chase Utley, whose takeout slide resulted in Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada breaking his right leg.
"I have to determine if I thought it was excessive, I guess, is the word, on the slide," said MLB executive Joe Torre. "Not that you shouldn't slide hard, but as I said, just the late slide is probably the only thing that's in question right now."
Torre said he and MLB would continue to review the play to determine whether to levy punishment for Utley's slide.
"I certainly don't feel that he was trying to hurt somebody. I think his goal was breaking up a double-play, and in doing that someone broke their leg," Torre explained. "He was, I agree, he was within range of the bag, yeah. It wasn't like the fielder was over here and he went right at him and couldn't reach the bag. Yeah, that's where it becomes not cut and dry. So it's all this stuff that we're going to look at and digest."
Reaction to the slide, as one might imagine, was partisan.
"Broke my shortstop's leg, that's all I know," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "I'm not going to get into it. It's over. It's done. Not much we can do about it except come out in a couple days and get after it."
#Mets are heated in their postgame clubhouse. "We need an explanation," Kelly Johnson says. "It's sad. I don't get it. I really don't."— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 11, 2015
David Wright: "I have a problem with the play on a number of different levels." #Mets— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) October 11, 2015
Chase Utley was asked if it was a dirty play: "That really depends on who you’re talking to. But there was no intent to injure whatsoever."— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 11, 2015
"Before he hits the ground he hits Ruben. I’ve done my fair share of taking out double plays. I’ve never done anything like that." Cuddyer— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 11, 2015
"I felt like Chase was sliding hard, trying to win. I've seen the replay. The one thing I probably know a hundred percent sure that I know Chase is not trying to hurt anybody," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's just playing the game the way he plays it. He plays it hard, he's aggressive, and I think that's the way he plays it."
Asked Corey Seager about fear of reprisal: "You expect everybody to slide hard. You have to be ready. (Cont)— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 11, 2015
Seager cont: "You either have to take one for the team and make the play or get out of the way."— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) October 11, 2015
"I think everyone knows how hard Chase plays the game and did what everyone would do going hard to break up the double-play. Unfortunately the ball put Ruben in kind of a bad position to be there," said Justin Turner. "We don't want to see anyone get hurt, but hopefully, I know it's a fracture, but he's a good friend of mine. I hope it's not too bad and doesn't effect anything with his career."
The Mets will replace Tejada on the roster before Game 3, which means that should New York advance Tejada would be ineligible for the NLCS, but that's a moot point since he has a fractured right fibula. It also means Wilmer Flores will start at shortstop for the Mets going forward.
Flores started 80 games at shortstop and 29 games at second base this season for the Mets, and hit .263/.295/.408 in 510 plate appearances.
"Now we're going to have to ask Wilmer to step up. Relax, play with a little relaxation that I don't think there is any pressure on him," Collins said. "Just play the game the way he knows how. And I think he will."
The Dodgers will fly to New York on Sunday morning, and will play Game 3 at Citi Field on Monday night at 5:07 p.m. PT, with Brett Anderson on the mound facing Matt Harvey for the Mets.