As you know by now, Chase Utley did not get hit by Aroldis Chapman last night. That’s what happens when someone throws 105 mph and we don’t have instant replay. And yeah, Utley was probably out at second base too, as evidenced by this picture here.
One thing that we can clear up, though, is that Utley did touch third base before scoring the tying run. It’s a little tough to tell from the screen grab to the right, but Scott Rolen confirmed as much to Bill Singer of MLB.com.
“I saw him touch the bag. I take a look when someone comes around third,
and he touched it, Just the corner. But that’s all you need.”
I can understand that some are asking why Utley isn’t facing the same criticism that Derek Jeter did last month, but there is one significant difference between the two events. Utley didn’t even need to state his case on the hit-by-pitch, because home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman did all the work for him. Utley just put his head down and kept going. Nothing we haven’t seen before.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.