We haven’t seen an explanation yet, but one assumes that the union, the Dodgers and Utley objected to there being such a quick hearing. As mentioned this morning, it takes a bit of time to prepare for something like this and, no matter what you think of Utley’s slide, MLB pushing it through so quickly was somewhat unseemly and, possibly, calculated to ensure that Utley does not play tonight.
And now we await the lineups to see if Utley is going to be the subject of some frontier justice. Which would be dumb if you’re the Mets given that hitting Utley means putting a baserunner on who doesn’t even have a .300 OBP this year, but no one listens to me about this stuff anyway.
10:00AM: Chase Utley appealed his suspension for sliding into Ruben Tejada. As with all appeals, Utley would be eligible to play until he got his hearing. Which, most of the time, takes a while to happen. Major League Baseball, however, is not too interested in taking a while here: Jon Heyman reports that the league wants Chase Utley’s appeal hearing to happen before Game 3 of the NLDS, which gets underway at 8:37 PM tonight in New York.
There is no small amount of intrigue to this as I suspect that MLB doesn’t want Utley to play in tonight’s game if, for no other reason, than to try to avoid someone throwing at him (though, of course, someone else might get thrown at). At the same time, appeals tend to actually require preparation — compilation of past similar acts, comparison of past fines — that the union and/or Utley’s agent could bring to bear on appeal. Could that fairly happen before, say, 4pm today? Seems unlikely.
So, on top of whatever else we think about Utley’s slide, it’s results and the suspension, the appeal and hearing process is likely to be controversial too.