MLB saves Chase Utley from slide suspension

Major League Baseball has dropped Chase Utley's two-game suspension, meaning the Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman will be available to play Opening Day, sources confirmed to ESPN's Adam Rubin and Pedro Gomez.

The former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star was suspended for his hard slide into New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in Game 2 of the National League Division Series. Tejada suffered a broken leg on the play.

The Los Angeles Times first reported the rescinded penalty.

Tejada offered no negative reaction to Utley's suspension being dropped.

"I don't care really," Tejada said. "I don't care. I care about me. I'm healthy here. I'm happy here. So I don't care about what's going to happen there or what's the decision they take there."

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, goes over the top of Los Angeles Dodgers' Chase Utley who broke up a double play during the seventh inning in Game 2 of MLB's NLDS.

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

In February, MLB and the players' union banned rolling block slides to break up potential double plays, hoping to prevent a repeat of the Utley takeout, which had not been illegal last season.

"It will definitely help keep guys healthy for sure," Utley said at the time of the rule change.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the bottom line is that he is pleased the sliding rule has been amended. He nonetheless appeared disappointed with the justification for MLB dropping Utley's suspension -- that punishment for similar slides was inconsistently enforced in the past.

Alderson noted that Mets reliever Hansel Robles will open the season with a two-game suspension, reduced from three games, for throwing in the direction of the head of Philadelphia's Cameron Rupp on Sept. 30. Robles did not hit Rupp with the quick pitch.

"As long as they're dropping penalties, they might as well drop his," Alderson dryly said.

Information from ESPN staff writer Doug Padilla and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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