Utley On Tejada Slide: If I Could Do It Over Again, I Would

Chase Utley reflected on his infamous slide that left Ruben Tejada with a broken leg

The DA Show
May 01, 2019 - 11:24 am
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Six-time All-Star Chase Utley dropped by The DA Show on Wednesday to discuss his retirement, his career, and, yes, his infamous slide in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS.

With the Dodgers trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh and the tying run on third base, Utley slid into second base intending to break up a double play – and he did. 

But he broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in the process.

That wasn’t a good feeling – for Tejada or Utley.

“Terrible,” Utley said in-studio, reflecting on how he felt that night. “You never want to hurt another player. Listen, I went in hard. I went in to break up the double play. I didn’t go in to break his leg. It was an unfortunate, terrible accident. If I could do it over again, I would do it over again because I don’t want to break the guy’s leg.”

That, of course, is easier said than done.

“I would probably slide easier,” Utley said, “but what people I don’t think understand is how quickly that play develops. You’re running as fast as you can and you’re watching him. My whole thing was, ‘I’m going after their feet. Wherever their feet are, I’m going.’”

Tejada, who was behind second base, took the flip for the out while turning left toward first. Then Utley arrived.

Tejada never got the throw off, and the Dodgers tied the game.

“Long story short, I thought he was going to kick the bag, do a jump, and throw,” Utley recalled. “So I took another couple of steps thinking he was going to jump, maybe I could clip his ankle as he’s getting off the ground, and he never jumped. So the anticipation wasn’t right on my part. So yeah, I would do it again, but you can’t do that unfortunately.”

In the moment, Utley had no idea he broke Tejada’s leg. It felt like just another slide.

“No, his knee hit my head, my helmet flew of, and I banged my head on the ground. It was all kind of blurry after that,” he said. “But yeah, seeing him being helped off the field, it’s not a good feeling.”