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Chase Utley's appeal won't be heard until after NLDS

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (26)

Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (26) looks on during warmups before Game 3 of the NLDS against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Chase Utley's appeal hearing for his two-game suspension won't take place until Monday, despite Major League Baseball's effort to expedite the process.

Joe Torre, the sport's Chief Baseball Officer, announced Sunday that Utley had been suspended for his slide that fractured Ruben Tejada's right fibula the previous night in Game 2 of the Division Series.

While commissioner Rob Manfred pushed for Utley's case to be heard before the end of this first round, there is a 14-day window for the two sides to schedule a hearing. Monday is an off day for the NLCS, and if the Dodgers fail to advance, Utley would have to serve the penalty at the start of next season.

"We haven't had a suspension in the postseason for a very long time," Manfred told reporters Tuesday at Wrigley Field. "I think what this current situation has brought to light is that we may have a little difficult scheduling issue that a little shorter frame time would help us."

Manfred added that MLB hopes to have new legislation for 2016 that would better protect infielders around second base, just as Rule 7.14 was established to significantly reduce home-plate collisions.

"The issue of player safety is paramount for us," Manfred said. "We have some great young athletes and we don't want to lose any of them, regardless of position, to injuries that can be avoided and we are going to constantly look at the game to find ways to prevent avoidable injuries."

Tejada will miss the rest of the postseason but limped out to cheers during player introductions before Game 3 at Citi Field Monday night. Utley was loudly booed during the Dodgers' intros, but did not appear in the game. He also was not in the starting lineup for Tuesday night's Game 4.

When asked about the harsh Citi Field treatment, and how that may have affected Utley -- who has not spoken to the media -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly smiled.

"He played at Philly," Mattingly said. "I mean, you play in Philly, this is the same, right? I think he was fine."

As for the Mets, Terry Collins sounded unfazed that Utley would be eligible for the length of the Division Series.

"The fact that they felt the play was unnecessary and they did what they did was enough," Collins said before Game 4. "It was enough for us. And now we've moved past it."


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