Chase Utley’s family received death threats from irate Mets fans last season, according to the Los Angeles Times, part of the nasty aftermath of the infamous takeout slide that left shortstop Ruben Tejada with a broken leg.
Utley, a longtime Mets nemesis from his time with the Phillies, told the newspaper that he’s expecting more backlash when the Dodgers begin a three-game series at Citi Field on Friday night.
“Looking back on it, knowing that he was going to spin, he wasn’t going to get off his feet, I would have done things differently, knowing that he was going to get hurt,” Utley said. “So I imagine the fans will let me have it.”
Utley broke Tejada’s leg in Game 2 of the NLDS, an incident that led Major League Baseball to adopt sliding rules designed to avoid similar injuries in the future. Before NLDS Game 3 at Citi Field, a crowd bent on revenge jeered Utley mercilessly during pregame introductions. He did not play in the two games of the series in Queens.
The Dodgers and Mets squared off in Los Angeles earlier this month, but despite chatter that the Mets would seek retribution for Tejada — now a member of the Cardinals — there were no fireworks.
Phenom to debut
Dodgers pitching phenom Julio Urias, 19, is expected to make his much-anticipated big-league debut Friday night against the Mets and Jacob deGrom. The lefthander’s promotion signals the first big- league debut for a teenager since 2012.
A native of Mexico, he signed with the Dodgers at 16 in 2013, and his ascent has been rapid. In eight games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, he went 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA, and in 41 innings, he struck out 44 and walked eight.