Longtime Mets’ nemesis Chase Utley joined ‘Boomer & Gio’ on Wednesday morning to discuss his part in the Mets-Phillies rivalry and his memories of playing in Flushing.
Mets-Phillies games dialed up the intensity and Utley remembered an incident with a particular young fan.
“I remember coming off the field one time and there was a boy – he was 10 years old – maybe,” Utley recalled. “As I’m walking to the dugout, he looks me right in the eyes and he goes ‘I hope you blanking die.’ And I looked right at his dad. I’m like I can’t believe this. He’s 10 years old, he said this. Maybe his dad is going to say it – and his dad repeated the same thing as he’s going at me.”
“You touched a nerve here in New York, I can tell you that,” Esiason said.
The six-time All-Star was a career .281 batter in 194 career regular-season games against the Mets.
Utley infamously broke Ruben Tejada’s leg sliding into second base during Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS while a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In retrospect, he wishes that he didn't slide in so hard.
“Looking back on it, knowing that his leg was going to break – I would have changed it a bit,” said Utley, now a special adviser for the Dodgers. “I would probably have gone in a little bit easier. That’s one thing that you do not want to do – is hurt an opposing player. The intent was to go in and break up the double play.”
He attempted to reach out to Tejada through David Wright, but Tejada didn't want to talk to him.
"There was no conversation, I tried to reach out to him -- it didn't go so well," Utley said. "I tried to get ahold of him through David Wright. He passed on some messages. I wanted to talk to (Tejada), he didn't want to talk to me. I sent him a very nice bottle of tequila to say sorry."
"Maybe he wasn't trying to be dirty, but he slid too late."