Any trip to New York is heavy on the boos for Dodgers’ Chase Utley

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season NEW YORK – Chase Utley did not play in Friday’s game at Citi Field. But for a brief moment, Mets fans got what they wanted – a chance to boo the most hated man in all of Queens.“I mean, I was on deck for, like, 30 seconds — if that,” Utley said Saturday of emerging from the dugout as a potential pinch-hitter in the ninth inning only to have the inning end before he could bat.But all it took was Utley poking his head out of the Dodgers dugout for some observant fans to cut loose. Utley said it didn’t register with him but when he was told the quick trigger made it seem like some fans had come to the game merely to collect the night’s free promotional T-shirt and to boo him, his reaction was just what you would expect from an evil super villain.“Perfect,” he said. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “I think it adds some adrenaline to the situation which can be beneficial at times,” Utley said.But for the most part, he said, there is no sting of Queens.“You get pretty accustomed to it, playing here so much over the years,” Utley said. “At this point, I’m pretty numb to it. I mean, we had a pretty good rivalry over the years when I was with Philadelphia.“It’s just kind of become – what happens.”Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.NOT READYThe bullpen session rookie right-hander Walker Buehler was expected to throw Saturday has been put on hold. Buehler is still experiencing pain his right side when he throws. The Dodgers want him to be pain-free before he throws off a mound, Manager Dave Roberts said.“Walker is still a little sore with the ribs when he plays catch,” Roberts said. “We’re not putting tomorrow off the table (to throw a bullpen session). Obviously it didn’t happen today. Walker, it’s more day to day and figuring out when we can get him off a mound. Once we check that box, we’ll try to ramp him up.”Buehler suffered the injury over a month ago when he was struck in the side by a line drive off the bat of Trevor Story. Buehler made three more starts before a microfracture was found in one of his ribs. He hasn’t pitched since the last of those starts on June 8.TAYLOR OUTShortstop Chris Taylor said his injured left hamstring was feeling “a lot better today” and he went through some “movement stuff” with trainers to test it before Saturday’s game. Still, he was not in the starting lineup and hasn’t played the field since leaving Wednesday’s game in Chicago with the injury. Roberts said he doesn’t expect Taylor to be in the lineup Saturday either.“It’s a day-to-day thing,” Roberts said. “He tested it a little bit today so I think today he’ll be available the same as last night. Tomorrow, I would expect to not have him in the lineup but to use him in the same capacity (as a potential pinch-hitter). As far as DL right now, we’re OK with not having to make that decision.”In his first at-bat since Wednesday, Taylor came on as a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning Saturday and drove in two runs with a double, running cautiously when the drive split the gap in right-center field.ALSOLeft-hander Adam Liberatore was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday in order to clear a roster spot for Clayton Kershaw to be activated from the DL.Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is limited to flat-ground throwing for the time being after experiencing discomfort in his injured groin muscle when he tried throwing off a mound last week.UP NEXTDodgers LHP Rich Hill (1-2, 4.99 ERA) at Mets TBA, Sunday, 10:10 a.m., SportsNet LA (where available) Utley was in the lineup Saturday night, his 55th start at Citi Field, giving ample opportunity for Mets fans to voice their displeasure. Add in his 39 starts at old Shea Stadium and he has played in this corner of Queens more often than anywhere but his two baseball homes (Philadelphia and Los Angeles).Mets fans, accustomed to being made miserable by their own players, have been made even more miserable by Utley during his visits. He has 14 home runs and .292 average at Citi Field. In 190 career games against the Mets (home or road), he has hit .281 with 39 home runs, a .527 slugging percentage and 116 RBI.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies He really earned their contempt in the 2015 National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers. During Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, Utley’s takeout slide at second base left Ruben Tejada with a broken leg – and eventually resulted in a rules change governing plays at second base. When that series moved to New York, Utley’s family was provided with security and there were reports of death threats.“Yeah, it’s gotten a little bit worse,” Utley said of his standing in New York, post-slide. “It was pretty good before. But they’ve been a little more vocal the last few years when I’ve been here.”So what does it feel like to evoke such a visceral reaction in thousands of people?last_img read more

Football vs. Education

first_imgA very interesting debate is taking place on the Liberian football landscape – one that could determine whether the face of Liberia changes or remains the same.Liberian Football Association (LFA) Chair Musa Bility has decided that youths who are not actively enrolled in institutions of learning will not be allowed to take part in the annual county meet.Mr. George Weah, an internationally acclaimed Liberian soccer legend, has disagreed with Bility. Weah’s position is that young people whose parents cannot afford to send them to school should be given the opportunity to make something of themselves, even as he (Weah) himself did.Both men have valid points. Bility’s position could change the face of Liberian, yea African football. Having a squad of educated men on the national football team could make for increased discipline, something Liberian football has been sorely lacking. It would also send the important message across Africa that education and football are not mutually exclusive. That means that a player does not have to – and must not – choose between football (or any sport for that matter) and education.As many former American basketball stars have learned, a sports career is not a substitute for education. A young man can sign a multi-million dollar contract today, suffer an injury on the court and lose his career in six months.Due to lack of education and discipline, a talented young man with money who knows nothing about investing can follow the wrong crowd, spend his money on drugs, drinking, material possessions and women, and have nothing to show or leave to his children by the time his life is over.Mr. Weah may have been very fortunate to have had strong personal discipline as well as good mentors who gave him sound financial advice and taught him how to invest. Today, long after his sports career is over, he is not begging for scratch cards and living off women.Even so, however, Mr. Weah will admit that with all of his wealth, he himself has twice hit the glass ceiling that has stood between him and the one dream that constantly seems to evade him – the Liberian presidency. With no shortage of campaign financing, Mr. Weah twice lost the presidential elections to a woman whose education opened the door for her to acquire the requisite experience voters looked for in a president. That education and experience enabled her to speak for her country on an international stage, which earned Liberia’s credibility in the comity of nations and hence a seat at the table of decision making. Has she made mistakes? A ton. But Liberians were more willing to take the risk with education and experience than without. By contrast, the majority of those who voted for the less-educated candidate were themselves mostly uneducated.  We have to change that dynamic so that the entire voting population is able to make educated choices and decisions.Notwithstanding, Mr. Weah, clearly has a heart for the less fortunate, which stems from his own experience. The only problem is that his experience was more the exception than the norm. We cannot have a whole generation of children thinking they can all grow up to be King Pele. Out of a population of 3.5 million, everyone cannot play for AC Milan. We need to disabuse our children of that notion. We need to disabuse them of the notion that football is their only ticket out of poverty.The wonder of education is that it gives a man/woman options. If he breaks his leg today, once it heals, he can go into business.  Education also gives a man the keys to his own destiny. Without it, he cannot even read his own contract. Only his managers know exactly how much he is really worth.Weah has proposed that if only youths enrolled in schools are to be allowed to participate in the inter-county meet, then school should be free for all children. We disagree. The point is for our children not to lose focus on their education every time the meet comes around. They must understand that there are no short cuts to success.A young man from Paynesville grew up with a natural talent for soccer. He became a rising star and a member of the Lone Star’s U-20 team. One day, the coach announced that a select number of the group would be traveling to Greece. Elkhart Davis, as this young Liberian came to be known, was one hundred percent sure he would be selected. He would go to Greece and become a star. In the final lineup, the coach chose his son, a far lesser player. Elkhart Davis became a drunkard. All of his eggs were in the soccer basket that crashed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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