Tejada accepts Utley's apology for slide
Mets shortstop fractured his right fibula on play during NLDS against Dodgers
NEW YORK -- Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada has accepted Chase Utley's apology, which the Dodgers infielder delivered via envoy David Wright.
Accepting an apology, Tejada made clear, does not change his view of the play from Game 2 of the National League Division Series, which fractured his right fibula and ended his postseason. He still believes Utley's slide was dirty, and he admitted he harbored initial resentment for Utley after his late slide led to Tejada being carted off the field. As Tejada watches the games from home this October, he wishes he could participate in the Mets' first World Series appearance since 2000. But the fact that the club is in the Fall Classic provides him enough solace.
"I'm happy," said Tejada, leaning on a decorative Mets cane provided by the Wilpon family. "Because we're here and he's not here."
After a few more weeks in a protective boot, Tejada's right leg will be healed enough for him to begin physical therapy. The offseason should provide ample time for the bone to heal, leaving little doubt in Tejada's mind that he'll be ready for Spring Training. That he's undergone similar rehab in the past -- Tejada also fractured his fibula in 2013 -- has set his mind at ease.
Tejada is arbitration-eligible for the third time this winter. If he returns at full strength, he will likely regain his spot in the starting lineup. After beginning 2015 in a bench role, Tejada's superior glove allowed him to retake the starting shortstop job by June. Wilmer Flores has started all 10 games at short this postseason since Tejada's injury, and he made an important play on a grounder up the middle in the Mets' 9-3 win during Game 3 on Friday.
Tejada said the situation with Utley should be considered resolved.
"I [accepted his apology] because I'm a good person and I can't do anything about it. He knows what he did and he had to decide to play the game that way," Tejada said. "I don't want to say anything to him. He knew what he did. God bless him, that's it."