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Wright takes exception to Utley's slide

Wright takes exception to Utley's slide

PHILADELPHIA -- Just when the Mets and Phillies thought their rivalry might be fading, Chase Utley and David Wright did their best to stoke the flames.

Wright was critical of Utley after Friday's game, in which the Phillies second baseman slid hard into Ruben Tejada in an effort to break up a fifth-inning double play.

"Chase plays the game hard," Wright said. "He plays the game passionately. But there's a thin line between going out there and playing the game hard and going out there and trying to get somebody hurt."

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With two men on base and one out in the fifth, Jayson Werth hit a bouncing ball to third, where Wright relayed to Tejada at second base. Planted on the bag, Tejada spun and threw to complete the double play.

A split-second later, just as he was arriving at the second-base bag, Utley dropped to the ground and upended Tejada -- a 20-year-old rookie who did not join his teammates in their criticisms.

"It's baseball," Tejada said, noting that Utley asked if he was OK after the play.

But Wright and his teammates were not so forgiving.

"He's a second baseman," Wright said when asked if Utley's slide was clean. "He knows what it's like to turn a double play, and he knows the difference between a good, clean slide and a slide that's late. That's a better question for him. But if he doesn't mind guys coming like that after him, then everything's good."

"He waited to slide until he was even with the bag, and if that makes it dirty then it was dirty," Mets starter R.A. Dickey said. "That's a fact."

Utley, who declined to discuss the play after the game, came to the plate once more Friday. The Mets did not throw anywhere close to his body.

But Dickey, Wright and Mets manager Jerry Manuel all indicated afterward that the Mets may retaliate at some point in the future.

"We'll move on, and we'll reevaluate the way that we go into second base," Wright said.

"They'll take care of it," Manuel said of his team. "They'll take care of it."

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