Headlines worth Flushing: New York media goes wild on Mets, Utley and dirty plays

With postseason baseball back in Queens, best believe: There will be puns. There will be press. There will be takes that punish the heat-sensitive reader.The Mets host the Dodgers Monday night, placing playoff action in Flushing for the first time since 2006, when New York lost to the eventual-champion Cardinals in the NLCS. And with the Yankees no longer in contention, the back pages can offer full focus to their favorite little brothers of baseball. Columnists can eschew the Bronx for that other baseball borough. Tabloids can trade New York's dark prince for New York's Dark Knight. MORE: Dissecting Utley double-talk | SPECTOR: Don't hit him, Harvey KLAPISCH: Mets turn to Dark KnightAnd Chase Utley just handed them their headlines on a silver platter. Utley might have avoided his suspension for his takeout slide of Ruben Tejada — for now — but he can't avoid the New York press, who predictably went beyond the basepaths to hit him where it hurts. Predictably, the New York Post, Newsday and the New York Daily News had a field day with Utley's slide and suspension, making sure to choose photos reflecting both Utley's vicious slide and his resting, um, pitch face. A look at tomorrow's @NYDNSports back page by @IanPowers @Mets @Dodgers #NLDS pic.twitter.com/FrraGrS0Hm— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) October 11, 2015 PLAYOFFS: Postseason oddities | Cubs-Cards key players | Rangers-Jays key players But New York has more to offer than images, fat-font puns and those last-minute grabs from Larry. The city that never sleeps never sleeps on a story, and the press weighed in on Utley's act, Matt Harvey's role as harbinger of revenge and the return of late-October Mets baseball. The Daily News even named Utley the No. 1 Mets villain of all time. Here's what some of the writers are saying:From New York Post's Mike Vaccaro: If Utley thought he was detested, despised and reviled in New York already, he has no idea what he’s in for. You thought it was ugly when John Rocker returned to the scene of his verbal hate crimes? Maybe you remember Pete Rose leveling Buddy Harrelson back in the ’73 playoffs, and the way he was treated the rest of his career at Shea Stadium?Those were Hallmark cards compared to what’s coming.Charming! From New York Post's Joel Sherman:In on-field playing style, Utley is an heir to the win-at-all cost ardor of Rose. No player of the last decade has been invoked more often by scouts/executives to suggest a throwback way of play — less on-field civility, more heady prioritization of winning — than Utley. But legality has always been in the eye of the beholder when it came to Utley, a human borderline between hustle and hostility.I wouldn't bet on Utley liking the Pete Rose parallel, at least as it's presented here. Seriously, Chase: Don't. Bet. On. It.From ESPN New York's Ian O'Connor:Joe Torre, acting disciplinarian, benched the un-artful Dodger for what he called a "rolling block" on Tejada that the umpires somehow missed. Rather than accept his punishment for the sake of all concerned, Utley is appealing because Utley does everything face-first. Not to be technical, Mr. O'Connor, but Utley slid shin-first. Alas, we digress. Give O'Connor credit for imploring Harvey to not seek revenge — at least not in the headhunting sense.From Newsday's David Lennon:Beating the Mets between the lines is one thing, as Chipper Jones and Jimmy Rollins repeatedly have done in soul-crushing fashion. But physical harm is a different category entirely, and breaking Tejada's leg — regardless of what Utley says the intention was — flicked a switch inside the Mets' clubhouse Saturday night that won't be turned off easily.Torre's ruling, however, gives them a chance to power down that fury and forgo any costly emotional retaliation

.A refreshing take, Mr. Lennon! And perhaps a thanks owed to Utley for allowing the Mets, after all this time, to stop dressing in the dark.From Newsday great Neil Best:It is time for Citi Field's close up Monday — a national, prime-time stage for Game 3 of the NLDS featuring the nation's two largest media markets and Gotham's newest villain, Chase Utley of the Dodgers, facing Matt (Dark Knight) Harvey.As Best points out, it's the Mets' first chance to replace the most recent, and most painful, postseason memory: The Carlos Beltran backwards K. But, wait a minute, wasn't Harvey the villain just a month ago — the "fake tough guy, a fugazi in full, all talk and no action" according to Mr. Vaccaro? It seems a broken leg and a ball in the hand makes the fan's heart grow fonder.But the real MVP of the New York media this week wasn't a media member at all. Will in Queens — who wants Harvey to know this is "his one chance" to re-earn fan faith — already took that title with his teary appearance on Mike Francesa's radio show.Never change, New York. Never change.Editor's note: The author of this post lived in East Village for a few months once and read the Village Voice like the cheap hipster he is. This post is not meant to be all-encompassing of the fine journalists in New York City, nor should Collins be considered a time-worn New Yorker.