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Umpire Jerry Meals steals extra bases from Yankees after being struck by batted ball (Video)

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Jerry Meals just can't seem to get out of his own way lately — and in the process can't seem to get out the New York Yankees way either.

After clearly blowing a game-ending call last Saturday night in Baltimore that directly cost New York an opportunity to tie the game and extend their 5-4 loss to the Orioles, Meals was assigned the Yankees series with the Tampa Bay rays this weekend at Yankee Stadium.

By the way, don't think for one second Yankees fans didn't take notice of this development.

On Friday night, Meals was stationed at third base, leading one to assume it would significantly decrease his chances to miss a call or impact the game since there's usually less action over there. But of course, in the fifth inning, his presence was felt again, only this time as a result of being struck by Eduardo Nunez's rope down the third base line that was ticketed for the left field corner and extra bases.

Meals showed off pretty impressive hops in his attempt to avoid the ball, but it still smacked him directly on the kneecap and rolled back towards the infield, meaning Nunez was forced to settle for a single. And yes, it actually did prove to cost the Yankees, although in a much less controversial fashion, because one batter later Derek Jeter would deliver career hit No. 3,284 — moving him past Willie Mays for 10th place all-time on the career hits list.

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Wanna get away, Jerry? (MLB.TV)

Had Nunez been on second, a groundball single that trickled through the right side like Jeter's would have at least moved the runner to third, and could have tied the game at three if Nunez had a good jump. Instead, it was first and second with one out, and neither Nick Swisher or Alex Rodriguez could bring Nunez around.

Of course we'll never know for sure what would have happened had the ball made it to the corner. For all we know Nunez could have ended up on third after an error or David Price would have attacked the situation much differently. But still, the irony that Meals would be involved in this type of play so soon after the controversy last weekend and again cost the Yankees a chance to rally in a game they ultimately lost 6-4, is really too wild to ignore.

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