An umpire's quick decision can be the difference between an extra base hit and an out, but sometimes the result is because he can't move fast enough. New York Yankees batter Eduardo Nunez found that out Friday night after he was robbed of a double during the fifth-inning of the Yankees-Rays game when he laced a blistering line drive into the third base ump.
Third base umpire Jerry Meals took the rocket to the kneecap and still made the fair-ball call.
You can't question Meals' toughness after he tried to jump out of the way and still got whacked. The stoic umpire let out a quiet "Ow" but never rubbed his knee or halted the game.
The Yankees should have been the ones saying 'Ow." Nunez — subbing at shortstop for Derek Jeter — had a sure double taken away while the Yankees trailed in the crucial AL East game, 3-1. Nunez would have been standing at second with no outs and the leadoff batter Jeter stepping up to the plate but instead, he was stranded at first. The Yankees didn't score.
If anything, the play showed that the old guy Meals still has some hops.