This is why the Orioles just aren't going to go away. With one out and one-run lead in the ninth inning, Baltimore's vaunted bullpen looked perfectly ready to blow the save against the Yankees. Mark Teixeira hit a groundball to short, which J.J. Hardy fielded and threw to second to put out Nick Swisher only to have the relay to first base arrive too late, thus allowing the tying run to score from third… or at least that is how it looked to everyone but umpire Jerry Meals.
This is what the viewers saw on their TV at home (courtesy of Jimmy Traina):
That sure looks like Mark Teixeira is safe by a pretty good margin. Meals, however, thought otherwise and declared him out thus preventing the tying run from scoring and ending the game as a 5-4 victory for Baltimore. Now, maybe Meals was just punishing Teixeira for stupidly sliding into first base, which we all know actually slows you down (I guess Teixeira was not a physics major at Georgia Tech), or maybe Meals just isn't a very good umpire as we saw last July during the epic Pirates-Braves 19-inning marathon that was decided when Meals blew a the call on a tag out play at home. Or maybe the Orioles just have a giant horseshoe up their collective butt.
Either way, Meals' obvious error is now looming as a major factor in both the AL East division title race (in which the YOLOrioles and Yankees are now once again tied) and in the increasingly tight and convoluted AL Wild Card race. Thanks, Jerry. And thanks Bud Selig for continuing to avoid expanding instant replay.