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MLB 49 43 The worst season by umpires — ever! 31863656 July 29: Does honesty count? July+29%3A+Does+honesty+count%3F MLB

You gotta give it to umpire Jerry Meals — at least he admitted he blew it. With the Red Sox trailing the Rays at home, an eighth-inning rally appeared to tie up the game on a sacrifice fly. But Meals called Boston pinch-runner Daniel Nava (without cap) out at home, sparking the ire of Nava and manager John Farrell (in jacket). Farrell was ejected during the argument, and Boston fell to Tampa Bay 2-1 as the Rays reclaimed first place in the AL East from the Red Sox. After the game, Meals told a pool reporter, 'What I saw was [Tampa Bay catcher Jose] Molina blocked the plate and Nava's foot lifted. But in the replays, you could clearly see Nava's foot got under for a split second and then lifted, so I was wrong on my decision. From the angle I had, I did not see his foot get under Molina's shin guard.'

Michael Dwyer - AP Images
MLB 49 43 The worst season by umpires — ever! 31861669 July 25: Two wrongs, nothing right July+25%3A+Two+wrongs%2C+nothing+right MLB

The play starts innocently enough. With a runner on first, the Mets' David Wright sent a blast to the left-center field gap, the ball hit between two outfielders and bounced, appearing (even at full speed) to clearly hit above the line at the top of the wall for a ground-rule double. But the umpires said the ball hit off the wall, not above it, and Wright ended up with a triple. What's more, the runner that would have been on third instead is allowed to score, giving the Mets a two-run lead in what would become a 7-4 Mets win. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to complain and 1) his pleas fall on deaf ears, 2) the umpires refuse to review the call, and 3) he gets tossed. That's right . . . they blew the call and ejected the manager they hosed on the call. For the umps on this one, it should be 1, 2, 3 strikes, they're out!

Anthony Gruppuso - USA TODAY Sports
MLB 49 43 The worst season by umpires — ever! 31840609 July 2: You're out! July+2%3A+You%27re+out%21 MLB

Brian Runge recently was dismissed for what was believed to be the first known drug ouster among umps, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. MLB announced on June 14 that Brian Runge was no longer on the staff, but didn't give a reason. The two people said Runge failed at least one drug test, then reached an agreement so he could remain on the umpire roster. When he failed to comply with those terms, he was released. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because MLB didn't publicly say why Runge was gone. It could not be independently determined by the AP what drug was involved.

Bob Levey - Getty Images
MLB 49 43 The worst season by umpires — ever! 31791609 June 1: Not to be too picky, but ... June+1%3A+Not+to+be+too+picky%2C+but+... MLB

In the Brewers-Phillies game, Milwaukee escaped partly because of a version of the old hidden-ball trick. Except this time, it looks like the ball was hidden from the umpire. Second-base ump Mike Estabrook called Phillies pinch runner Kyle Kendrick out on a pickoff throw by the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez. Except one thing: Second baseman Jean Segura dropped the ball, as clearly shown by a replay. However, Segura held the ball aloft, deking Estabrook. It was a key play, as it turned out. Philly trailed by one in the ninth, and the play was the second out. Cesar Hernandez then hit a double, which would have tied the game if Kendrick had still been on second. Instead, Hernandez was stranded as Rodriguez retired Michael Martinez to end the game.

Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports
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