MLB

Steven Souza Jr..

Watch: Tampa Bay Rays outfielder dives for ball that lands 25 feet away from him

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Sometimes you just have to admit defeat and cut your losses, especially in a game as unforgiving as baseball.

However, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. clearly doesn't believe that at all, as evidenced by a hilariously bad defensive play he made on Friday night against the Minnesota Twins.

With the Rays leading 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, a Minnesota player hit a looping fly ball into right-center field, causing both Souza and Kevin Kiermaier to give chase.

As you can see below, Souza makes a heroic dive for the ball, but ends up sliding on his stomach while he watches the ball land more than 20 feet away from his outstretched glove:

Kiermaier scoops the ball up and fires it back into the infield to prevent the Twins runners from advancing further, then both he and Souza look up to the scoreboard for a replay. When they see just how awful Souza's efforts were, they both break out in laughter.

After the game, Souza was a good sport about the play, explaining why he felt the need to dive before poking fun at himself by saying his play will be around on the internet for a long time (via ESPN.com):

"I just hit the deck hoping it wasn't going to hit me in the face," Souza said. "I had no idea where it was. When I looked up, it was about 40 feet away from me. I'm going to be a GIF forever."

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Tampa Bay Rays

Souza did acquit himself nicely by blasting a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning - his only hit of the game - as the Rays held on for the 5-2 victory. However, he couldn't escape the Twins fans' roasting, as they gave him a mock standing ovation when the scoreboard showed a replay of the dive when he stepped to the plate before belting his homer:

"It's all in good fun. You play this game, you're going to make a fool of yourself eventually," he said. "I don't think I've ever gotten a standing ovation for making a bad play. That was pretty funny."

Souza even tweeted about his play after the game, asking the folks at Statcast to analyze his efforts and tell him how far short he ended up after his dive:

Yikes. That's a lot of ground Souza wasn't able to cover, but at least he was able to poke fun at himself about it.

It's a long season, so you have to appreciate moments of levity like this when you get them. After all, the Rays held on for the win, so everything was much more festive in the clubhouse.

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Topics:
MLB National League
MLB World Series
Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays
MLB American League
MLB Playoffs
MLB

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