Baseball, and MLB in particular, has a set of rules that should be respected at all times.
That’s true for the regular season.
Spring training, on the other hand, allows for some extra flexibility.
Otherwise, we just couldn’t explain what happened in the Baltimore Orioles – Pittsburgh Pirates game on Tuesday.
“The Orioles and Pirates both wanted to play the bottom of the 9th inning despite the Pirates technically winning the game 7-4. The umpires left the field thinking the game was over and both teams proceeded to play with no umps,” Jomboy Media tweeted.
The Orioles and Pirates both wanted to play the bottom of the 9th inning despite the Pirates technically winning the game 7-4
The umpires left the field thinking the game was over and both teams proceeded to play with no umps pic.twitter.com/dQVKxYovC3
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 28, 2023
The Pirates acted as the home club and when they retired the Orioles in the top of the ninth, by rule the bottom of the ninth didn’t really have to be played.
But this is a time for experiments: perhaps both teams wanted to try a pitcher, or give an at-bat to a prospect.
So, both teams wanted to play out the bottom of the ninth even though it wasn’t necessary.
The umpires had left the field when the top of the ninth (and the game, theoretically) ended.
As a result, both squads played the bottom of the ninth with no umpires in one of the most curious scenes you will see in spring training.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton and Baltimore skipper Brandon Hyde had a quick discussion after Josh Lester grounded out to end the game.
After their chat, they went on and played the bottom of the inning with no umpires or even robo-umpires.
According to ESPN, the Orioles wanted to get some work on the mound for right-hander Ofreidy Gómez.
Hyde said the umpiring crew didn’t like the plan and left.
“A little backfield action,” Hyde told the Baltimore Sun after the game.
“We were told by the league that we could clear it by the umpires and pitch the bottom half of the ninth inning, and I guess [crew chief] Chad Fairchild felt that we couldn’t.”NEXT: Padres Add A Key Veteran Bat To Their Mix