Spring training baseball is often far different from the regular season. But I didn’t know it could get as “different” as it did on Tuesday.
In a spring training game in Bradenton, FL, the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates completed the top of the 9th inning with the designated home-team Pirates up 7-4. That should have been the end of the game, and the umpires left since their jobs were done.
But the teams didn’t. Instead, all the players just … kept playing!
The managers of both teams had a discussion about getting one more half inning of game action before the day's end, since the Orioles wanted to get reliever Ofreidy Gomez some work. However, the umpires were not on board with the plan, so the teams just kept the game going with the Orioles catcher Maverick Handley calling balls and strikes.
The Pirates and Orioles decided to play an extra half inning of baseball without umpires even though the game was finished 😂— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) February 28, 2023
(h/t @cespedesbbq) pic.twitter.com/WflybcX6tF
“A little backfield action,” Orioles manager Brandon 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.”
Baseball is one of those sports where you could be a fan for 40 years and you’ll still see stuff you’ve never seen before. Tuesday was a hilarious reminder of that.