MLB spring training: Pirates and Orioles play umpire-less baseball for needless bottom of the 9th
The Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates lived the dream Tuesday: baseball without umpires.
Well, actually, baseball with no umpires would probably be more like a nightmare, but the two teams had to make due after their umpiring crew left the ball game when the Pirates, the home team, finished the top of the ninth inning leading 7-4.
In normal baseball rules, the game would've been over, and the Pirates would've started shaking hands, but because this is spring training, the two teams wanted to play on to give their players as much time on the field as possible.
The result was a half-inning of the teams calling their own balls, strikes and outs, sandlot-style:
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
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said after the game that the teams had approval from the league to play on, per Andy Kostka of The Baltimore Banner:
“We were told by the league we could play it by the umpires and pitch the bottom half of the ninth inning, and I guess [umpire] Chad Fairchild felt like we couldn’t.”
As far as MLB and its website are concerned, the game ended after the top of the ninth, giving the Pirates a 7-4 victory and right-hander David Bednar the win.