If you haven’t, you live under a rock.
For context, the Pirates were the home team in the game and had a 7-4 lead after the top of the ninth. This seemed like the end of the game, however Orioles manager Derek Hyde approached Derek Shelton about playing a bottom half anyways so his younger players could get some additional practice. Shelton obliged and Baltimore took the field ready to start the unofficial frame.
There was one issue, though: there were no umpires.
Figuring the game was over, the crew of Derek Thomas, Chad Fairchild, Will Little, and Adam Beck headed to the parking lot just beyond right field to get a head start on their dinner plans, but were soon questioned as to why they were leaving. After some discussion, both teams agreed to play the bottom of the ninth with no umpires.
This snafu caught the attention of several media outlets and it quickly became the hot topic across social media.
The Orioles and Pirates both wanted to play the bottom of the 9th inning despite the Pirates technically winning the game 7-4— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 28, 2023
The umpires left the field thinking the game was over and both teams proceeded to play with no umps pic.twitter.com/dQVKxYovC3
How did this happen, though? It’s not uncommon for teams to continue playing after the game officially “ends,” but this was not an ordinary situation.
On an interview on Indiana in the Morning, a daily public affairs program on NewsTalk WCCS 101.1 FM and AM 1160 in Indiana County, Pirates play-by-play broadcaster Greg Brown broke down the chain of events.
This isn’t the weirdest thing to happen to the Pirates, as most fans know, but it’s certainly entertaining to see something like this in Spring Training.
*Writer’s note: the clip was obtained legally. I work at WCCS and asked the host — Todd Marino — for his permission to use it, to which he agreed.