Orioles, Pirates play a spring coaching inning with out umpires

Spring coaching means baseball is again — apparently with or with out umpires.

The Orioles-Pirates recreation on Tuesday “officially” ended after the highest of the ninth in a 7-4 win for the house Pirates. But the 2 groups opted to play one other half-inning to get a few of their minor-league gamers some further recreation expertise.

Such a factor is widespread in spring coaching, because it serves as a technique to get youthful gamers, particularly pitchers, some precious reside reps in entrance of MLB teaching staffs. What isn’t widespread, nonetheless, is to take action with out umpires, which is what occurred Tuesday. 

Baltimore’s coaches appeared to sign that they wished to play a backside of the ninth, with Pittsburgh agreeing, however by that time, the Pirates broadcast was displaying the umpiring crew effectively on its method out of the Pirates’ spring coaching area in Brandenton, Fla. 

“They have dinner reservations,” Pirates broadcaster Joe Block quipped.

After a quick dialogue between Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde and Pirates supervisor Derek Shelton, the 2 opted to play on with out umpires, permitting Orioles catcher Maverick Handley to name balls and strikes.

Handley could have been a bit biased with a few of his calls, although catchers are normally tasked with calling balls and strikes in MLB intrasquad or simulated-game eventualities.

The umpire-less inning even had an additional deal with for critics of MLB’s new pitch clock. With no umpires to implement it, the pitch clock was turned off, similar to the outdated days.

“There are no rules,” Block joked as a Pirates batter hit a pop fly. “You don’t even have to catch that. Just say he’s out.”

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Still, the odd scene and Block’s commentary offered a humorous second for the followers who determined to stay round for a meaningless half-inning of a spring coaching recreation.

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