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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

The day the umpires walked off and the Orioles played on

The Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates finished their spring training game Tuesday without umpires on the field when the clubs agreed to continue playing even though Baltimore had already lost. Normally, the game ends if the visiting team is trailing and fails to tie the score in the top of the ninth during its at-bats.

Manager Brandon Hyde said Major League Baseball informed clubs they could opt to continue games through the bottom of the ninth so another pitcher can face live batters. In this case, it was right-hander Ofreidy Gómez who took the mound to get spring training work in a simulated setting.

But the umpires left.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2023 at 08:13 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: umpires

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   1. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 28, 2023 at 09:01 PM (#6119091)
Now this is a new-rule pilot I can get behind!
   2. The Duke Posted: February 28, 2023 at 09:15 PM (#6119095)
Honestly, with balls/strikes automated you don't need umps. 99% of plays can go by honor system and the rest can be tossed to replay
   3. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: February 28, 2023 at 09:35 PM (#6119099)
And then if you have an argument about a call someone’s mom has to come on the field and tell one of the teams to go home and the other team to go to their room.
   4. tell me when i'm telling 57i66135 Posted: February 28, 2023 at 09:38 PM (#6119100)
   5. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: February 28, 2023 at 10:26 PM (#6119107)
This probably doesn't apply to MLB umps, but when I was umpiring in HS, we were not allowed to let the game continue after the conclusion by the rules. If we did, and someone got hurt, we could be liable and our association insurance would not cover us from liability. It was "The game is over by rule. We are going to leave. What you do after is your business."
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: February 28, 2023 at 10:52 PM (#6119110)
   7. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: February 28, 2023 at 11:07 PM (#6119111)
5 - Yeah that’s pretty common. I coach 10-12 year olds and if we ever get in that situation (due to merry rule typically) we can’t keep going for the same reason.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2023 at 12:09 AM (#6119117)
#5 -- yes I also assume the ML umps are not liable for players continuing to play but I wouldn't be surprised if the insurance provider has some clauses about umps not covered in circumstances like this. The game is over, it's your fault if you're standing behind home plate and get a foul ball to the head. Although per the blurb, sounds like the umps just didn't realize what was going on rather than getting pulled by the crew cheif/union.
   9. BDC Posted: March 01, 2023 at 09:02 AM (#6119131)
This is a conjecture, but I would also imagine that insurance for spring-training mishaps is a sort of blanket thing for the entire spring – players are just as likely to get brained or trip over something in workouts or infield practice as they are in an exhibition game. Though honestly I have no idea: maybe there's no such insurance at all, and everyone just hopes for the best …
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2023 at 02:27 PM (#6119172)
#9 I too assume players, coaches, etc. are all fully-covered -- certainly as long as it's employer-sanctioned, I assume workman's comp applies. But the teams don't supervise the umps and the umps' workday is over and they are not required to be there. Obviously they're still covered as they walk to their locker room or are engaging in any other work activities. My question is whether "hey ump, we want to play another half-inning, can you stick around?" is a covered work activity -- is it an injury on the job or off the job?

Surely there's settled case law about a situation like hanging around the office to do some personal stuff after hours only to have the chair break and hurt your back.
   11. Darren Posted: March 01, 2023 at 02:45 PM (#6119177)
Weird that these umpires don't want to stay late at work, off the clock, and help train new employees.
   12. Karl from NY Posted: March 01, 2023 at 02:50 PM (#6119179)
There's an easy reason to allow this: if the clubs wanted to, they could do it anyway, by just having the home team IBB in enough runs in the top of the ninth to extend the game to the bottom. And that would be a terrible look.

(and to make the second C&H reference in this thread - yes I verbed IBB)

If MLB said the clubs could do it, I assume they also would have covered the employment rules for umps and stadium personnel etc. I'd assume the umps here just didn't realize what the clubs wanted before they left.
   13. sanny manguillen Posted: March 01, 2023 at 09:49 PM (#6119226)
I haven't seen this elsewhere and it's Oriole-related: former O's, Senators, and Angels CFer Albie Pearson died on February 22, at 88.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: March 02, 2023 at 03:21 PM (#6119303)
I verbed IBB

I verbed and adjectivized hypoteneuse the other day when I decided that, to get to my destination, route B was sufficiently hypoteneused to be shorter than route A.

I debate whether this is a transitive or intransitive verb (or both). To get from one corner to the opposite corner, do we "hypotenuse the park" or do we "hypoteneuse across the park?" Either way, urban planners and landscape architects please take note!
   15. Walt Davis Posted: March 02, 2023 at 03:25 PM (#6119304)
#12 ... you're assuming somebody wondered "what about the umpires?" Given even the long-negotiated, frequently-revised, lawyer-reviewed language of the JDA wasn't remotely clear about the ARod situation (or in many other ways), I am far from certain anybody thought this through that far.
   16. Snowboy Posted: March 03, 2023 at 04:55 AM (#6119371)
It says something about the state of media that TFA (a Baltimore outfit) runs a picture with the caption "Orioles pitcher Ofreidy Gómez (91) delivers a pitch at LECOM Park in Sarasota, Florida, on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, during the bottom of the ninth inning"

I live in the frozen tundra, and even I know what's wrong with that line.

Anyway, I heard a podcast interview with Pirates manager Derek Shelton. He said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde approached him in the middle of the 8th (as you do in spring training? You walk over to the other dugout, or just yell from one plastic lawn chair to the other, between innings) that if the Orioles couldn't get a few runs and tie/take the lead and force the Pirates to bat in the 9th, would the Pirates be okay with continuing to play? Hyde said they'd brought a reliever on the trip who hadn't yet got in the game. Shelton said he agreed.

The article makes it seem like there was some tension between Hyde and ump crew chief Chad Fairchild over the proposal. Shelton (perhaps being diplomatic) said on the podcast that he thought the umps just didn't know about the agreement, and the way I've heard others describe it (twitter, etc) it seems the teams changed sides, everyone realized there was no umps, but just took their positions and played it out.

Shelton said when the game was "over" after 8.5, Hyde confirmed to him that the pitcher had warmed up, "was hot" and BAL wanted him to face live hitters. Shelton agreed to it again. The BAL catcher served to call the balls and strikes, and four more PIT batters came to the plate before the 27th out was recorded.

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