MLB Teams Play an Extra Half Inning Without Umpires, For Some Reason

Videos by OutKick

Well, this is about as rare a sight as you’ll see in MLB. Even for spring training.

Spring training is typically the time period where teams test out out young players and try new strategies. They’ll also treat the games, justifiably so, as exhibitions.

There are endless substations, batting out of order, or any number of unusual sights.

But Tuesday may have presented a first, and something we may never see again.

The Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates completed a totally normal MLB game, with the home Pirates leading 7-4 after the top of the 9th inning.

In theory, that’s where the game should have ended, and the umpires walked off the field as they normally would.

Except the teams just…kept playing. With no umpires.

Why not, I guess?

MLB mascot Baltimore Orioles
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 26: The Baltimore Orioles mascot The Oriole Bird performs during the Los Angeles Angels versus Baltimore Orioles game at Orioles Park at Camden Yards on August 26, 2021 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Blueprint for Future MLB Games?

It’s pretty bizarre to see MLB players actively competing against each other with no umpires. It also raises the question of why the umps didn’t just stay on the field if the two teams wanted to keep playing.

Clearly both sides believed there was some value in getting extra work in for the guys on the field. Why didn’t the umps just stick around?

Whatever the explanation, the catcher called balls and strikes. And probably still did a better job than most umpires.

Maybe the Orioles saved some money on this somehow, since that’s a top priority for the team.


Either way, Tuesday’s game was an opportunity for one of the most unusual arrangements you’ll ever see on a baseball field.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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