The Orioles grounds crew's apparent ejection from Wednesday night's game was not what it seemed, according to the umpire involved in the bizarre scene at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
According to the Associated Press, crew chief Tim Timmons later clarified that the roughly 20 workers were not ejected from the game -- as was widely reported soon after the incident -- but instead were sent off the field, apparently for fear of injury.
“I didn’t ‘eject’ the grounds crew,” Timmons told the outlet in a text. “I just didn’t want all of them behind the tarp, especially with the infield in.”
The workers had gathered behind the tarp along the first-base line in the top of the ninth inning, apparently in anticipation of rain. Timmons, though, darted across the field from the third-base area and waved them away.
The strange scene unfolded at a crucial moment in the game, with the Yankees trailing 3-2, and Brett Gardner up at the plate with one out and two men on base.
After the game was delayed while the workers shuffled off the field in the right-field corner, the at-bat resumed in a 1-2 count, and Gardner hit a two-run bloop single to left field.
Rain started falling soon after, but the game continued to the bottom of the ninth, where Aroldis Chapman shut the door for his 27th save.