Minor league team loses despite throwing no-hitter thanks to new extra innings rule

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We’ve talked before about the new rule in the minor leagues in which extra innings begin with a runner on second base in order to speed things along. Some people are fine with it. Some people hate it with the energy of a thousand suns. I’ve been to one of these games and it was . . . fine I guess? I dunno. I’d be mad it if ever was utilized in a game that truly mattered at the major league level, but I suspect that won’t happen any time soon. It’s an experiment for now. A weird experiment.

The experiment got weirder down in Florida on Monday night when the rule caused a team to lose a game despite throwing a no-hitter. Indeed, despite nearly tossing a perfect game.

The game was between the Phillies affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers, and the Yankees affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League. It was only a scheduled seventh inning game, so the extra frame was the eighth inning.

The details: Tampa starter Deivi Garcia tossed seven perfect innings, but it was tied 0-0 at the end of seven. Clearwater began the top of the eighth with an automatic runner on second. He went to third on an error. Two batters later, he scored when a Thresher batter grounded out to first base. Tampa went down in order in the bottom of the eighth and that was the ballgame.

Losing a no-hitter is pretty dang rare. Losing a nearly perfect game is probably even more rare. But we’re in strange new times, I suppose.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”