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Tie goes to the runner!


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Does anyone know for sure what the rule is if there is a tie? I know that quantum physics says that "ties" don't exist and that baseball's rulebook does not acknowledge ties, but for argument's sake. I think I know the answer, but the rules are somewhat confusing and appear to be conflicting. Help? Thanks.
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If you are talking about baseball terms, a tie goes to the runner. I am not a baseball umpire so I don't know if it is in the rulebook or not, that is just how I was always taught.

To put it in a simple form which might make sense. In baseball, it is the defense's job to get the offense 'out'. If a ball and a baserunner arrive at a base at the same time, it could be said that the defense did not get the offense 'out'. Yes, you could argue that the offense wasn't 'safe' either, but it is up to the defense to make the 'out', rather than the offense to be 'safe'.

So by my goofy logic, if there is a tie, it goes to the offense because the defense did not get them 'out'.
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There is nothing in the rule book stating that a tie goes to the runner. This is a baseball myth. Every professional umpire will say the same thing "If the runner does not beat the play he's out."

Actually, the rule states that the runner must be put out BEFORE he reaches the base. So since technically a tie isn't before he reaches the base, the "tie" goes to the runner. However, like everything in the game it's a judgment call and the Umpire has the final say.

MLB Umpires are actually really, really good at making this call as well. They rely on sound more than anything. So there aren't many ties to those guys. But in general if they don't hear "bang bang" and just "bang", the runner is safe.
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Actually, the rule states that the runner must be put out BEFORE he reaches the base. So since technically a tie isn't before he reaches the base, the "tie" goes to the runner. However, like everything in the game it's a judgment call and the Umpire has the final say.

That's where the misconception comes in. Because the rules says "before" many people think tie goes to the runner. In actuality, the runner has to beat the throw. You're 100% right and that's why umps say he has to beat it. By seeing and actually hearing the play, they can tell whether or not the runner has reached the base, first. That's one thing about baseball umpires, aside from the home plate umpire, is that they are always in position before the play begins. In just watching them, they are always near the bag. Pretty incredible if you ask me.
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Actually, the rule states that the runner must be put out BEFORE he reaches the base. So since technically a tie isn't before he reaches the base, the "tie" goes to the runner. However, like everything in the game it's a judgment call and the Umpire has the final say.

I've done about an hour of research on it and the official rules state "A runner aquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out" and "A runner is out when He fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him or the base." Both rules say the runner must get to the base "before" he is tagged. Tie isn't before, so he's out. However, another rule states "A batter is out when...he or first base is tagged before he touches first base." This implies the opposite. That's probably where the misconception comes from. The batter becomes a runner "when he hits a fair ball". So, as soon as a batter hits a fair ball, he becomes a runner and the first two rules I cited take effect. Tie goes to the fielder. Is there a flaw in this, or no? Like steps in the logic are missing?

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I've done about an hour of research on it and the official rules state "A runner aquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out" and "A runner is out when He fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him or the base." Both rules say the runner must get to the base "before" he is tagged. Tie isn't before, so he's out. However, another rule states "A batter is out when...he or first base is tagged before he touches first base." This implies the opposite. That's probably where the misconception comes from. The batter becomes a runner "when he hits a fair ball". So, as soon as a batter hits a fair ball, he becomes a runner and the first two rules I cited take effect. Tie goes to the fielder. Is there a flaw in this, or no? Like steps in the logic are missing?

I'm wondering if we're missing something all together. It would all make sense if "The batter becomes a runner "when he hits a fair ball"." wasn't in the rules. It almost makes "A batter is out when...he or first base is tagged before he touches first base." sound useless. Like it never applies. Since the batter becomes a runner when the ball is fair.

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  • 5 weeks later...
MLB Umpires are actually really, really good at making this call as well. They rely on sound more than anything. So there aren't many ties to those guys. But in general if they don't hear "bang bang" and just "bang", the runner is safe.

I used to umpire a lot, highschool games. You definitely go by sound on the catch, but the whole time you are looking to see the runner hit the base because sometimes that sound isn't as clear. And you need to be in position to see the ball in the glove on the edge of your field of view also. Usually you can recreate what happened in your head and figure out the call. Even if a "tie" happens you usually can say I heard the mitt a split second before his cleat was down. Its really not as hard to make as you'd think. The hard calls are at the plate. Like did that 80+ mph fastball nick his jersey like he is saying? Did the catcher catch that foul tip before it hit the ground (since you cant see through the guy)? And then even strikes/balls are judgement call usually I go based on how "hitable" they are, such as if a guy throws a 35mph arcing curve that goes through the strike zone vertically, I'm sorry but thats a ball, this isnt slow pitch softball.

Anyway got off on a tangent but you get it, tie to the runner is a myth. And if you hear both sounds at the EXACT same second, MLB umps seem to call them out based on if it was a hard play, etc, but I usually think about it as well one of his spikes was touching the base before his weight came down on the bag so hes safe but its just something you can usually tell.
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Note: This thread is 4298 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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