During one of the playoff live chats — I can’t remember which one — there was a lively argument about the old “tie goes to the runner” rule. I can’t remember who was arguing, but I’m pretty sure it was some of you Phillies people, because I recall the argument being shrill and emotional.
But seriously, that’s a argument that seems to pop up all the time. It usually ends with someone saying “show me where in the rules it says that,” after which someone changes the subject.
Thankfully, we have David Wade over at The Hardball Times doing our dirty work for us. He examines the conventional wisdom behind the “tie goes to the runner” thing, then examines the rule and reviews how umpires tend to think about those situations in which the ball and the runner’s foot arrive at the bag at precisely the same time.
The result? Well, you gotta read the article. But let us just note for now that people who don’t like references to “the human element” when calls are blown will not like the answer very much.