All the references, lovingly collated


I come from baseball country... (4.59)

Jock Jeffcoat: I just wanted to make sure our agendas are aligned when it comes to that justice you spoke of moments ago. These high-profile cases you and your people have working? Heap of Wall Street-related matters.

Chuck: Well, the markets are within my purview.

Jock Jeffcoat: Well, that may be, but I come from baseball country. We learn at an early age that a tie goes to the runner. And that is how I want you to think of our business community and its leaders from now on. Now, look, if there's a clear crime, then, by all means, you go after it. But if it's a bang-bang play, don't call a man out on a win. Just let that rally continue.

Chuck: I thought you come from horse country.

Jock Jeffcoat: West Texas contains multitudes, Chuck.

Chuck: Ahh…

Tie goes to the runner is a popular interpretation of baseball rules. The claim is that a batter-runner who arrives on base the same time as the ball is safe. However, umpires generally reject the concept that baseball provides for a tie in this way, and instead rule on the basis that either the player or the ball has reached the base first. The wording of rule 5.09(a)(10), formerly 6.05(j), of the Official Baseball Rules is that a batter is out when "After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base". Therefore, if the runner or first base is *not* tagged before he touches first base, he is safe. 

In response to a question from a Little League umpire, Major League Baseball umpire Tim McClelland has written that the concept of a tie at a base does not exist, and that a runner either beats the ball or does not. In 2009, umpire Mark Dewdeny, a contributor for Bleacher Report, citing McClelland, also rejected the idea of a tie, and further commented that even if a "physicist couldn't make an argument one way or the other" from watching an instant replay, the runner would still be out. However, if the runner or base must be tagged before the runner reaches the base, it could be argued that a tie at the base (one of the results of the base not being tagged before the runner arriving) results in the runner being safe.

In other words, since the rule is not "the runner must touch first base before the ball arrives" and it is instead "the ball must reach first base before the runner arrives" some believe that the tie goes to the runner. Another consideration is that umpires are trained to make the call by watching for the runner's foot to touch the base and listening for the ball to strike the fielder's glove. Because sound travels more slowly than light, an apparent tie means that the ball must have arrived first, so a tie should go to the fielder.