Why can't baseball teams tie?

Subtitle: What is with the Rockies that they can neither nail it nor lose it in 9 innings?

The 14th inning stretch is just wrong. The 21st inning stretch is…beyond.

I guess the answer is obvious, but I don’t know it. What is so wrong with a tie?

I know they can and do in college ball.

A couple of the ones for my team have been called due to an NCAA rule about no starting innings after X:00 on a school night.

Ultimately I think it’s up to the umpire, who, under certain circumstances, can call a tie.

Are you thinking of the game last week in San Diego when the Rockies finally won at 1:30 a.m. (2-1) after 21 or so innings? Talk about boring. I wonder if everyone in the stadium audience left, and if the network signed off, and if, in effect, no one really cared–what would the umpire do?

That’s not true. An umpire can call a stop to a game under extreme circumstances but it’s not a tie game, if the game isn’t later finished or replayed it does not count in the standings.

As to why…well, I think the best answer you are liable to get is: “Thats the way they wanted it when the came up with it.”

It’s just tradition. Most other sports allow ties, and there’s no fundamental reason baseball can’t either.

FWIW, I understand that Japanese rules do end a game as a tie after 12 innings. Seems more humane to all involved that way.

There are “tie” games in the majors, or at least there were (or can be). Article IIRC if the teams are tied when either darkness comes (and there’s no lights at the ballpark), or a driving rainstorm interrupts play for that day, it used to be common procedure to not resume the game at a later date (because of the prohibitive cost in time and money to have say the NY Giants travel out to St. Louis to make up a tied rainout on the last day of the season). But then they introduced the concept of the suspended game in the late 40’s/early 50’s, and since then only tie games in the “gloaming” of a pre-lights Wrigley Field could end up as permanent ties. I believe in many of these cases that they just replayed the game, at a later date, from scratch.

For that reason, you’ll sometimes see players with more than 162 games in their seasonal totals. Maury Wills holds the record, with 165 games in 1962, but that’s because of the 3 game playoff with the Giants.

Are you kidding? Last year, on my girlfriend’s birthday, we stayed at the game until 4 in the morning! It was a great game. There was a really long rain delay, which contributed to the length of the game in addition to extra innings.

Also see: “Sister, Kissing Your” for a better definition as to why ties don’t happen.

So they just pretend it didn’t happen? The 2002 All-Star game was just my imagination?

I understand that it may not count, but it still happened.

The All-Star Game is hardly a real game.

American fans just don’t like ties. Football put in a sudden death overtime, and hockey has added the shoot out for this very reason. Ties in football are rare – there have been 15 in the past 33 years since the sudden death rule was adopted. NHL ties aren’t even listed in the standings any more.

Fans want a resolution. For baseball to add ties now would not satisfy anyone, and would go against tradition and current thinking for pro sports.

Note, too, that the one pro sport where ties are common – soccer – is not popular in the US. That is not just coincidence.

If a game is tied after the 5th inning and is rained out, then the entire game is replayed. However, the original game stats count and it is officially a tie (though it isn’t listed in the standings as such).

And I think that in the U.S., the NFL is the only sport that can now end in a tie (although it is rare). College Football used to have no overtimes, and many ties until 1996, and the NHL just last year ended all ties with the shootout system.

Well, that is an exhibition game. And the officials didn’t make the decision, the commissioner did.

As long as there are umpires, two teams, and an official scorer on hand, play continues. When I worked as a vendor at the old Cleveland Stadium, there was a game that literally started with fewer than fifty spectators in the stands, and one of my colleagues asked our supervisor if a game could be called because of lack of attendance. The first sentence of this paragraph is the answer that was given.

I can vouch for what jtgain said – I once worked a game that was halted with the score tied after six or seven innings. All the records (home runs, strikeouts, etc.) counted, and a full doubleheader (no suspended game) was immediately scheduled for the following day.

Um, what?

Not any more. Such games are now considered suspended games and are replayed from the point of interruption.

However, if such a game occurred at the last meeting of the season between two teams, and didn’t matter in the standings, it would never be finished. So there can still be ties in baseball, but they will be inordinately rare.

“It’s like kissing your sister” means “it’s just wrong.” And that’s pretty much how I feel, too - baseball teams can’t tie because sporting events ending in ties is just wrong. :smiley:

A tie is like kissing your sister because it’s better than losing (i.e., better than no kiss at all), but it’s not as good as winning (i.e. not as good as kissing somebody fuckable).

And those of us who care about such things are still absolutely furious about it.

Because, just to close the loop on this, BASEBALL GAMES DON’T END IN A TIE!

The 2003 All-Star game was a bad decision, but I don’t know if there was a good one.

There were no players left to play the game. Do you let a pitcher possibly wreck his arm for an exhibition game? Do you change the substitution rule to allow a player who has left the game to go back on the field (the purists would have hated that, too)? Do you set up some sort of home run derby or other contest at the last minute to decide the winner? The managers and players agreed with the decision – would they have continued even if the commissioner had orders some ad hoc answer?

I’d like to see suggestions on how those who hate the idea would have ended it, given the fact that no players were available.

IIRC, in the AL, no innings can start after 1am local time. In the NL, no games can start after 1am local time. I seem to recall a Braves Independence Day doubleheader in which the first game had several rain delays and went to extra innings and game two started about 2:30am. Really there was only a handful of fans left at 6 am 5 July to see the fireworks show scheduled for the conclusion of game 2. I will search to find the season.

SSG Schwartz