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Big League Stew

There’s no tying in baseball — just ask Tom Selleck aka ‘Mr. Baseball’

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

It happened again. Sunday's NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings ended with the score 26-26. Yep. A tie. These things happen every so often in football — this was the fourth time since 2000.

Last year, a San Francisco 49ers-St. Louis Rams game ended in a tie too and afterward the players proved even they weren't totally clear on the league's overtime rules.

This got us thinking about baseball's tie rules, which — come on, baseball fans, let's all relish in this — are far superior to football's wacky we-have-to-explain-this-every-time-it-happens overtime system where field-goal kickers can leave fans in either city in week-long emotional despair.

It also made us think of the 1992 flick "Mr. Baseball" starring Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck, who exclaimed (warning: earmuffs) "A ball game can't end in a goddamn tie!" upon realizing that Japanese baseball has different rules than us here in the good ol' U. S. of A. Speaking of realizations: We missed the 20-year anniversary of "Mr. Baseball" last year. What is wrong with us?

Mr. Selleck is correct, though: In modern Major League Baseball, ties aren't something that we see. Well, except for during an 11-inning All-Star Game when both teams run out of pitchers and the Commish wants to go home. Baseball games have gone as long as 26 innings. Earlier this season, there was an 18-inning and a 20-inning game on the same day. That 20-inning affair, between the Mets and Marlins, lasted six and a half hours. In other words, none of this "let's play one more quarter and then go home" stuff. Unless we're talking about spring training and that doesn't count.

Back in the day, before stadiums had lights, tie games were more frequent. For years, a tie could happen if a game were official (five innings finished) and had to be called because of weather. But in 2007 baseball's official rules were changed to pretty much nix ties altogether. Per USA Today:, circa '07

Beginning this season, when a game is tied in the bottom of the fifth inning and is called because of weather, it will be suspended and resumed before the next scheduled game between the teams at the same ballpark.

If there are no more games between the teams at the same stadium, the game will be resumed when the teams meet at the visitor's ballpark.

If it is the final scheduled game between the teams, it will be replayed if it is needed to determine a postseason berth.

There you have it, baseball fans. Next time some football fan insists their sport being better, let 'em know that at least we don't settle for ties.

Now, onto a completely different but just as important issue. Did everybody else also forget Dennis Haysbert (aka Pedro Cerrano from "Major League" aka the Allstate guy aka President Palmer from "24") was also in "Mr. Baseball" or was it just us?

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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