I’m an old man and I think I know everything. So it’s nice to find out there are still things to be learned in life and sports.
Take Thursday in Hoover. Please.
We all assumed that Florida won the game against Arkansas 5-3 after the spectacular game-ending double play. Not so fast my friend.
The Associated Press story said 5-3. I originally wrote 5-3 but didn’t send the story in right away because the box said 5-4. The SEC website said 5-4. So I went to Chuck Dunalp, who is running the tournament for the conference, and told him of the mistake.
He informed me they checked with the umpires and the runner at third tagged and scored before the double play was completed. No, I said, a double play means the run cannot score. Chuck told me they would check again. Writers near me in the press box said I was right.
But I was wrong.
Chuck showed me the rule that I never knew existed. On a routine 6-4-3 double play the run would not count but on a play like the one that happened Thursday it can score. And it did.
Imagine, if you will, if the score had been 5-4 when the play occurred. Florida would have stormed the field in celebration only to find out the game was tied. I can only imagine the argument that would have taken place. I don’t think Kevin O’Sullivan would have been around to coach the bottom of the ninth.
But the umps got it right.
And I learned something new.
The rule that you were thinking of is not that a run can’t score on a DP, but rather that a run can never score on a forceout if that forceout is the third out of an inning. So in the case of the ‘routine’ DP, the run can’t score because it is a forceout, even if the runner trying to score beats the force at another base.
Loved the Rod Sterling Twilight Zone reference!