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12/09/08 11:36 PM EST
MLB to come up with coin flip substitute
GMs prefer head-to-head record to decide tiebreaker host
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
LAS VEGAS -- Major League Baseball's general managers are down on coin flips. For the second time since the postseason, they've asked MLB baseball operations to devise an alternative to coin flips to decide host teams for one-game tiebreakers for a division title or a Wild Card berth. And this time, Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, said Tuesday at the Winter Meetings that he'll try to have a proposal ready for the next quarterly owners meetings on Jan. 15-16 in the Phoenix area. Instead of coin flips, the first tiebreaker to determine where a game would be played would be the head-to-head records of the competing clubs. "Most people in the room kind of agreed with that," Solomon said when the matter was brought up at the General Managers meetings last month in Dana Point, Calif. The custom has always been to flip a coin several weeks before the possible tiebreaker to determine which team might host. There have been eight one-game tiebreakers for a postseason spot in Major League history, seven of them since 1969, when the multi-tiered playoff format went into existence. Two of them have been the past two seasons. In 2007, the Padres lost the flip and traveled to Colorado, where they lost the National League's Wild Card berth to the Rockies, 9-8, in 13 innings. This year, the Twins lost the flip and went to Chicago, where the White Sox defeated them, 1-0, to win the American League Central title.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.