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12/11/08 12:35 AM EST
Getting rid of coin flip fine by Twins
Location of tiebreakers to be determined by different method
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
LAS VEGAS -- The Twins were not happy that a coin flip decided where their one-game tiebreaker with the White Sox was played in September. But it appears as if Minnesota might be the last club to experience the disappointment of losing a coin flip.
On Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, baseball's general managers voted in favor of asking MLB baseball operations to come up with an alternative to coin flips to decide the host teams for one-game tiebreakers.
Under the new proposal, the first tiebreaker to determine where a game would be played would be the head-to-head records of the competing clubs.
The Twins had a 10-8 record against the White Sox last season, but they were forced to play a one-game tiebreaker to decide the AL Central title at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. That's because they had lost a coin flip earlier in the month that determined the game's location.
Minnesota lost the contest, 1-0. But even before the game was played, Twins players raised the issue of whether the coin flip was a fair way to decide who would host a tiebreaker.
Twins general manager Bill Smith said that his fellow GMs first brought up the issue of eliminating coin flips during their meetings back in November. Although it was his team that was impacted most by the coin flip last season and they supported a change to the rule, Smith wasn't the one who raised the issue.
"I did not remotely want it to appear like sour grapes," Smith said. "The rule has been in place for decades, and we had a chance but lost the game."
Smith said it was two teams who didn't make the playoffs in 2008 that proposed the change, and it was an unlikely source who Smith said was the most outspoken about needing the rule changed -- White Sox general manager Kenny Williams.
"He said that [his club] benefited from it, but it's wrong and it should be changed," Smith said.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.