09/22/09 9:03 AM ET
NFL: Won't move for AL Central tiebreaker
Twins-Tigers playoff at Metrodome would conflict with MNF
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
A one-game tiebreaker, if Minnesota and Detroit finish tied for first place and the Twins earn home-field advantage for such a game, would likely be delayed a day, to Tuesday, Oct. 6, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Such a game would typically be played the day after the end of the regular season, which would be Monday, Oct. 5. But an NFL spokesman said on Monday that the league will not move that night's game between the Vikings and Packers to Green Bay.
Green Bay hosts the Vikings on Nov. 1, and there had been speculation that perhaps the dates could be swapped.
"The NFL has no reason to reschedule the game and inconvenience its fans, many of whom travel long distances and planned these trips when the schedule was released in April," NFL spokesman Dan Masonson said in a statement.
"There is no swap under consideration."
The Vikings' lease states that they have precedence over the Twins in every situation other than one involving a World Series game, according to the Star-Tribune.
Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, told the Star-Tribune that the best solution is for the Twins to play Oct. 6.
Of course, there is still a lot to be done if the Twins are to force a one-game playoff. The Twins currently sit 2 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit with 12 games left to play -- including four head-to-head matchups between the two clubs. Minnesota leads the season series with the Tigers, 9-5.
"There's a long way to go before that's going to be a reality. That's the first thing I'd say," Twins president Dave St. Peter told The Associated Press. "I suspect it'll sort itself out over the next week or so.
"We're more concerned about getting home-field advantage than what day the tiebreaker game would be played on."
Playing the tiebreaker on Oct. 6 could mean that the winner would have to begin the Division Series without an off-day. The American League team with the best record will get to choose which Division Series schedule it wants to play, and would be expected to select the one that begins on Oct. 7 and features off-days on Oct. 8 and 10.
The Yankees hold a 4 1/2-game edge for the AL's best record and the Red Sox are closing in on the Wild Card berth, meaning that the AL Central winner likely will have to play the Yankees.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.