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Playoff Coin Flips


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Today, the coin flips determining home-field advantage in the one-game playoffs (in the event of a tie in the standings at the end of the season) were done. More can be read at the article linked below, but the Marlins will be the home team only if they and the Houston Astros tie for first in the Wild Card.

 

From MLB.com:NL WILD CARD

SD vs. FLA: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. PHI: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

SD vs. SF: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. CIN: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

FLA vs. PHI: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

FLA vs. SF: AT&T Park, San Francisco

FLA vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

FLA vs. HOU: Dolphin Stadium, Florida

PHI vs. SF: AT&T Park, San Francisco

PHI vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

PHI vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

SF vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

SF vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

CIN vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

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Twenty-two coin flips later, the only ones flipping for joy were the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

According to results of a series of coin flips conducted by conference call Tuesday to determine sites for possible games needed to resolve ties at the conclusion of the regular season, the Dodgers are the only team that would host any playoff game in which it is involved.

 

In the case of the National League West leaders, that would mean a one-game playoff against either the Padres or Giants to determine the division champion.

 

Also batting 1.000 in making the right call were the Angels, but their only potential playoff scenario is to host a game against the Athletics to decide the AL West title.

 

Deciding sites for division tiebreakers was simple compared to untangling all contingencies in the NL Wild Card pretzel. With six teams bunched within 4 1/2 games, a series of 15 coin flips was needed to resolve possible playoff locations.

 

The big winner: Houston, which would host playoffs against all the contenders except the Marlins.

 

The big loser: The Marlins, who, despite being in position to face the Astros at home, would be the visitor against any of the other four in the picture.

 

The only NL Wild Card-eligible club also involved in a division tiebreaker was the Reds, who lost that flip to the Cardinals.

 

The only coin flip regarding the AL Wild Card involved the Twins and the White Sox. Chicago made the right call and would host a playoff at U.S. Cellular Field.

 

Both of those teams, of course, are still in hot pursuit of the AL Central title and had to flip against the Tigers. Detroit won the flip against the Twins -- a source of some comfort since the Tigers just lost three consecutive games in the Metrodome to tighten up the race -- but lost to the White Sox.

 

Tiebreaker Scenarios

 

A series of coin tosses was conducted Tuesday to determine the sites for various potential two-team tie-breakers that could impact the 2006 postseason.

 

AL CENTRAL TITLE

DET vs. MIN: Comerica Park, Detroit

DET vs. CWS: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago

AL WEST TITLE

OAK vs. LAA: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim

AL WILD CARD

MIN vs. CWS: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago

NL CENTRAL TITLE

STL vs. CIN: Busch Stadium, St. Louis

NL WEST TITLE

LA vs. SD: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

LA vs. SF: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles

NL WILD CARD

SD vs. FLA: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. PHI: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

SD vs. SF: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. CIN: PETCO Park, San Diego

SD vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

FLA vs. PHI: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

FLA vs. SF: AT&T Park, San Francisco

FLA vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

FLA vs. HOU: Dolphin Stadium, Florida

PHI vs. SF: AT&T Park, San Francisco

PHI vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

PHI vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

SF vs. CIN: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati

SF vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

CIN vs. HOU: Minute Maid Park, Houston

 

NOTES:

? If two clubs from the same division are tied but both assured of participating in the postseason, then the first tie-breaker would be their 2006 season-series to determine which club is the division champion and which club is the Wild Card.

? If three clubs finish the season with the same winning percentage and one team will be a division winner and another will be the Wild Card, the games will be played as follows:

? The two teams tied for the division lead will play the one-game tie-breaker, with the winner being declared the division champion.

? The losing team will then play the club from the other division for the Wild Card.

 

As much time as that coin spent in the air Tuesday, here's a caveat: More coin flips will be arranged as they become necessary.

 

For a team to be involved in Tuesday's coin flips, it had to either be leading or trailing a postseason race by fewer than five games. Just missing that threshold were the Braves (5 1/2 games back in the NL Wild Card standings) and the Astros (trailing St. Louis by six games in the NL Central).

 

In the event tiebreaking games do have to be played, how consequential were Tuesday's coin flips?

 

Six one-game playoffs whose sites were determined by coin-flips have been played -- and visitors have won four of them.

 

A famous example is 1978's ultimate game, in which Bucky Dent's home run into the Fenway Park netting beat Boston, 5-4, to send the Yankees to the American League Championship Series.

 

Other teams to lose coin flips but win games were the 1948 Indians (also in Boston), the 1980 Astros (in Dodger Stadium) and the 1999 Mets, who won at Cincinnati to claim the NL Wild Card.

 

The only two teams to make good of this home-field advantage thus were the 1995 Mariners, who won the AL West with a 9-1 trouncing of the Angels in the Kingdome, and the 1998 Cubs, who claimed the NL Wild Card in Wrigley Field with a 5-3 victory over the Giants.

 

Tuesday's coin flips did not address two other possible scenarios: Three-way ties, and ties involving two teams from the same division already assured of postseason participation.

 

In the latter event, the first tiebreaker would be the head-to-head regular-season records between the teams to determine which club is the division champion and which club is the Wild Card.

 

Should three clubs finish with the same winning percentage, including two atop the same division, playoff games would be played as follows:

 

? The two teams tied for the division lead play a one-game tiebreaker, with the winner being declared the division champion.

 

? The losing team in that game would then play the club from the other division for the Wild Card.

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...sp&c_id=mlb

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