Head-to-head record, not coin flip, likely to determine home field for tiebreakers

Updated: November 6, 2008, 9:00 PM ET
Associated Press

DANA POINT, Calif. -- No more flip decisions.

Rather than heads or tails, baseball general managers plan to recommend that sites for division and wild-card tiebreakers be decided by wins and losses.

"The team that performed better against the other team I think is the one that deserves to have home-field advantage, not an arbitrary coin flip," San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers said Thursday as the annual GMs meeting ended.

MLB staff is drafting a proposal for the GMs to consider next month when they gather at the winter meetings in Las Vegas, according to Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. Head-to-head record between the tied clubs appears likely to be the first tiebreaker.

"I think it's better to decide it on the field," Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said.

The advantage of coin flips -- or drawing of lots in the unlikely event of three- or four-way deadlocks -- is that the clubs know the site of tiebreaker games in advance. Under a performance-based system, the sites might not be decided until the final day of the regular season.

GMs will discuss the matter with their staffs before the winter meetings from Dec. 8-11.

"They're going to go back to talk to their ticket people, their stadium operations people, their special events people, to see how it would work," Solomon said.

Any change recommended by the GMs would have to be approved by owners and the players' association.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press