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Games to be played to conclusion

1/15/2009 - MLB

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- All postseason games will be played to their conclusion under a change to the major league rules approved Thursday by baseball owners.

Owners also voted to use head-to-head records to replace coin flips when determining home-field advantage for tiebreaker games in division and wild-card races.

Games would be suspended if they are called, regardless of how many innings have been played or the score at the time. A suspended game is resumed and played to completion at the same site.

The change also applies to tiebreaker games but not to the All-Star Game.

Owners approved the change three months after Game 5 of the World Series was suspended with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay tied 2-2 after 5½ innings. That night, commissioner Bud Selig declared that the game would not be cut short, no matter how long it took.

Play was resumed two days later, and the Phillies finished off the Rays 4-3 in the final three innings.

"I'm delighted," Selig said. "Given my experience there before Game 5 in Philadelphia, it's important to have the rule clarified. The rule is now clarified the way I had interpreted it anyway."