American League Central Divisional Play-In Game Decided By Coin Flip?

Andrew HansonContributor IOctober 2, 2008

The Minnesota Twins stole first place of the American League Central by making a late season run at home in the Metrodome sweeping the then Division leading Chicago White Sox.  This gave the twins a half game lead in the division, with only one series left to play.  After departing Minnesota, the White Sox went back home to US Cellular Field to face the Cleveland Indians for three games. 

The Twins stayed at home and played the Kansas City Royals for three games.  Both teams took away only one win from this series, forcing the White Sox to win their make up game at home versus the Detroit Tigers.  This knotted up the Division lead with both the Twins and White Sox on top.

A forced extra game was to be played to determine who would end up continuing their season into October.  The decision of where to play was decided over a coin toss.  Although home field advantage may not seem to play too crucial of a role in the game of baseball, it does with these teams.  Minnesota is 2-7 when travelling to US Cellular Field, and Chicago has dropped eight of nine when playing in Minneapolis.

The intense crowd at the Metrodome has proved difficult for the White Sox, as of late they have lost four straight in the dome.  Possibly the most crucial factor of this game was decided over the toss of a small, two sided piece of flat, round metal used as currency in the United States.

A possibly better idea would be to award the season series leading team with home field advantage, since this seems to be such a large factor in the end result.  If this was the case, the Minnesota Twins slight season series lead (10-9) would have been rewarded with playing at the Metrodome. This would have possibly altered the ending result, and  given them a victory. 

Instead the Chicago White Sox owner, a man who has never before won a coin toss in his life (he so claims),  won and took home field advantage.  This game followed suit with how the previous season had unfolded, and the Chicago White Sox were crowned victorious over the Minnesota Twins.

This controversy is one that may never be fixed.  It is not very often that two teams end up tied for first place in their division at the end of the season. Do you think that the home field advantage should be decided over a coin flip? Do you think that the whole season of hard work boiling down to one game should be influenced by a coin? Major League Baseball does.