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Q: ML Baseball playoff positioning. ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: ML Baseball playoff positioning.
Category: Sports and Recreation > Team Sports
Asked by: whatzupjohn-ga
List Price: $2.50
Posted: 02 Oct 2005 08:14 PDT
Expires: 01 Nov 2005 07:14 PST
Question ID: 575330
How/why did the Cleveland Indians' loss on Saturday affect the AL East
standings? The announcer said that because Cleveland lost Saturday,
the Yankees became AL East champs with their victory.  What gives?

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 02 Oct 2005 09:07 PDT
Hi whatzupjohn,

Does this help?

"If Boston and New York split the last two games and Cleveland beats
Chicago twice, there would be a one-game playoff Monday at Yankee
Stadium for the AL East title, with the loser playing the Indians on
Tuesday for the wild-card berth.

If Boston and New York are tied and Cleveland can't match them, the
Yankees would win the East and the Red Sox the wild card because New
York will have won the season series against Boston."


"Through a quirk in baseball's rules, the Yankees (95-66) won the
division because of Cleveland's loss to Chicago in the AL Central. The
loss by the Indians (93-68) eliminated the possibility of a three-way
tie -- and an unprecedented two-game, three-team tiebreaker -- and
gave New York the East by virtue of their 10-8 record against Boston
"If Boston loses on Sunday and Cleveland wins, they will meet at
Fenway Park on Monday to decide the AL's last playoff berth. If
Cleveland loses on Sunday, the Red Sox get the wild-card berth no
matter what they do."

Looking forward to your clarification.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by whatzupjohn-ga on 02 Oct 2005 11:16 PDT
once more for the slow ones, only way that a playoff
game would be required is if the Indians had the same record as the
Sox and Yankees??? in the heck does Cleveland's record
impact the AL East final standings?
Subject: Re: ML Baseball playoff positioning.
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 02 Oct 2005 11:25 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Whatzupjohn --

With the Cleveland loss, the WORST that could happen to the Yankees
would be that they would be tied with Boston for the AL East in wins.

Since the advent of the wild card team in the playoffs (the team in
each league with the most wins), Major League Baseball has deemed the
division winner in a case of a tie to be the team with the best
head-to-head record.

As the New York Times notes this morning, "If the Red Sox beat the
Yankees on Sunday, the Yankees would still be awarded the division
title because they have already won the season series with Boston. The
Yankees and the Red Sox have met 18 times this season, with the
Yankees winning 10."

The New York Times
"Hard Slog Puts Yankees on Top, Boston and Cleveland on Edge,"
(Kepner, Oct. 2, 2005)

Here's a bit of the history of the development of current rules:
"What's the Deal With This Wildcard, Anyway?" (Ruzich, undated)


Why did the Cleveland game make the difference?  Had the Indians won
(and they came close on both Friday and Saturday), they'd have had a
94-67 record and could have been the Wild Card team with another win
on Sunday.  Alas, it was not to be.

Google search strategy:
"playoff rules" MLB baseball tie
"major league baseball" playoffs tie

Best regards (and go Tribe!),

whatzupjohn-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

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