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So when do the playoffs start? Good question

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  October 4, 2009 04:20 PM

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The Minnesota Twins are still on the field at the moment, but with an AL Central Division playoff game looming, the Red Sox are facing an unusual predicament. They may not know when they will begin their AL Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels until late Tuesday afternoon.

According to major league rules, the New York Yankees do not have to announce which postseason schedule they plan to choose until one hour after the AL Central race is decided. With the Yankees holding all the power, that means the Sox and Angels still could start on Wednesday on the West Coast, something they will not know until the Twins and Detroit Tigers conclude a one-game playoff on Tuesday in Minnesota.

Officials from both the Yankees and Red Sox confirmed this reality.

Normally, any one-game playoffs would take place on Monday. However, because the Minnesota Vikings are scheduled to be at home on Monday night, the Twins and Tigers cannot play their deciding game until Tuesday afternoon. The Twins, who have the right to home field by virtue of their season-series victory over Detroit -- the Twins won 11 of the 18 games between the teams - share a home facility (the Metrodome) with the Vikings.

The Twins are due to move into a new, baseball-only facility next year.

Because the Yankees have the best record in the AL, they can choose between a pair of playoff scenarios -- one starting on Wednesday (Series 'A') and another starting on Thursday (Series 'B'). In the first scenario, the participating teams would need three starters, rather than four, because there is an additional day off between Games 1 and 2.

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