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Waiting Game Benefits Yankees

MINNEAPOLIS - Major League Baseball won't know its final playoff entrant until today's tiebreaking game between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins, but the ultimate winner might have already been identified.

"The Yankees have got be to feeling pretty good," Twins slugger Michael Cuddyer said.

New York is at home awaiting the winner of the American League Central tiebreaker. They will open their division series Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. Or will it be Thursday, forcing the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels to open Wednesday?

The Yankees get to decide because they had the best record in the league that won the All-Star Game. They have until one hour after the conclusion of today's game to submit their decision.

The Yankees say they are leaning toward Wednesday, but the Red Sox did not take any chances, flying to California on Monday.

"We know it's 90% likely that we're starting Thursday," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said, "but we'll get out now just in case."

The Yankees insist this isn't gamesmanship. The NFL kicked the Twins out of the Metrodome for Monday's Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game, forcing the tiebreaker to today.

"Why would you put yourself in a situation where you make your call too early?" said Yankees GM Brian Cushman, who added the team plans to inform MLB of its decision after its workout at 2 p.m. ET today.

"Maybe the rules should be adjusted to take into effect these exceptional circumstances," Red Sox President Larry Lucchino said.

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