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A's victory cancels return to Trop

By MARC TOPKIN

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 2, 2000


Now, that wasn't so hard after all.

Baseball's convoluted playoff picture was resolved relatively simply Sunday as the A's and Mariners won their way in, and the Cardinals earned home-field advantage on the Braves.

The best-of-five first-round playoffs start Tuesday with Atlanta at St. Louis, Seattle at the Chicago White Sox, and the New York Yankees at Oakland.

The Mets and Giants open their series Wednesday in San Francisco.

With possibilities of makeup games, playoff games and paper tiebreakers looming, and a chance that the start of the playoffs would have to be delayed, everything worked out relatively easily.

Oakland edged Texas 3-0 to win the AL West, and Seattle earned the wild card by beating Anaheim 5-2, eliminating Cleveland.

The A's finished one-half game ahead of Seattle. But since both teams are in the playoffs and the A's would win the tiebreaker against the Mariners, there was no need to play a makeup game at Tampa Bay tonight.

"I was better off reciting the Declaration of Independence backwards than figuring out all the possible scenarios," A's infielder Randy Velarde said in Oakland.

The Braves were one out from beating Colorado and opening the playoffs at home, but a Chipper Jones error cost them the game and the home-field advantage for the first time since '95.

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