The Mets won a coin flip yesterday and would be home for a tiebreaking playoff game against Atlanta to decide the NL East. The Reds would be home against Houston for a playoff to determine the NL Central.

In the event of a tie for the wild card, an Astros-Mets game would be in New York, a Mets-Reds game in Cincinnati, a Braves-Astros game in Houston and a Braves-Reds game in Atlanta.

REDS SALE: The sale of the Reds from Marge Schott to a new ownership group probably will be approved when the owners meet this week in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Carl Lindner, George Strike and William Reik, three of the team's limited partners, agreed in April to pay $67 million for Schott's controlling interest in the Reds. Baseball officials said they expect the sale to meet with little or no resistance in Cooperstown.

Last October, baseball pressured Schott to sell her controlling stake in the Reds and relinquish her role as general partner.

MILLER PARK DELAYED: The Brewers' new stadium will not open until April 2001 because of an accident that killed three workers at the site this summer.

The board overseeing the project voted 13-0 yesterday to approve a new construction schedule. The target date for Miller Park to be completed is March 2001.

"It was very difficult to accept," said Michael Duckett, the board's executive director. "We tried exhaustive ways to change the answer and it just couldn't be done."

The April 2001 opening is in line with recommendations from the project's lead construction firm. The ballpark had been scheduled to be ready for Opening Day next season.