The Red Sox won a coin flip yesterday and would be home for a tiebreaking playoff game against New York to decide the AL East -- just like in 1978, when Bucky Dent's homer helped win the division for the Yankees.

If the Yankees and Red Sox tie for the division lead as well as the wild card, thus ensuring that both reach the playoffs, Boston would be the division champion based on an 8-4 head-to-head record against New York, which would then become the wild card.

In the event of a tie for the wild card, a Red Sox-Athletics game would be in Oakland and an Athletics-Yankees game would be in New York.

The date of any tiebreakers would likely be Oct. 4, unless that day is needed to make up any postponements that affect the races.

WOODWARD RETIREMENT: Mariners GM Woody Woodward will retire from that job Oct. 31 and take a special Florida-based assignment with the team.

Woodward, 56, has been running the Mariners' baseball operations since 1988, longer than any other general manager in the major leagues.

In Seattle, Woodward has been responsible for major league personnel, as well as the scouting and player development departments.

SURGERY: White Sox RHP John Snyder is scheduled to undergo surgery next week on his elbow.

Snyder, 25, who finished the season 9-12 with a 6.66 ERA in 25 starts, will have bone chips removed on Tuesday by the team's physician, the team said.

OBITUARY: Paul Gregory, who once struck out Babe Ruth as a member of the White Sox, died Thursday of heart failure. He was 91.

While with the White Sox in 1932 and 1933, Gregory was just 9-14 with a 4.72 ERA. In one game he retired Ruth five times, including once by strikeout.