Nick Wright explains how the Yankees took advantage of the flawed MLB Playoff structure

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Nick Wright and Cris Carter discuss the MLB playoff format and whether or not it is the best way to crown a champion.

- Sports are the best. I mean, the Yankees are up 1-0 in game three, down 2-0 in the series. There's a home run stolen in right field, and that great play and that-- that ball not being hit an extra 6 inches is likely the difference between Joe Girardi being fired already and Joe Girardi now priming for a contract extension.

- It's crazy.

- This speaks to the overall kind of unfairness of the length of baseball postseason series. You already have in baseball the most exclusive postseason. In basketball, over half the teams make the playoffs. In the NFL, 40% of the teams make the playoffs. In baseball, 33% make the playoffs, but really less than that, because two of those teams only get to play one playoff game. And then three games in, three losses in your season can be over.

The Indians were the best team in baseball for the final third of the season. Their postseason lasts less than a week and it's over. And while it stinks for them, and it's a bummer for them and the city of Cleveland-- aside from LeBron James-- had nothing but sports heartbreak seemingly since Jim Brown was there.

PANELIST: It's also coming off being up in the World Series.

- Yeah.

PANELIST: And losing the World Series, so you can't really tell the whole story about Cleveland and the Indians unless you go back to last year's World Series where they had full command of the series, ended up losing that series in seven games. It leads into this series where they have a 2-0 lead. Now, imagine if this had been the Yankees and they had collapsed last year and then they collapsed in the divisional round.

- That's a great point.

- What would we be saying about them?

- Right.

- It just really speaks to how popular the New York Yankees are. Now, if you talk to me about sports, of course me playing football is my number one sport. My second sport, it's basketball, based on my family and my history playing basketball.

The third sport is baseball. But that can go from one to three based on are the Yankees doing well, because the Yankees are my team. And we live in New York City. The city is popping.


- People are more excited when the Yankees are winning. It's like one of those franchise-- either that being the Celtics and Lakers in the NBA, other franchises in the-- the Dallas and the Giants.

NICK WRIGHT: Cowboys, and Steelers, Giants.

- Yes.

PANELIST: But your issue with the playoffs used to be my issue with the NFL, that I watch all season with such anticipation and such excitement and then a team has one bad game. A ball could go one way or another and that's it, but I don't know.

The team-- the better team wins. You have to just assume that and you have to accept that. Because if you don't, then it puts a dent in the entire postseason.

NICK WRIGHT: I-- I don't-- by the way, I don't accept that at all.

- All right, well--

NICK WRIGHT: I don't accept it. Hold on.

PANELIST: And, [INAUDIBLE], you're correct. In a series, it's more likely that the best team is going to win--

- It's not one and done.

PANELIST: --compared to a one and done playoff like in the--

- Correct. Well, even if it's just the best of five.

NICK WRIGHT: One NFL game is a bigger sample compared to the season than a five game baseball series.

- I disagree.

- There's no disagreeing with the math.

- No, I'm disagreeing--

NICK WRIGHT: Like, one--

- It's the game. Take an entire game. Take nine innings of baseball.

- Right, but--

PANELIST: Against four quarters of football.

PANELIST: But one thing also your numbers don't tell you, Nick, is that baseball is a series game.


- How many one-offs do we have in baseball? How many times do you go to a city and play them one time?

NICK WRIGHT: No, that doesn't happen-- agreed. But the reason-- and I understand it has to be a series, of course, because it's about pitching staffs not individual pitchers. My point is, as far as crowning a true champion it's the series are way too short. Like, one football game is obviously 1/16 of a season. A best of five in baseball, even if it goes all five, is 1/32 of a season.

PANELIST: Would you prefer a best of seven?

- Well, here's the thing. I don't actually-- the excitement is unbelievable, just like the NCAA tournament. The NCAA tournament is a terrible way to crown a champion but an unbelievable entertainment product.

I don't-- let's look at it this way, longest winning streaks since they've expanded the wild card era. You have four teams that have had at least a 15 game winning streak.

The 2000 Braves, they lost their first playoff series. The 2002 Athletics, they lost their first playoff series. The 2017 Indians, they lost their first playoff series. The 2001 Mariners, they lost their second playoff series.

There's-- it is not indicative of who was actually better. But I don't know that it has to be. It just stinks for the Indians.