The Cleveland Indians have won 21 straight baseball games. That’s a new Major League record, which is pretty impressive considering the sport, for better or for worse, has been around since anyone reading this website has been alive.
That’s right, the Indians have now won 21 straight games… and it doesn’t matter a lick.
Remember way back when (and by way back when, I mean two years ago) when the Golden State Warriors were having one mammoth of a season. Not only were they beating teams, they were beating them handily, just like the Indians are currently doing in Major League Baseball.
The Warriors stared Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bull’s “Best Team Ever” record squarely in the face… and beat it. In 1995-6, the Chicago Bulls went 72-10. The Warriors finished the 2015-16 season 73-9, one game better than the Bulls, to break a record no one ever thought could be broken.
Then they lost in the Finals, ironically to a team from Cleveland.
As Golden State chased that streak, people asked if breaking the regular season record would mean as much if they didn’t win the title, like the Bulls did in 1996. We debated over it fruitlessly, acknowledging that no matter what happened in the post-season, the Warriors impressive mark of 73-9 would forever be etched in history… with a ‘but.’ As it turns out, that team will forever be remembered as the best REGULAR SEASON team ever, which is not something any team wants to be remembered for. Just ask the 2007 Patriots.
This Indians winning streak is unprecedented as is the fashion in which they achieved it. Their rotation has combined for seven shutouts in those twenty-one games and they are outscoring opponents on an historical clip. Their players are loose and having fun, but none of them are taking this too seriously. That’s because they know, in the end, it won’t matter. They’d rather win four games in late October than 21 in early September.
The Oakland A’s once won 20 straight games. It was a nice story, recollected by Michael Lewis and eventually made into a neat little movie, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. But that’s all that A’s team will be remembered for: a win streak that once existed and the beginning of sabermetrics, aka, baseball on a budget.
Cleveland has a lot to celebrate these days. LeBron is still a Cavalier, the Browns have a young quarterback they haven’t run out of town yet and the Indians are on one helluva ride.
But it won’t matter. It won’t matter one bit.
Cleveland sports fans finally tasted victory, the inevitable LeBron-led championship that city will never forget. Despite not having lost a baseball game in three weeks, the Indians haven’t won a title in 69 years.
There are currently four teams in baseball with better than a .600-win percentage: the Indians who haven’t won a World Series since 1948, the Dodgers who haven’t won since 1988, and the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, neither of whom have won a World Series at all. We are on a collision course of inevitability and for the first time in a long time, I can’t wait for the baseball post-season. Something will have to give.
The next forty days and forty nights will tell us exactly how good this Indians team is and how historic it can be. To be clear, it’s not that I’m not impressed with the win streak. I am. I just want to see if they can dot the I.