Who wins 17 major league baseball games in a row?
Almost nobody … but these guys.
Go ahead, if you wish, and hyperventilate over the hapless Browns playing their first game of the season against the Steelers this afternoon.
For the discerning sports aficionado, the real drama, the most meaningful, the most historic event of the day will take place down the street tonight, when a national television audience will be welcomed into Progressive Field for some big boy baseball.
The local entry has won a preposterous 17 games in a row, and will try to make it 18. Don’t bet against them. They are not just on a roll. They are a runaway train. Since Aug. 23 they are 17-0 and have outscored their opponents 118-30.
The Indians aren’t just winning games, they are jumping off the top rope and pile-driving opponents. During their streak, they have played 153 innings, and they’ve held the lead in 149 of them.
Everything they do is right. Almost nothing goes wrong. They win every day. It’s one long, continuous hardball Mardi Gras.
Seventeen in a row? Nobody does that. This is solar eclipse stuff. You’ll tell your grandchildren about this streak.
For crying out loud, Giovanny Urshela is hitting .389 in September.
Ever wonder what it would look like if every single player on a team was hot for 2½ weeks? Don’t. It looks like this.
Meanwhile, the Browns, who won all but 15 of their 16 games last year, will open the 2017 season against the Steelers, who have only been to eight Super Bowls, winning a mere six.
Well at least most of the Browns will open the season Sunday.
Myles Garrett won’t.
This is how it works for habitually beleaguered franchises such as the Browns. They either select the wrong player with their first pick in the draft, or they take the right player — and he immediately gets hurt.
Garrett, who probably could have started for the Browns as a senior in high school, is sidelined indefinitely with a high ankle sprain. Garrett was not only the Browns’ first pick in the draft, he was the first pick by anyone in the draft.
But now he’s hurt.
The good news is that Garrett got hurt when a teammate accidently fell on his leg. That’s the GOOD news? Yep. Because it could have happened like this: during a brawl with a teammate. Instead, that activity was handled by two of Garrett’s teammates. Well, technically one of his teammates now.
Ricardo Louis and Calvin Pryor, who apparently don’t care for the cut of the each other’s jib, got into a fight BEFORE practice. Cooler heads eventually prevailed, but after they did, Pryor was asked to leave — not just practice, but the team.
So if you had Pryor in the last-piece-of-the-puzzle Browns lottery, thanks for playing.
How will the Browns do this season? You can put me down for 8-8.
Even though I think they’ll go 4-12.
The Cavs? They staged a “presser” last week that was actually a puller. They pulled everyone’s leg who showed up thinking there might be some actual news. There wasn’t.
Over two weeks after the Cavs traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick in next year’s draft, the Cavs held a press conference to introduce their new additions.
The trade was old news, but the condition of Thomas’ hip is not. That’s because nobody knows what the condition of Thomas’ hip is. It’s the main reason everyone showed up for the no-news-is-bad-news presser.
To ask about Thomas’ hip.
To those questions, respectfully asked in a variety of ways by a variety of questioners, the Cavs coldly responded: “Mind your own business.”
Take that, Cavs fans.
Look, nobody expected Cavs GM Koby Altman to give a definitive date on when Thomas will play again, but to do a complete stonewall on the subject was unbecoming the organization, and the rookie GM.
Coach Tyronn Lue, momentarily abandoning the organizational gag order, partially spilled some of the beans by saying Thomas won’t be ready to play at the start of the season. But that was the presumption all along.
When WILL Thomas play? Will he be playing by Thanksgiving? By Christmas? Valentine’s Day? National Corndog Day?
The Cavs do, and they should have had the courtesy to give at least a ballpark estimate. But they, with all due arrogance, are not talking.
So, if you’re a Cavs season ticket holder, or a fan considering buying tickets to any games this season, looking for just a general idea on when there might be a Thomas viewing in what might be his only season in Cleveland, the Cavs’ message to you is crystal clear:
Mind your own business.