D.L. Stewart: THIS one’s the record to chase

Sept 13, 2017
Cleveland Indians fans celebrate a 2-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, in Cleveland. The Indians won their 20th game in a row, tying the American League record. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

With people in the Far East wondering if the next North Korean missile might land on them, folks in Florida and the Caribbean still bailing water out of their living rooms and 143 million Americans hoping their credit rating isn’t hovering somewhere around zero, this may be the most trivial of issues.

Still, my major concern today is the Cleveland Indians.

For the record, the Indians have won their last 20 games. Only two other teams in the history of Major League Baseball have managed to do that – the 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 in a row and the 2002 Oakland Athletics won 20. Which, by any logic, means if the Indians win again tonight they will have tied a record that has stood for 82 years.

>> RELATED: Indians run historic streak to 20 consecutive wins

And, yet, for a city that needs all the credit it can get, some people don’t want to give it any. Specifically Steve Hirdt, the vice president at the Elias Sports Bureau, the official record-keeper for Major League Baseball, which has enough official records to fill the Grand Canyon.

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 13: Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger #52 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 13, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Photo: Contributing Writer

In a story reported by the Associated Press and carried in Tuesday’s Dayton Daily News under the headline, “Why 26 is record to chase,” Hirdt argued that the real record was set in 1916 by the New York Giants, who played 26 consecutive games without a loss.

“The Giants’ 26-game winning streak has existed since the beginning of time,” Hirdt said. “I do not know why certain people are looking at the 21 now and holding that up as the record or alternately trying to parse language so that they can somehow exclude the 26.”

This not only is an appalling disregard of the facts, but also of the world’s history; while 1916 was a long time ago, I’m pretty sure time began several years before that. And while the Giants did manage 26 games without a loss, they didn’t WIN 26 consecutive games. What they did was win 12 games, tie the Pittsburgh Pirates in one, and then win 14 more games

So let’s not parse words, here. The record is for a WINNING streak. It isn’t for a “did not lose” streak.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I can go back to worrying about other important issues. Such as whether the Cleveland Browns ever will have a one-game winning streak