The city of meaningless wins

It was Throw Back the Clock Weekend in downtown Cleveland the last couple of days.

The Browns scored an offensive touchdown. The last time they did that nearly predates the time this nation had a black president, Nov. 17 of last year against the Buffalo Bills. No scores and seven games ago. Obviously the Browns were not created equal.

Then Fausto Carmona picked up a victory. He hadn’t earned a win since May 14 over the Tampa Bay Rays. Of course, you have to look even deeper into the time capsule to find the last time Carmona actually pitched really well and earned a victory. Sunday’s eight-strikeout, one-walk, five-hit, one-run performance was his best since his complete-game, 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees in the 2007 American League Division Series. Carmona’s eight whiffs were the most he’s put up since striking out nine Royals in a 6-0 victory on Sept. 15, 2007, and the one walk was only the second time in 17 starts this season that he’s allowed so few.

A Browns offensive touchdown and victory. TWO Indians victories. Never before in the history of sport have three meaningless games brought one city so much joy. The last time two of our teams won in the same weekend was when both the Cavs and Indians won at home on Sunday, April 12. Even one of those games was basically meaningless as the Indians won their first of the season against the Blue Jays after six straight losses while the Cavs whipped the Celtics 107-76 to cement home-court advantage throughtout the playoffs. At least neither was a preseason game.

You actually have to go back to April 14, 2007 for two meaningful wins in the same weekend day by Cleveland teams. On that day in Cleveland sports history the Indians beat the Chicago White Sox at home 4-0. The Cavs followed with a 110-76 win at the Q over the Atlanta Hawks. Those were the days. The Cavs were heading to the NBA Finals while the Indians were heading for Game 7 of the ALCS.

Now we’re just heading over a cliff, getting excited over preseason touchdowns in a win over a team that went 0-16 the previous year. And more people enjoyed the Tribe’s 2009 Rock ‘n Blast fireworks show after Saturday’s win than enjoyed either of the two weekend victories. Or at least they should have, considering that even with the two weekend wins the Indians are 15 games under .500. Or more accurately, six feet under. But at least they are two days closer to getting rid of manager Eric Wedge.

The Indians are now on a 10-game road trip and certain to be forgotten once they return home Labor Day weekend. Even if they win all 10 they’ll still be five games under and not nearly as close as they would appear in the Detroit Tigers’ side-view mirror. The Browns will be wrapping up preseason and the Cavs will be at least moving to the tip of our tongues.

Until then we’ll recount Braylon Edwards’ one catch against the Lions, the 81-yard touchdown run straight up the middle by rookie running back James Davis, and an actual passing grade for quarterback Derek Anderson. All against the Lions! (Hey, at least we’re not Detroit — in football.)


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