Faker ... or Baker?

I am often amazed by the fickleness of your average sports fan.

You know, like when the Tribe loses 8 in a row (as they did earlier this fall), and most of us nod in agreement that, yep, these guys just don't have the offense to hang with the big boys in MLB.

You know, like when the Tribe rattles off 8 wins in 9 games (as they also did earlier this fall), and most of us nod in agreement that, yep, this team just might go all the way with the pitching depth they have.

And those scenarios played out one right after the other only a little over a month or so ago. And then, when the Indians were taken back behind the woodshed and spanked – unmercifully, I might add – by the New York Yankees, I wanted to take Shane Bieber, Brad Hand, and the rest of that "deep" pitching staff and deep-six 'em. And, make no mistake, the wounds are still fresh enough that I haven't really changed my mind yet.

I wish I could stand here and write, in a condescending tone, that yours truly is above all that, but obviously, I can't.

I've been pretty much the same with Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield:

In week one, the guy looked horrific (as did the rest of the team). Baker looked every bit as bad as he had during his lowest moments of last year's train wreck of a season, and there were a plethora of lows to choose from. Prior to the Ravens game, I had been hoping Baker's poor performance could be partly attributed to inept head coach Freddie Kitchens. That didn't appear to be as much of a factor as I'd hoped.

Baker appeared to get his act together in the 4 games that followed. The opponents were of lesser quality, to be sure, but for a city which was still feeling the sting of 1-15 and 0-16 seasons, no one was suggesting we NOT accept 4 consecutive victories. More importantly, Mayfield had seemed to grow more confident with each victory and showed flashes of the talent he displayed in his rookie season.

Then, in week 6, the Steelers game happened, and the Browns (and Baker) did a pratfall similar to the week 1 debacle. It hit most fans like a ton of bricks. I knew going in that we might lose, but I thought the Browns would give the Steelers a game, and it was over as soon as it started, thanks in part to a silly Mayfield pick. Back to the drawing board, right? And, by the way, Baker's a bum.

Who would have guessed Baker would rebound against an improving Bengals team with a career-best 5 touchdown passes? He looked as good as any quarterback in that game. By the time you read this, the Browns will have played the Raiders, a team many felt would be a great measuring stick for the team and Baker, as the Raiders seem to be improving concurrently with the Browns.

So who showed up at QB for the Browns against the Raiders? Baker ... or a faker? 

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 12, Issue 21, Posted 9:28 AM, 11.03.2020