(CBS) Given their ties to and close friendship with Indians manager Terry Francona, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein have found the televisions around their offices tuned into American League games more often than usual.

Like everyone, they’re astonished by Cleveland’s 21-game winning streak, which has set an American League record and in the eyes of some has matched the MLB record, depending on how the 1916 Giants’ 26 wins-and-one-tie is classified.

Hoyer, Epstein and Francona were all key leaders of the Red Sox team that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, and they’ve long held a mutual respect after parting ways. Their courses collided last year, when the Cubs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Indians in the World Series.

The way Cleveland is playing now makes it the AL favorite to get back there.

“It’s amazing,” Hoyer said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Thursday. “It’s hard to put it in perspective of just how many wins 21 in a row is. Theo and I were saying our longest winning streak together, the longest of my career, was we had a 12-game winning streak in 2006 with the Red Sox. I think we’ve had a couple 11-gamers along the way. I think we had one last year. You add those two longest winning streaks of ours together and you get to 23. It’s just amazing, the idea that you add our two longest winning streaks together and that’s almost where the Indians are right now. It’s such a special accomplishment and really impressive. We find ourselves watching their games so often — the energy they’re playing with, the pitching they’re getting. Listen, the city of Cleveland has to love this group of players, and what they’re doing is historic. They deserve all the credit they get.”

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