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What’s the cost of an opening day loss in Cleveland?
Terry Pluto says maybe 20,000 tickets

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Terry Pluto says the Indians' home opening day loss may cost them as much as 20,000 tickets
Courtesy of Amanda Rabinowitz
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There are 162 games in a baseball season. So, you would think that losing one -- even the first one at home -- isn’t anything to worry about. But, when you’re the Indians, have spent $100 million in the off-season and sold out your home opener in six minutes, that loss hurts. Especially when you haven’t won any of the last five openers at Progressive Field.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz about Monday's loss and what it means in a region that's already waiting for football season.

Terry Pluto commentary audio

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Home opening drubbing likely costly
According to Terry Pluto, the Indians are still a better team than they were last year. But he also thinks that losing the home opener [11-6 to the Yankees] cost them 10 to 20,000 tickets.

“Had the Indians won that opener, you would have had more people buying tickets for the rest of the series,” Pluto said.

Pluto says fans are looking for the Indians to give them a reason to keep paying attention.

“The hope was that, on opening day, the Indians would go out and just spank the Yankees,” Pluto said. “But that’s not Cleveland sports.”

A football town 
Pluto compares opening day in baseball to the NFL, saying that Cleveland is a football area and the home opener has the tailgating aspect with all the pre-game festivities. Therefore, the game takes on more importance. But baseball isn’t just like football.
“In the NFL, if you lose the opening game, you have less than a 50 percent chance of making the playoffs that year,” Pluto said. “But one game is like ten games in baseball.”

No momentum in baseball 
Pluto recalls being a rookie baseball writer in Baltimore and making the mistake of talking about momentum in sports to the late Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver. Pluto said Earl Weaver responded with, “Listen kid, momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. So you tell me how my pitcher’s going to be tomorrow, and tell you how my momentum is going to be tomorrow.”

Then someone else asked Weaver about the importance of one game or another, and Weaver responded with another, “Hey kid, listen, this ain’t the NFL. We do it every day.”  

“There are a lot of clichés in sports that just don’t apply to baseball,” Pluto said.

Still a better team 
Despite the opening day loss, Pluto still believes the Indians will hold his attention. “But I’ll tell you what, by the end of that [opening day] game, you look up and the Indians put up six runs in that game,” Pluto said.

Pluto still wants fans to look at the bright side: “There’s only about 480 hours of baseball left,” he chuckles. 

Terry Pluto talks about the future of Cavs coach Byron Scott
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Related WKSU Stories

Pluto: Enjoy baseball as it was meant to be… On the radio
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Terry Pluto is bringing back optimism from Goodyear, Ariz.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Young, old and used-to-be stars look for Spring Training miracle
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Terry Pluto: The Indians' $100 million splurge is a welcome surprise
Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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