News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Akron Children's Hospital

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us


Terry Pluto: For the Indians, it won't be this easy next season
Terry Pluto says there's plenty of uncertainly about 2014 and the added pressure to not only make the playoffs again, but win
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
The Indians went from a 68-94 record in 2012 to a 92-70 mark this year.
Courtesy of David Maxwell/Getty Images
Download (WKSU Only)

Many Cleveland sports fans are still buzzing about the Indians’ remarkable season that took from losing 94 games last season, to winning 92 games this year and making the playoffs. But the team under veteran manager Terry Francona now faces the pressure of keeping the momentum going.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about the challenges facing the Tribe following their winning season.

LISTEN: Pluto on Indians' 2014 pressure

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:59)


2014 will be tougher than this year
Momentum is good, says Terry Pluto, but it’s not everything. And that’s something the Indians need to be cognizant of going into the 2014 season. “In some ways it’s harder” to go from good team to good team, than to be the team that turned it around.

This year, “if you think about it, all the news went from bad to good. (Manager Terry) Francona comes in, they sign Nick Swisher, they sign Michael Bourn. Real Major League players, the kind of players that don’t sign here. They made a couple of nice trades.”

In short, in 2013, “There wasn’t anything that I sat there and go, ‘What are they doing?’ like a couple years ago (when) they signed Grady Sizemore to a $5 million contract after he played only three weeks and had three knee surgeries.”

Until this year, says Pluto, “not only were they shopping rummage-sale basements, but they were picking up socks that still had holes in them. “And it all changed in one winter.”

Possibly losing key pitchers
Among the changes, starter Ubaldo Jimenez “finally figures out how to pitch…He was arguably the best American League starter the second half of the season.”

But he’s a free agent now, and “the odds overwhelmingly are he will not be back. Someone’s going to throw zillions of bucks at this guy.”

The Indians may have more hope of holding onto another free agent, starter Scott Kazmir, whom most baseball teams had given up on.

A second-year manager
But “there’s nothing quite like the honeymoon period and the novelty, when you come in as a manager of a bad team (armed with) two World Series rings. The players haven’t heard your stories, they haven’t seen your motivational techniques. Everything is new.

And Francona used that. “No doubt he pulled out some of his best stuff,” including finding a way to end an eight-game losing streak. But next year, says Pluto, “I think it will be a little harder for him.”

Extra money already spent
The team spent more money than it has in recent years signing free agents. And next year, each Major League team will get an extra $20 million from a new national TV contract, but Pluto notes that some of that money already is committed to boosts of $12 million in Swisher’s and Bourn’s contracts. So to fill holes, the Indians “are going to have to do it with younger guys and smart trades.”

Bringing back the fans
One big thing the Indians may have going for them next year over this: fan interest.

“Francona had an interesting remark” about the playoffs, Pluto recalls. “He said when he came out of the dugout for the playoff game and saw everybody standing and waving the towels and wearing red, he goes, ‘It was so loud and I just sensed a lot of these people have been waiting all year to do this…We really want to give them more games like that next year.”

So, Pluto says, the Indians solidified their base, gave lifetime fans a reason to stay loyal and across baseball “will be taken seriously.”

 

LISTEN: Terry Pluto on Browns quarterback debacle
Other options:
MP3 Download
(6:06)

Related WKSU Stories

Pluto: Can Cleveland sports fans handle winning?
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Indians season ends on a note of hope and a familiar refrain: Wait 'til next year
Thursday, October 3, 2013

Indians lose to Rays, ending further playoff hopes
Thursday, October 3, 2013

Terry Francona before the AL Wild Card game, and a quick primer
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

If history is any indication, this is the Indians' year
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook





Stories with Recent Comments

The postal workers union is challenging mail-sorting closures in Ohio
Do not close the akron facilaty for mail processing. This will severly deminish mail service to the northeast ohio area, Cleveland can not handle this burden.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park OK's sharpshooters to thin deer herds
In this article you mention that the Mule Deer Foundation is a "hunting group" in reality the Mule Deer Foundation is a conservation group that is over 25 years...

Clarence Bozeman: In the driver's seat of history
I believe he was a teacher of mine as James Ford Rhodes. My favorite teacher of all time! Loved learning this part of his amazing history.

Cleveland RTA is moving Public Square bus stops beginning this week
I am very confused. Why are you taking one or more of the park and ride 246 out of service in the morning. I looking over the new schedule I see that there ar...

Canton school board will vote Wednesday on its high school merger
Great to see that THE REPOSITORY is advising a 'no' vote for now! Another point, besides all the Very accurate points already made against this move is the fac...

Some parents opting their students out of Common Core test
I am an 8th grader at a school in Allen County. I have just recently taken the ELA performance based assessment and found it extremely difficult. It asked me a ...

Fallout from the Ohio Supreme Court Munroe Falls ruling
The comment by Nathan Johnson from OEC is confusing. Instead of cities being 'emboldened' to craft zoning laws that were just stricken down by this ruling, comm...

Stopping sediment dumping in Lake Erie
Ah, yes, the Army Coro of Engineers, the geniuses that designed the levee system in New Orleans that has made the flooding worse due to no sediment reaching the...

Ohio charter school critic says reform bills are a good step
The cold truth is that these charter schools are offering services beyond the what the state tests can guage. Parents and students have a choice and they are ch...

State law trumps restrictions on oil and gas drilling in Munroe Falls
Justice O'Neill's quote brings up a point I wish WKSU would address: since, unlike for Federal judges, our judges here in Ohio are elected, and therefore respo...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University