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Second-half Cavs vs. Spring Indians
It's the time of the year when Cleveland fans have two pro sports teams playing simultaneously

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
The Indians already have two injured players who will miss opening day: outfielder Grady Sizemore and closer Chris Perez
Courtesy of Mark Urycki
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It’s that time of the year when two of Cleveland’s pro sports teams play simultaneously. The Cavs are starting the second half of the shortened NBA season fueled by rookie Kyrie Irving. The Indians have already hit a few snags even before Spring Training’s first pitch. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz.

Terry Pluto: Second half Cavs vs. Spring Indians

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Terry Pluto talks about how sports and activities can help troubled teens

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P: In fact, they keep getting emails from fans saying they’re winning too many games. They’re 13 and 18 heading into Tuesday night’s game.

R: And how many games did they win last year?

P: They won 19. So they’re a lot better than people thought. They’re coming off the All-Star break where the basketball world got a look at Kyrie Irving. For all the Linn-sanity and Jeremy Linn, the person who stole the show at the Rising Stars game between the first and second year players was Kyrie Irving, hitting eight three pointers in a row. Byron Scott said, ‘We could have used one of those.’

R: Eight three pointers? I know even LeBron James tweeted about him.

P: Yes he did. Here’s the little dilemma for the Cavaliers, you know you’ve got to get more players around him and you’re not ready. The question is will they make some trades to add draft picks. In the meantime, I know from talking to Byron Scott, he’s going to keep pushing that old gas pedal down. He wants these guys to get a taste of win and he wants them to understand that there’s a certain amount of discipline that comes from playing defense and everything else to become a good team. He walked into a culture of losing. LeBron left and nobody really cared what happened last year.

R: So at this point, while some fans may want the team to lose because we can get those great draft picks again, Byron Scott is saying, ‘We’re not thinking about that.’

P: No, and I think he realizes too is he going to lose enough games because of the general nature of the season, the lack of depth on the team. Andy Varejao is the guy, if they were going to make the playoffs next year, they need to be healthy. He’s out for probably another three to four weeks.

R: With about two weeks left to go in the trade deadline, what are you expecting the Cavs to do?

P: I think they’ll probably trade Ramon Sessions. He’s been the back-up for Kyrie Irving, and a nice player. I really like Ramon, but he could be a free agent at the end of the year. If you’re Ramon Sessions, and you play the same position as Kyrie Irving, you’re not coming back to Cleveland.

R: With one team entering the second half of the season with the Cavs, we have a long way to go to talk about the Indians. Spring training hasn’t even started yet. But real early on, what do you see?

P: I don’t recall any Indians team losing two key guys before they had their inner squad game.

R: Yeah, they have two big injuries.

P: Grady Seizmore. They announced the first day of training camp that his back is not real good. You and I discussed this before. I was against signing him. It’s nothing personal against Grady, but when you’ve missed more games in the last three years than you played, the odds are you will probably be hurt again. They’ve also done micro-surgery on one knee, and there are some other problems. He’ll be back sometime after opening day.

R: And then the closer, Chris Perez is also injured.

P: Yes, one bullpen session. He pulled the oblique muscle, basically the muscle in your side. You don’t just bounce back from that because if you think about it, the human body is not made to throw pitches 95 mile per hour like Chris Perez does. And if you watch him, he has kind of a violent motion. He sort of swings his left arm out, and here comes the right arm behind it. He’s got the wild eyes and the whiskers flying and hair behind him. He likes that look, but suddenly his side muscles didn’t. Now he’s out four to six weeks, and they hope he’ll be ready by opening day.

R: Do you want injuries now if you’re going to have them, or is this a bad sign?

P: I’ve got bad karma about this. I’ve heard if you’re going to get hurt then get it over with. I just think Manny Acta is saying ‘it isn’t even March and I’m talking to my training a lot more than I want to.’

R: I guess we’ll see how the next few weeks pan out.

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