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Sports


The Indians are guilty until proven innocent, while jurors keep embracing the Browns
Terry Pluto talks about why fans largely ignored the 11-9 Indians last month
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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The Indians finished the month of April in first place in the American League Central. Still, the front office is glad the month is over. That’s because baseball was largely overshadowed by another big event in pro sports – the NFL draft.

The Browns generated extra hype late last week by trading up to grab Alabama star running back Trent Richardson third and then selecting quarterback Brandon Weeden 22nd.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz about why the Indians are glad it's May.

Terry Pluto on Indians' April

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Terry Pluto breaks down the Browns 2012 draft

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Draft trumps the Tribe

While April was a good month for the Indians on the field, not many people watched the team’s success from the stands. Pluto says the front office noticed.

“Mark Shapiro, the President of the Indians told me, ‘I think nobody even realized we were playing this month’”

Attendance at the Indians’ game on draft night this year was 9,229, slightly higher than last year’s draft night game but less than a quarter of Progressive Field’s capacity.

A double standard

Pluto says the Browns and Indians are treated much differently by the fans

“The Indians are guilty until proven innocent,” Pluto said. They’re not big spenders in the offseason, the Dolans (the owners) are cheap, so we can’t win. The Browns are innocent until proven guilty. Even though they’ve been much worse than the Indians all these years, here comes the draft, which is the most over-hyped thing around. That creates hope, it creates attention, it creates sizzle.”

Early season strength boosts attendance figures

A strong start to a season can lead to increased attendance throughout the year. Despite the Indians’ 80-82 record last year, Pluto says the fact that the team was 15 games over.500 at one point early in the season helped them surpass attendance estimates.

“The Indians projected last year to draw 1.3 million, they drew 1.8 million. That’s what the fast start was worth, about an extra 500,000 fans. This year, they’re projecting around 1.5 to 1.7, but I think if they come out quick and have a good May and June they could get up around two million.”

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