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The Indians' new rival: The Pirates
Terry Pluto says that if the Indians run out of steam, fans' attention will shift to the NFL and maybe even to the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
The Pittsburgh Pirates are drawing sell-out crowds with their surprising winning season.
Courtesy of Amanda Rabinowitz
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It’s feeling like déjà vu for Indians fans. Like last year, the Indians started hot this season, and have fizzled since the All-Star break, while the Detroit Tigers have surged in to first place in the AL Central. And, for the first time in many years the Indians are feeling pressure from a surprising team two hours east – the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Not to mention Browns football training camp starts this weekend. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz about Indians fans losing interest.

Terry Pluto: Indians vs. Pittsburgh and NFL

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Terry Pluto on the Penn State sanctions and the changing Big 10 landscape

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Over the years, “The Indians privately … would say to us, ‘At least we’re not the Pirates and at least we’re not the Royals’ because those teams haven’t been anywhere near the playoffs forever.”

But the Pirates are well above .500 and on track for at least a wildcard slot in the playoffs. And Pluto says Indians fans “are looking and saying, ‘Pittsburgh’s a small team (and) they’re winning. Cincinnati has had a nice couple of years; they’re a small team. … What are you guys doing?”

And with the Browns opening training camp this weekend, Pluto says the impatience of Indians fans is likely to grow.

Last year, the Indians also suffered a midseason fade. They traded some of their top prospects for pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez, who’s turned out to be a mediocre pitcher.

And Pluto says his read this year is that “it’s just sort of a mediocre-talented team, and I don’t know that any one move … makes a dramatic difference.”

So, if the Detroit series this weekend goes badly, he fears the Indians may revert to “baseball’s equivalent of a yard sale.”

“You see next week one of those ‘everything must go sales,’ or at least Shin Soo Choo and maybe one or two other players.”

Related WKSU Stories

Indians Hall of Famer Larry Doby's little-known legacy
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cigarettes, stats and other changes you notice on the Indians beat
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Low attendance sparks "pure rage" from Indians closer
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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