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.

Akron General

Lehmans

Wayside Furniture


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
Sports


Terry Pluto: The Indians' $100 million splurge is a welcome surprise
Pluto says spending spree is an investment that adds sizzle but will it make them contenders?
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Nick Swisher is in camp in Goodyear, Arizona as spring training gets ramped up on Feb. 11, 2013. To see The Plain Dealer's coverage of the Indians, go to cleveland.com/tribe
Courtesy of Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
Download (WKSU Only)
The Cleveland Indians are doing something fans have been demanding for years: Spending money. And they're spending big. Owners Larry and Paul Dolan have shelled out more than $100 million on free agent outfielders Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn this winter. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks to Amanda Rabinowitz about what's behind the splurge and what the moves mean for the team for this season and beyond.
Terry Pluto audio on the Indians

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:51)


Terry Pluto: Browns' Haslam going back to his day job and more QB rumors

Other options:
MP3 Download (6:37)


Terry Pluto recalls a background talk with Indians owner Paul Dolan awhile ago, in which Dolan talked about wanting to change things.

“He was unhappy with the perception that a lot of fans had that the Indians will lose and just kind of make some money and that’ll be it.”

At that point, though, the only evidence of change was the Indians hiring of former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona, what Pluto calls “significant, but hardly a budget breaker.”

That was $104 million ago.

Last month, the Indians signed Nick Swisher to a $56 million, four-year contract, the biggest in team history. They put up another $3 million to ensure a trade for Trevor Bauer, a young pitcher with Arizona.

“And then the shocker came on Monday; spring training’s already open and they signed an outfielder named Michael Bourn for $48 million over four years.”

Bourn is a center fielder who has played his entire career in the National League, for Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta. His trademark is speed and stolen bases.

Pluto says Dolan’s willingness to spend big money was key to signing both Bourn and Swisher. But so was his pick of Francona as manager.

“Francona’s a very popular manager among players, and … when there’s two contracts now on the table, and Francona comes in to try to close the deal, that helps.”

What the Indians are striving for, says Pluto, is “to be relevant” to fans. And Pluto says Cleveland couldn’t get that way by signing the “used-to-bes and never weres” as the team has done in the past.

“But “this is not that, … this isn’t a lottery ticket. This is an investment.”

With Bourne, Michael Brantley and Drew Stubbs – and outfielder the Indians got from the Reds – the team has “one of the fastest outfields in the league and one of the best defensively,” says Pluto. He expects Swisher will go to first base; and Mark Reynolds will DH, all of which will mean more runs.

Pluto acknowledges pitching remains a big question, and expects the team will lose money this year. But, he says, the Indians have taken a crucial step.

“We’re talking about them, and we’re talking about players that at least you don’t have to be a total stats geek to have heard of.”

Ultimately, he says, what the Indians have done is “bought their way into the conversation of Cleveland sports fans.”

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

Western Stark Free Clinic is set to close but to continue its role
WHAT OTHER DENTAL CLINICS AND MEDICAL CLINICS ARE IN THE CANTON AND MASSILLON, OHIO AREAS?

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

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