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

Akron General


Don Drumm Studios

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

Pluto: What it will take for the Tribe to play in October
Terry Pluto explains how Major League Baseball's wild card system works

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Courtesy of Keith Allison
Download (WKSU Only)

The Indians are heading into the final weeks of the season with a shot at the playoffs…for the first time since 2007.  The way they’d likely do it is by winning the American League wild card.

The Indians are a half-game out in the wild card chase, behind Texas and Tampa Bay. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto explains how the system works and how the Indians have remained in contention. 

Listen: Terry Pluto breaks down baseball's wild card

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

Fans aren't exactly "wild"
It’s September, and the Indians still have a chance at the playoffs. If they get there, it will be as a wild card, and those rules have changed, though Terry Pluto notes the Indians fans haven’t had much reason to pay much attention.

“We haven’t bothered to explain this because, when you keep losing 93 games, there’s nothing to explain other than, ‘You stink and (here’s) what you need to get better next year.’”

How the wild card works
But here’s the explanation for those who might want to pay attention now: The three teams that are likely to win their American League divisions are Boston, Detroit and Oakland. The fourth team on the playoffs will be the winner of a one-game wildcard playoff. And six teams are within four games of each other to try for that wildcard.

“It’s the hardest way to go,” says Pluto. But “if you’re the Indians you just want to get in the playoffs no matter how you do it.” It's a hard way to go because whichever team wins the wildcard has to play the team with the best record in the American League, which is likely Boston. 

“As (Indians Manager) Terry Francona always says, ‘Yeah that’s the biggest game until our next game,” but in this case, says Pluto, it is.

A good system
Pluto likes the new wildcard playoff because “there are fans in six different American League cities -- from Kansas City to New York to Texas to Cleveland to Tampa Bay -- thinking their team has a shot to get in. And truthfully, they do.”

And in short-series playoffs, he notes, any team can get hot.

Pluto says the Indians got this far this year because of a team effort.

“If the Indians get in the wild card, it’s a remarkable achievement because it’s not like they’re having one hot pitcher and one hot hitter just carrying them through the month of September.”

And for that, he credits Francona, who kept the team going this season even during dry spells.

“What can a  manager do? A lot of it is dealing with the egos, and not having your guys quit.”

Still, says Pluto, fans haven’t caught on. “They’re barely going to draw more fans than they did last year.” Still, “I’m so glad there’s something to talk about (in September) besides what the Browns ought to do in the 2020 draft.”

Terry Pluto on Browns troubles on and off the field
Other options:
MP3 Download

Related WKSU Stories

Terry Pluto: Indians getting big bats from some unlikely players
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Puppypalooza at Progressive Field
Monday, September 9, 2013

Indians take on a Peralta-less Detroit
Monday, August 5, 2013

MLB draft is tonight, and the Indians go fifth
Thursday, June 6, 2013

Add Your Comment


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


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

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