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.

Knight Foundation

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

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

Indians surge, Cavs still search
Indians mount remarkable comeback in recent weeks, while the Cavs are expanding their search for a new coach

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Lonnie Chisenhall went 5 for 5 and hit three homers while driving in nine runs on Monday. He's agreed to give the bat he used to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Courtesy of Regina Sturgill
Download (WKSU Only)

Two of Cleveland’s pro sports teams have been searching in recent weeks. The Indians had been looking to turn around a slow and sloppy start that saw them in last place in the AL Central. The Tribe, as of Wednesday, stands at 2 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central just three weeks after trailing by 10 1/2.
Meanwhile, the Cavs are still on the hunt for a new head coach. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto weighs in on both teams.

Pluto on Indians comeback and Cavs coach search

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:08)

Terry Pluto on Browns' last week of OTA's

Other options:
MP3 Download (5:25)

Terry Pluto gives some of the credit for the Indians’ turn-around to veteran Manager Terry Francona. And some to spectacularly unexpected surprises like Lonnie Chisenhall.

“He almost was cut late in spring training. He did not have a particularly good spring, and remember previously, he’s been up three times – never did anything.”

But sometimes, Pluto says, things take time. “Lonnie Chisenhall was taken No. 1 in the 2008 draft. Usually when you take a player, it’s three to four years [to develop]. But sometimes, it’s five to six. You always say you don’t know when the light’s going to go on. And it just seemed like suddenly he figured it out."

“The only theory I’ve heard is that the Indians in the past expected him to start, expected big things from him because he was a first-round pick.

“This year when he finally made the team, Francona told him, don’t worry about anything. You’re just going to come off the bench, just be a role player. In other words, they took all the expectations off the board, and now he’s playing like the guy that they drafted in 2008 that they had high hopes for in 2012, 2013.”

Francona's leadership
And Pluto says that wasn’t the only time Francona played it smart – even when the team’s hitting, pitching and defense all seemed to collapse at the same time.

“He really falls into one of my favorite things about leadership. If you don’t know whether to go negative or positive, go positive. For example, if you’re making a bunch of errors and then you have your team out on the field at 2 p.m. for a night game for like three straight days to do extra infield practice, you’re not teaching us anything; you’re punishing us."

“I think he knows the fine line between practice and punishment.”

And Francona and the Indians are benefitting from some things beyond their control. Jason Kipnis is healthy again. “And then, even better, the Tigers bullpen collapsed at the same time. … Had the Tigers continued to play well, the Indians would still be pretty far back. But as the Indians are rising up, the Tigers are falling down.”

Cavs still searching 
On the other hand of pro sports in Cleveland, the Cavaliers continue to struggle with finding an NBA counterpart to Francona.

In the beginning, Pluto says, the search for a head coach was pretty traditional and orderly.

“David Griffin, the new general manager, was talking to different people from Alvin Gentry to Vinny Del Negro, the kind of regular guys who are available.”

Then owner Dan Gilbert did what he’s done before. “He’s inserted himself in the process, as they say. Back in 2010, Gilbert went off on his own and tried to hire Tom Izzo, the legendary Michigan State coach. … Izzo turned him down."

“This time, it’s John Calipari, the big-time coach at Kentucky. John Calipari is very close to LeBron James, and in Gilbert’s mind, he’s thinking, ‘Pair him up with LeBron, big show.’”

Instead, Calipari extended his contract with Kentucky. “I think he took the $60 million the Cavs offered him ... to Kentucky, and got a $53 million contract out of them.”

The latest name to pop up in the coaching search is Mark Price, a four-time All-Star in his nine seasons with the Cavs, whose retired jersey hangs in the Q.

“Mark, I think, needs more experience as an assistant coach. He’s coached in Australia, he’s coached high school, he’s been a shooting coach for a couple NBA teams, but he’s never been a top assistant.”

Still, “I would be very open to talking to Mark because Mark may be the kind of guy that I may want to pair with a head coach. Mark Price is a very good teacher of shooting, and you’ve got a good PR factor, too.”

And, Pluto acknowledges, he isn’t quite sure how to read the Cavs.

“Four days ago I would say no chance.”

But after Calipari, “I don’t know what to say.”

Related WKSU Stories

Cuyahoga would be first in nation to link tax money to pro team performance
Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Perfect storm' of beer and frustration hit Cleveland 40 years ago tonight
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Take me out to the ballgame for peanuts, crackerjacks -- and lobster nachos
Friday, May 30, 2014

Better than being there? Sports teams try to attract a tech-savvy crowd
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brown's out, Griffin's in and the Cavs hunt for a head coach, again
Monday, May 12, 2014

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

Ohio Rep. John Boccieri sworn into office and hopes to look for 'middle ground' with colleagues
Welcome back to the Statehouse, John. You are a terrific representative in the truest sense always representing the people's voice in teh district you serve. ...

Lawmakers call for indefinite freeze on Green Energy standards
It's a shame the Hudson Rep. Chooses to mimic the words of the extreme right senator on his way out to join ALEC when we know the Pope was just here because of...

Youngstown Schools file suit against the Ohio Department of Education to stop the implementation of an academic distress commission
Voters should ask WHY this plan was rushed into law under the cover of darkness. What clues point to the beneficiaries of this plan? Both Patrick O'Donnell of...

Great Lakes conference considers a range of threats
Your article states "Studies discovered over half of all PAHs found in the Great Lakes region come from a single source: Coal tar sealants.". I'm curious to whi...

ODOT awards Kent-based Davey Research Group nearly $50,000 to improve highway landscapes
This is an outrageous waste of taxpayer's money. Good for only Davey Tree and their cronies in the State government. It takes $50k to figure out the way to save...

Canton: another Northeast Ohio city is planning its comeback
Historic Ridgewood and the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority have no seats at the table. Very flawed right out of the gate. Ridgewood pays a huge percentage...

Property owners oppose a wind farm in Northern Ohio
Here is a link, exposing the connivance of the fossil fuel industry, in trying to prevent us from moving away from their outdated, filthy, and expensive forms o...

A new industry in Ohio aims to repurpose river sediment
and where do those PCB's end up??the story never says

A safe space: How Northeast Ohio colleges try to fight sexual assault
Very good and thorough job on a very sensitive topic!

Akron police shoot and kill a man following a North Hill robbery
Was on scene when they was trying to bring him back to life he looked dead there before he ever got into ambulance

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