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Sports


Pluto: Browns open camp with sizzle; Indians desperately need to get hot
Indians hover around .500 as the Browns open training camp with "Manziel mania"
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
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Two of Cleveland’s pro sports teams are reaching a point in the summer when they have a lot to prove. WKSU’s Amanda Rabinowitz talks with commentator Terry Pluto about the Browns’ sizzle… and the Indians desperate need to get hot.

LISTEN: Pluto on Indians and Browns

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Hovering at .500 or below
The Indians have been struggling just to remain even on the season. More often than not, they are a few games under .500. Terry Pluto says it's time for the team to turn a corner. "The Indians need one of those streaks where they win eight out of 10 or 10 out of 13. To get into any sort of playoff chase, you gotta get five to 10 games over .500 and that takes a really good two weeks of baseball. And I don't know if they've got it in them." 

Pluto says he anticipated this season's hardships. "Last year, in the month of September, they were 21-6 and they ended the season with something I've never seen a Cleveland team do: They won their last 10. There's your hot two weeks." And he says defense has been a big problem throughout the season.

Could Lindor be on the way up?
Pluto says the midpoint of the season is when fans could start to see some new faces. With shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hurting his back in a game this week, the Indians have promoted prospect Francisco Lindor from AA Akron to AAA Columbus. "The start of the season, the idea was to have him play half of the year in Akron, play some time in Columbus and then bring him up at the end of the year in September. I always say, you give him a little taste of it get him a look at it. The truth is, I'm ready to watch him play. Cabrera is not one of my favorites. Defensively he's been poor and he just seems to struggle."

Browns open camp with more hype than ever
Beginning this week, the Indians will be competing for fans' attention. The Browns open training camp with more hype than ever. "I've never seen anything like this. Certainly not since they've been back in 1999."

Fans have to sign up online to attend practices for the first time and the Browns reached their registration capacity for 2014 Family Day on August 2nd at University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium. Browns fans collected more than 25,000 free tickets less than 10 hours. The event is an intrasquad scrimmage with fan-engagement opportunities during and after the practice. 

Manziel mania sizzles
The reason for all the type is rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel. He has the league's top-selling jersey since April 1, ahead of such established stars as Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson of Seattle and Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers. "This guy hasn't taken a snap in the NFL and may not be the opening day quarterback...There's a lot of sizzle, but I don't know if there's anything on the grill or not. There's a rookie head coach and a rookie general manager and their top receiver, Josh Gordon, is facing a suspension that could be as long as a half a year or it could be a full season for flunking multiple drug tests. And, there's Johnny Football. But that seems to have trumped all that other stuff." 

"The door is wide open for the Browns. But is this team good enough to go through that door and go 8-8? I doubt it. But the fans want to see it."

Pluto on the Cavs free agency search and trade rumors
Other options:   MP3 Download  (5:44)

Related WKSU Stories

Pluto on the high drama of the off-season in sports
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Indians surge, Cavs still search
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pilot Flying J, runs by Browns Haslam, agrees to criminal charges
Monday, July 14, 2014

Pluto on Josh Gordon, LeBron James and the big decisions they face
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pluto on the high drama of the off-season in sports
Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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