The View Beyond Pluto

There's always so much going on in Northeast Ohio sports, much more than what can fit  in our regular Wednesday conversations with Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Terry Pluto.  Consider it overtime or extra innings.  This is the place to check out Amanda Rabinowitz's ongoing conversations with Terry that are just too good to miss!

a photo of Myles Garrett

The NFL has lifted Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's suspension, but he remains in the spotlight following the ugly brawl with Pittsburgh Steelers quaterback Mason Rudolph last November. Our sports commentator Terry Pluto says Garrett's recent ESPN interview didn't help to take the focus away from the helmet-swinging incident. 

a photo of Indians sign at Progressive Field.

The Indians are inching towards the 2020 season. Pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Arizona next Tuesday, with the first full spring training workout Feb. 17. This past weekend, the team held its annual Tribe Fest, a chance for fans to meet the players. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto caught up with manager Terry Francona and others to talk about the upcoming season.

This story was originally published on August 21, 2019.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are ramping up to celebrate their 50th season in the NBA. On Tuesday, the team announced a new Wall of Honor to serve as a tribute to those who have made “significant contributions” to the organization and its history. It will stand in the new North Atrium area of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Erik Drost / Wikimedia Commons

The Cavs are off to a surprising start with a 4-6 record 10 games into the season. The team won just 19 games last year. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the team has had a relatively easy schedule to start. Still, he says many things are starting to gel, including the team's vision for life post-LeBron James.

Erik Drost / Wikimedia Commons

The Browns are a disappointing 2-5. Their recent loss came to the defending Super Bowl champions New England Patriots, 27-13. The team has nine games left in the season and the schedule becomes much easier. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said that eliminates some excuses for this underperforming team.

Erik Drost / Wikimedia Commons

The Cleveland Browns enter the bye week at 2-4 and 0-3 at home this season. The latest disappointing loss was to the 5-1 Seattle Seahawks, 32-28. Now, Cleveland has two weeks to regroup before facing the undefeated Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots on the road.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said that while several questionable calls by officials went against them, it was a game the Browns should have won. 

Pluto said the officiating in this past Sunday's game was the worst he'd ever seen.

photo of a Browns helmet

The Browns head into their Sunday game against the Balitmore Ravens with a 1-2 record. They lost to the L.A. Rams 20-13 on Sunday. Head coach Freddie Kitchens took the blame for the loss, citing his poor play calling towards the end of the game. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said there were some positives to take from yet another disappointing offensive performance.


The Browns have less than a week to regroup after their embarrassing season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans. The team that's been hyped in the off-season was blown out by a score of 43-13. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto lists five things the Browns must fix heading into their Monday Night Football showdown on the road against the New York Jets. 

a photo of Carlos Carrasco pitching

The Indians are in a battle for the postseason, currently in second place behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division. But WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says no matter how the season ends, it will be remembered as the year of Carlos Carrasco's comeback. 

From diagnosis to comeback
Carrasco, who's nicknamed "Cookie", has played for Cleveland for 10 seasons. The 32-year-old was the No. 2 starting pitcher entering the season. On June 5, the Indians announced that he was placed on the injured list with a blood condition.

Erik Drost/Wikimedia Commons

The Cleveland Indians are a major-league best 30-12 since June 4. It's been quite the turnaround for a team that many fans had all but written off in May. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the hot streak likely has the team rethinking its strategy of trading a star player to start the rebuilding process. 

Streaking after the All-Star break
The Indians have come a long way since June 2.

a photo of a Browns helmet

The Cleveland Browns have just wrapped up their mandatory mini-camp and won't return to the field for another six weeks. Our commentator Terry Pluto says based on what he's seen, it's not going to be hard for fans to get excited this year. But there are plenty of off-the-field distractions as the new-look team tries to mesh. 

Photo of Kawhi Leonard.

The Toronto Raptors are making their first ever NBA Finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors. The series is tied 1-1 as of Tuesday. Our sports commentator Terry Pluto says the Raptors took a big gamble and made some sacrifices that ended up paying off. 

Adam Lazzarato / Wikimedia Commons

For the first time in franchise history, the Toronto Raptors have made it to the NBA Finals. The team's biggest roadblock: LeBron James. The Cavs with James had beaten Toronto in the playoffs three straight years, including a sweep last year. But the door opened when James left the Eastern Conference to play for the L.A. Lakers. Now, The Raptors will take on the depfending champion Golden State Warriors in the Finals. Our commentator Terry Pluto says the Raptors are no longer "the little team that could."

a photo of Odell Beckham Jr

The revamped Cleveland Browns are participating in OTA practices this week in Berea with new star wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. in attendance. 

A photo of quarterback Baker Mayfield and Cleveland Browns

When the NFL draft begins Thursday it will be different for the Cleveland Browns. Typically, the draft is full of both excitement and anxiety for Browns fans used to losing seasons and a carousel of quarterbacks, coaches and general managers. 

But this year, WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto thinks the Browns look more like a team headed for the playoffs than the bottom of the league. That means a lot of pressure is off the team come draft day.


A wave of emotions washed over the Cleveland Browns and their fans this week after the team introduced star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants last month. The press conference Monday electrified the kick off of the Browns offseason workouts. But WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the hype may be premature. 

A strong team asset, when he's healthy
Pluto says Beckham Jr. is a steal for the team, but only if he can stay healthy.  

Erik Drost/Flickr

As the Indians get close to wrapping up spring training, our sports commentator Terry Pluto caught up with team owner Paul Dolan to talk business. The team has steadily increased payroll from $49 million in 2011 to $135 million in 2018. Pluto says for 2019, the payroll will be around $120 million.

"Dolan says for the last several years they've been deficit spending. And if you look at how the Indians spent compared to Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, or other teams in their market size, they outspent them."

The Cleveland Indians have had quite the offseason, from free agents departing to players recovering from injuries. Our commentator Terry Pluto is in Goodyear, Arizona this week with the team for spring training, and he says there's still a lot of unanswered questions about the lineup for this season.

Pluto says he usually heads to training knowing what the Indians' roster is, but this year is a bit different; it's still a mystery as to who the outfielders will be. 

What about the outfield?

Kevin Love
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The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a very rough season — they're the third worst team in the NBA. But recently, they have garnered a few wins. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto explained what changed and how it bodes well for the future.

After former Cavs player LeBron James left for the L.A. Lakers in July, the team had one veteran who the players could lean on: forward Kevin Love. 


Cleveland Indians star pitcher Trevor Bauer has been making headlines in the past week. For the second year, Bauer went to arbitration over his contract.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says one thing that came out of the hearing is Bauer's declaration that he will seek one-year contracts for the rest of his career. Pluto says that's bad for the game. 

A photo of Indians pitcher

The Indians had one of the worst bullpens in baseball last season, and now sports commentator Terry Pluto says it's time to rebuild. Two key relievers who were free agents have officially signed with other teams: Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. 


The Cavs snapped their 12-game losing streak this past Sunday and it was against the L.A. Lakers. That’s former Cavs star LeBron James’ new team. No, they didn’t beat LeBron James.  James missed his 11th straight game with a groin injury. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says it shows just how much a franchise player means to a team.

“These are the Cavs without Kevin Love, Larry Nance, Jr., Rodney Hood has had a bad foot and Tristan Thompson’s on a knee that’s not 100 percent. Yeah, the Lakers don’t have LeBron, but they’re at home and the Cavs can’t beat anybody.”

The Browns are building momentum. At 5-7-1, they still have a slim chance of making the playoffs. And, while that’s unlikely this season, rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield is giving fans reason to believe. But, Mayfield had a message to fans after Sunday’s win over the Carolina Panthers: Show up to the last home game against the Bengals in two weeks. 

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says it’s hard for fans to relate to that sentiment, because Mayfield wasn’t around when the team went 1-31 with just one playoff berth since the team returned in 1999.

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Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield had his first bad game as a rookie last weekend. Cleveland lost to the Houston Texans, 29-13. 

Mayfield threw three interceptions in the first half and completed just five passes for 46 yards. "He's just running around and firing it into the end zone and praying. And there's a Browns guy surrounded by what seemed like 47 defenders," WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said. 

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The Browns have their first two-game win streak since 2014. Their win last Sunday over the Bengals also ended a 25-game road losing streak. Now, the team faces a tough challenge. They head to Houston to take on the Texans, who are on a winning streak of their own - eight straight games.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says Houston has one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, Deshaun Watson. "He was drafted No. 12 in the 2017 draft. The Browns had the chance to take him. Instead they traded down and Texas traded for that pick and selected the Clemson standout."