The View from Pluto

Bringing you a new perspective on Ohio sports every Wednesday morning. The View from Terry Pluto is more than just a score; we are here to up your game with a deeper insight on sports stories. Go beyond the stats to explore how sports, teams, and athletics influence our world.

Arturo Pardavila III / Wikimedia Commons

Normally this time of year, Progressive Field is filled with cheering Cleveland Indians fans and fireworks. Now because of the pandemic, Major League Baseball players and owners are locked in contentious negotiations to start the season around July 4 without fans. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the baseball blues are setting in.

a photo of a Korean baseball game
/ ESPN

Korean baseball is giving American fans something to enjoy while the sports world largely remains sidelined during the pandemic. The Korea Baseball Organization started its season earlier this month in empty stadiums with masks, gloves and no high fives allowed.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto has been watching some of the games that ESPN is airing.

ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Talks to start the Major League Baseball season amid the pandemic made some progress this week. Team owners have signed off on a plan that they will present to the player’s union. It calls for a shortened 82-game season beginning Fourth of July weekend.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the details of this deal set the stage for a big battle over money.

John Carroll University

Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, died this week at age 90. He’s best known for his 347 career wins, most of those as coach of the Miami Dolphins. But his roots began in Lake County and his legacy carries on at John Carroll University in University Heights.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto had the chance to learn more about Shula’s early years in Northeast Ohio that shaped his Hall of Fame career.

Kent State University

The coronavirus pandemic is making colleges and universities implement budget cuts, and that includes spending reductions for sports. Both Kent State and Akron have announced 20% cuts to their athletic budgets for the next fiscal year. That’s on top of half the money they were expecting from the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, which was canceled.

ERIK DROST / FLICKR

The NFL draft will go forward Thursday in a virtual format because of COVID-19 concerns. The Browns have the 10th pick. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns have one offensive line position to fill to complete their "quarterback-centric" approach. 


A photo of NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler
/ YOUTUBE/NEW YORK JETS

The NFL draft is going forward next week, with a little less fanfare amid the pandemic. The event will be held virtually, without hugs and handshakes. And for the last few weeks, experts, including one of Northeast Ohio’s own, have been poring over the prospects. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Dane Brugler, 33, of Warren has become one of the draft's elite analysts.

Anthony Roberts
/ KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

The sports world has gone quiet during the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. This is the time of year that many college athletes start looking for new teams, and they put themselves in what’s called the NCAA’s Transfer Portal.

Jon Ridinger / Wikimedia Commons

The NCAA is giving all Division I college athletes an extra season of eligibility to make up for this spring that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the decision mostly affects graduating seniors who play sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf.


Erik Drost / Flickr

The sports world has come to a halt as the coronavirus pandemic has shut down teams on all levels. But in Cleveland, the Browns have been busy making deals. WKSU’s sports commentator Terry Pluto talks about the key players the team acquired in the first week of free agency.

a photo of a Kent State basketball player
/ KENT STATE ATHLETICS

College basketball kicks into tournament mode this week, with a chance for teams to punch their ticket to March Madness. The Mid-American Conference announced Tuesday that its tournament will continue at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, but there will be no spectators in the arena due to concerns about a growing coronavirus outbreak.

a photo of mount union men's basketball team
THE UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION

The University of Mount Union is known nationally for its elite football program. But its men’s basketball team is also beginning to build a powerhouse. The Purple Raiders are ranked 7th heading into this weekend’s Division III Tournament. They have a 17-game winning streak and a 25-3 record overall.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the team has been led for the past nine seasons by former Stark County high school coach Mike Fuline, who has found his recipe for success. 

Baldwin Wallace University

A Northeast Ohio women’s college basketball coach has hit a milestone that cements her legacy as a trailblazer in her sport. Cheri Harrer notched her 600th win at Baldwin Wallace University earlier this month.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Harrer grew up on her family’s sprawling western Ohio farm without much exposure to sports. In fact, she started shooting hoops by herself in a barn.

a photo of John Bielein
ADAM GLANZMAN / FLICKR

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly are ready to part ways with rookie head coach John Beilein. The 67-year-old is unlikely to rejoin the team when they return from the All-Star break on Thursday.

When the Cavs hired the longtime University of Michigan coach last May, WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto was cautiously optimistic that it could be good fit.

CAVS

The Cleveland Cavaliers made a surprise trade just hours before last week’s deadline. The team that’s in last place in the Eastern Conference (13-40) added two-time All-Star Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons without giving up any starters. Drummond is 6 feel 11 inches tall and 280 pounds. He averages 17.8 points and leads the NBA in rebounding at 15.8 per game.

WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the trade underscores how in the NBA, the bigger you are the lower you're valued. 

A photo of new Browns general manager Andrew Berry
MATT STARKEY / CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Cleveland Browns Wednesday will introduce their new general manager. Andrew Berry, 32, becomes the youngest GM in NFL history, and the league’s second current African-American to hold the position. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns’ front office now has three Ivy League graduates.

University of Akron

The University of Akron men’s basketball team has rebounded in the Mid-American Conference after several down years. As of Wednesday, the team is 6-2 in the conference and 16-5 overall. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Akron had to start from scratch after their beloved longtime coach Keith Dambrot left for Duquesne three years ago.

a photo of Mike Clevinger
ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Baseball’s cheating scandal is creating waves in Cleveland. Several Indians players, including pitcher Mike Clevinger, are blasting Major League Baseball for not coming down harder on the Houston Astros. An investigation found that the Astros stole pitching signals to help their batters during their 2017 World Series run. They used a combination of technology and banging a garbage can. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says players have a right to be angry.

The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday introduced their sixth head coach under owner Jimmy Haslam. Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski takes over for Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after a disappointing 6-10 season.  WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Stefanski fits into the Browns' analytics approach to the game, but says what the team really needs is leadership. 

a photo of Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and team chief strategist Paul DePodesta
ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Cleveland Browns are looking for their sixth head coach and sixth general manager under owner Jimmy Haslam. And the jobs are becoming less desirable with each passing year. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Haslam is yet again changing his approach after firing Freddie Kitchens and John Dorsey at the end of the 6-10 season.

Photo of Freddie Kitchens
WKSU

The Cleveland Browns are once again searching for a new head coach. After leading the Browns to a 6 - 10 season, Freddie Kitchens is out of the role he held for less than a year.

Sports Management Network Incorporated

This story was originally published on September 11th, 2019.

If you’ve watched a Cleveland Cavaliers game on TV in the past 13 years, you likely heard the voice of Fred McLeod. The Cavs’ play-by-play announcer died suddenly on Monday, September 9th. He was 67.  WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the longtime broadcaster was about to enter his 14th season with an organization that he loved.

Erik Drost / Flickr

The Cleveland Browns will end the decade without a winning season. Last week's 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals dropped their record to 6-8 with two games left. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says the loss in the desert was a new low for a team that entered the season with big hype.

ERIK DROST / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Cleveland Indians will enter the upcoming season without their star pitcher. The team traded ace Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto says Kluber had been at the center of trade rumors for the past year.

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.

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