April 24, 2014

Exclusive: WFNY Sits Down With Terry Pluto

Terry Pluto

It isn’t every day that a blogger gets to talk with a member of the mainstream media. I’d like to think that the odds are even slimmer if said member has been twice honored with the award of Nation’s Top Sports Columnist; not to mention one who has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize on two separate occasions. But Terry Pluto, author of 23 books (including Dealing and The Franchise), as well as a featured columnist within the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to field questions from yours truly.

If you live in Cleveland, or follow Cleveland sports, you have read – and most likely admired – the works of Terry. Since coming over to the Plain Dealer, he is featured several times per week, garnering the entire back page of the Sunday sports section with his weekly “Talkin’” column. Assuming you’ve read his work, you know why he is the eight-time recipient of the Ohio Sports Writer of the Year award.

This discussion took place right after the Tribe was finished getting swept by the Chicago White Sox, which obviously  occurred not long after the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. What follows the jump is a pretty lengthy discussion, but one that could not have been more timely given the current state of Cleveland sports. Please feel free to leave your comments below. And again, we are very thankful for the opportunity. As always, do enjoy.

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Let’s start off with the Tribe. Regarding the Indians, things have not been too pretty; starting an 11 game road trip, heading to Kansas City only winning two of the last 10. Off of the top of your head, are there any immediate thoughts regarding the last three (or so) weeks?

If you look at most teams, you have four areas that determine how well you play – and if you do not have at least three of them working for you, you’re in trouble. The four are your starting pitching, your bullpen, your defense and your hitting. The Indians problem is that two of the four have consistently been wildly malfunctioning. If you consider all of the hitting metrics, the offense has been awful. The offensive struggles have allowed the bullpen to receive less criticism as that has been bad as well. Until they fix one of those areas, they’ll continue to struggle. Over the next 11 games, with the possibility of the following few at home, it will let us know if they can fix one or two of those areas. If so, the mediocre division will allow us to stay in the race. If not, then you have to go to C.C. Sabathia and say, “Look, here’s the contract we want to offer.” If he accepts, great. If not, we have to look to trade him. I’m not ready to trade him now, as you do not want to pull the plug out too soon in a division that is such a mess. Strong starting pitching can be a great eraser, if you get just a little run support or some decent relief pitching, you are right back in it.

Now given the way that [Paul] Byrd, [Jake] Westbrook, [Fausto] Carmona pre-injury, and [Aaron] Laffey have pitched near stellar at times, do you think this team could survive even with a trade of C.C. Sabathia?

Well, there is no way it makes you better. He’ll likely be traded to a contender, and that team will not send you anything that will help you this year. Assuming C.C. is the pitcher we’ve seen since May 1st, no matter who you drop into that slot, it isn’t going to be a 19-game winner. My sense is, no, they can’t. The team is already positioning themselves for next year. Another guy that the Indians could possibly trade is Byrd – in the final year of his contract. And Paul’s pitching well. He would have several more wins if not for the bullpen. His first two starts were during the pending HGH-related decision, and even if Paul says that this wasn’t fazing him, it was. Since the decision, he has been great. He would be even better in the National League, and is a marketable guy. He’s not a big contract guy, and could likely be signed to a one-year deal in the end.

Assuming you’re thinking big-market, have there been any talks of prospects that the Indians could be eying for Sabathia?

The Indians say they’re not even talking about it, and I tend to believe that. Another team open for business is Colorado, being 11 games out of first. Matt Holliday is a free agent after 2009, and what the Rockies would like to do with him is in a similar fashion to what the Indians did with Bartolo Colon. In Dealing, I outlined that Colon was a year and a half out of free agency, and Holliday is the same thing. The big issue with Matt is Scott Boras. If you’re a player and you sign with Boras, you know two things: One, you’ll wind up making more money than if you sign with any other agent, and two, you’re likely be playing in North Dakota to get it. Let’s face it. When Kevin Millwood was here, he didn’t want to pitch in Texas. Who does? But for five years and $60 million, which was far more than any other offer, you go to Texas. When you’re a Boras client, your opinion doesn’t count much, as he runs the show. With that said, I don’t think Holliday should be on the Indians radar, as contract negotiations would be a mess.

Do his splits bother you at all?

A little bit, but he’s a great hitter regardless. Before you even break down the minutia, you break down the big picture. Can we keep him beyond a year and a half? Probably not. [Garrett] Atkins is a lot more interesting due to his contract being until 2010. We don’t have a third baseman, and we may never have a third baseman. Wes Hodges is an interesting prospect, but he’s in Double-A. I wrote about Andy Marte the other day, but frankly I do not think if any of us have confidence in the fact that he can fill that gap. The interesting thing is that Marte is only 24-years old, even though it seems like he’s been around forever. Atkins has excellent splits, righties, lefties, home, away, he’s a lot like Victor Martinez – no matter how you break it down, he hits .300. That would be nice.

That’s actually a great transition. We recently compared Marte to the situation of Brandon Phillips. You mentioned yourself, when we dealt Phillips, he was only 24. If you look at Brandon now, at 27, he’s knocking the cover off of the ball. Your thoughts?

There are a couple of things that are different. The one thing that the Tribe knew about Phillips is that either at second or at short, he catches the ball. Even at his worst point in Buffalo, he was a well above-average fielder in a spot where the Indians had no depth after Omar Vizquel went to San Francisco. [Jhonny] Peralta was at short and Ronnie Belliard was a stop-gap at second base, they knew that someone would have to come in there for one of those spots. Then the team got into a whole issue in 2006. Eric Wedge liked Ramon Vazquez, and the next thing you know we cut Phillips at the absolute worst time of the season. If Peralta were to blow out a knee, the team had nobody to play short. The issue here is that the Indians do not know how good Marte is defensively – he had five or six errors in spring training. So, if you plug him in, the hitting is a question mark, but you’re not even sure about his defense. At least we knew Phillips could do one thing.

So, do you envision Marte becoming that “middle of the order impact hitter,” or is that in the rear view mirror?

You guys sound pretty sophisticated, talking ages. When we signed him at 21, if you project out his numbers from there, Marte should have been a lot better than he currently is; but looks like he hit a wall and took a few steps backwards. He’s worth looking at to see what you have, but I lost confidence. Some guys look great on paper, but he has a very long swing, he can’t touch the outside corner of the plate, and his defense is very heavy-legged. He’s a nice kid, does not give anyone any problems. He’s a big mystery to me.

Speaking from a fan perspective, we see guys like Ryan Church, Ryan Ludwick, Phillips…You see the successes that these guys are having on other clubs, and you hate to see that happen again when your own team is struggling. But how long is too long to “wait and see.”

Each of those players is a different case. In fact, I’m working on something regarding these guys for Sunday’s piece. Regarding Ludwick, the Tigers had him in 2006, but he struck out about 150 times in Triple-A. When he was with the Indians, he had two knee operations and a broken arm. At some point, you wonder “is this guy ever going to be healthy?” And when he was, he struck out a ton. When he hit the ball, he hits the ball. And he’s a hard worker. Sometimes, players are just cursed. You do everything right, but so much goes wrong. Another issue are the guys that are total donkey brains that just make it in spite of themselves. They’re never as good as they ought to be, but have so much talent and that makes them better than 80 percent of others. I’m happy for Ludwick, but this is his fifth team, and frankly, I’m sort of stunned that it happened.

Phillips was different from everything the Indians ever believed in. Prospects are gold; middle infielders are at a premium due to the lack of depth; and do not trade a prospect when his value is at his lowest – right after spring training. Phillips hit over .300 in that 2006 spring training. Sometimes, some teams just seem to be cursed.

The Ludwick thing was bad luck, and Phillips was bad judgment. Church was another guy that bounced around. Let’s see if he sustains this over the course of the year. He didn’t do a thing for me in Akron, and I think Ben Francisco will end up being a better player.

Because you trade Phillips, and because you trade Coco Crisp for Marte. Say Marte doesn’t make it, you suddenly think that it would be nice to have [Kevin] Kouzmanoff, but you need a second baseman. So now we trade Kouz for Josh Barfield. When you have two prospects, one of them is bound to make it. But now, you take Kouzmanoff off of the deck, and you trade for Barfield – who’s a pretty good player despite his on-base percentage – and if he flops, it is a downward spiral. You lose critical prospects. Coco was young when he was traded, and while he didn’t do well in Boston, he would have been better in left than the two-headed monster of David Dellucci and Jason Michaels.

To go with the players that we did have and shipped off, let’s switch it up to players that we didn’t trade for that are providing huge numbers for their current ball clubs: Carlos Quentin on the White Sox and Josh Hamilton for the Rangers. It seems like the Indians were content with being a game away from the World Series last season, and simply rested on their laurels. Now other teams have made deals, and have seemingly passed us by.

You’re on to something. I learned a lot from writing Dealing, and if you look back to 2005 when the team finished with 93 wins and a game out of the playoffs, they did nothing in the off-season. They let Bob Howry walk, and they just floundered. They said “we won 93 games, we’ll be ok.”

The Guillermo Mota experiment.

Guillermo Mota. You got it. And Jason Johnson. It was just a “bring guys in here and say a prayer.” Last year, they determined to get better in the bullpen. They signed Joe Borowski, Keith Foulke. But out of that mess, they found someone. They were also able to come out with Asdrubal Cabrera as well to make up for the struggling Josh Barfield. So, they won 96 games, and now this past winter they just added Masa Kobayashi. You can’t assume that what happened last year will happen this year, but that’s what the team did.

I think the Carlos Quentin trade bothers me more, as Hamilton had his injuries and you just didn’t know. Quentin projected to be a 25-30 home run guy, and should have been there last season if not for the rotator cuff. He seemed like the quintessential Mark Shapiro guy that just couldn’t fit in with Arizona. He was stuck in an outfield with Chris Young, Eric Byrnes, and Justin Upton – so there was no room in the inn. It seemed like the perfect “buy now” opportunity. To see him almost single-handedly beating us is a tough pill to swallow.

Yes, it is discouraging. I think Mark and his front office – and this goes against his philosophy of win-win deals – but Shapiro was out to make a deal that would only help his team. He wasn’t going to make a deal unless he had an advantage, and those trades are hard to make. Thus, no significant deals.

Does this year remind you much of 2006? Obviously aside from the run-differential.

If you use the four categories, hitting was an A. Defense was a C-, or D+ as it was not very good back then. The bullpen was a D, and starting pitching was about a B+. Now, starting pitching is about an A-, the defense is a B. But the bullpen and hitting are both D’s. So, the paradigm about two-of-four holds, but its swapping defense for hitting. The Indians have a bunch of numbers that they didn’t really want to make public in how many runs that they felt that the infield defense cost them in 2006. They had Peralta rated as the worst defensive shortstop in all of baseball for the year, due to his lack of range. At second, Ronnie Belliard was not as brutal, and they fixed some of that. It is interesting to see how things are.

As you mentioned, when you deal with prospects, you have to deal in volume as you’re unsure of how it’s going to be. The Indians have a way that they like to do business, and it’s interesting to see that each time they deviate from this way it hurts them because they do not have the money to make up for errors.

Similar to David Segui, Wil Cordero?

Sure. And Jack McDowell. And the central division was a whole other situation. The Tigers were pathetic. The Royals were pathetic. Jerry Reinsdorf was too consumed with Michael Jordan to care about the White Sox, and the Indians were drawing like crazy. We had a good economy, no football team, and everything fell into place. So, they were able to help themselves. Just getting an average major leaguer would put us over the top as the other teams were so bad.

I don’t know what is going to happen with these guys – I never anticipated the offense to be as bad as it is. And the bullpen, whether you are talking about Rafael Betancourt or Rafael Perez. I know that last year, Perez allowed only six of 37 runners to score. So far this year, he’s allowed six runs to score but with only 19 base runners. With Betancourt, every number is terrible.

You have a guy that you put as a closer, who was struggling before then. Suddenly, he’s now trying to pitch the eighth and can’t do that either. It’s almost as if he needs a vacation to pull himself back together. And of course, you saw Wedge explode on him in the media. I never anticipated this sort of collapse from a guy with a 1.47 ERA.

Right-handers are hitting nearly .400 off of him.

It’s stunning. The two worst stats are that one, and Travis Hafner – a left-handed DH – is hitting under .200 against right-handed pitching. Last year, his big drop in OPS wasn’t against lefties. Coming into 2007, his career average against righties was .311. Last year was .260, and this year is .198.

Not exactly a good direction.

[Laughs] Not at all. At this rate, it will be .141 by next season.

Just really quick, how do you feel about “Moneyball?” It seems like the Indians try a variation of it with their own low-budget transactions.

I buy it more than I reject it. Sometimes, you can overvalue guys that just have good on-base percentage. You don’t take into account fielding, and other metrics. You need athletes, but you don’t want too many if it’s going to hurt you in other areas. I like having them in our outfield. With Franklin Gutierrez, Grady Sizemore and Ben Francisco – I don’t care if you use zone ratings, or any other metrics – that’s one of the best outfields in all of baseball from a defensive perspective.

It’s funny that you mention that. I was at the game on Saturday night, and with a three-run lead and Joe Borowski coming in to close it out, Eric Wedge supplanted Franklin in right field, even though he hadn’t played all game. Is this a testament in Wedge’s belief to get outs, or was he just expecting a few hard-hit balls to the outfield?

Well, I would expect a few hard-hit balls if Borowski was pitching. Remember, even when he’s pitching well, you better be on your horse in the outfield. He believes in Joe, but he also wants to help Joe. Gutierrez is so good in right field, and it’s not just the Indians saying this as there are numbers to back it up, any time you can get him in the game he is like a second closer. He can cut off a run or two on his own. You can’t get too hung up on assist numbers as some guys simply aren’t run on.

By the way, David Dellucci has the worst arm since Miguel Dilone. He’s brutal, and provides a track meet in left. The opposite is true for Gutierrez as teams do not want to test his arm.

What’s your forecast for how long Dellucci is with the team?

I have no idea. You can cut him tomorrow, or whenever you bring up Shin-Soo Choo. Here’s where teams get lost in the minutiae. When the Indians shipped Michaels to Pittsburgh, paying a good chunk of his salary, the $2 million was going to him either way. Promoting Ben Francisco out of Triple-A at the beginning would have only cost the team about $100,000 more. Bringing up Choo and cutting Dellucci would be the same. If they go somewhere else and start hitting, fine. I think he’s an injury waiting to happen. But now Choo gives you another guy in the outfield that can run and throw. And I can’t believe he would hit any worse than Dellucci by the end of the year.

You run into a problem with all of these guys in the outfield. You mention Quentin, and I was interested in Jason Bay. A guy that can hit 25 home runs.

With Bay, didn’t Pittsburgh want Cliff Lee?

Yes, they wanted Lee, which shows you how smart I was. I would have done that. I think it got into Lee, Shoppach… you would think that they were dealing the Jason Bay of 2005. He’s not the same guy he was, even though he is hitting pretty well now.

About .290 the last time I looked.

Yes, and drawing walks. When a guy is hitting for two or three years and has an injury, you have to assume that if he gets healthy, that he’ll start hitting again. Miguel Ordonez is a classic example. The Tigers were gambling on the fact that his surgery would work, as nothing happened to his bat. And look what he has done.

To wrap up the Indians, these next 11 games are going to be very telling. Any danger to the Tribe waiting too long, one way or the other?

I hope they don’t wait too long. If it isn’t going to happen, they need to get out. When Shapiro realized this in 2006, he made some great trades. One trade that I thought was tremendous brought us a guy that I think will eventually hit enough to merit a starting spot, and that is Asdrubal Cabrera. I mean, he can win a gold glove at shortstop. They also added Choo for Ben Broussard who was cut by Texas. So those were good deals, and they positioned us for the following year. I would like to see some of those if they decide that they’re out of it. We also have the biggest chip out there in Sabathia, assuming they put him on the market. But you also want to make sure you’re out of it, and just not wait too long.

You want to look at how the team is trending. It’s tough because it’s not just one area (the offense), as the bullpen is faltering as well.

It has definitely been interesting. I don’t know what it will take to get Cabrera to start hitting. If Marte doesn’t pan out, do you move Peralta to third to open up short for Asdrubal?

I think it would be tough to do that in the middle of the year, but if the year is shot, you can turn it into a long spring training. But if they come back from this trip and Cabrera is still hitting .170, you have to consider sending him to Buffalo just to get him some at-bats.

I have more confidence in Barfield than I do in Marte, because I like his athleticism at second. It’s not as good as Cabrera’s but I think he’s an average second baseman. He doesn’t kill you defensively. Now, if he can get the bat going. He’s another guy that confuses me, in the same breath. Barfield was a .301 career hitter in the minors, .280 with the Padres. At both levels, he crushed left-handed pitching. You turn around to last year, he hit right-handers better than lefties, which makes absolutely no sense. An entire career and track record of hammering lefties, and now he can’t touch them.

It’s always a paradox with some of these guys.

Right. But at least he’ll catch the ball. As long as you can put a guy out there and say, “he’ll at least give me this.” That’s the tough thing with Dellucci. He can’t run at all. He doesn’t throw well. He’s not a productive hitter. You’re basically hoping to get lucky at some point in a game. That’s part of the reason they’re able to play Cabrera. Regardless of his hitting, at any point in the game, you have one of the best defensive players on the field. He can save you a run or two, even if he doesn’t knock in any.

The tough thing about numbers is that they can tell you what happened and perhaps what will happen, but they can’t tell you why. They can’t tell you why Josh Barfield suddenly can’t hit left-handers. They can’t tell you why Rafael Betancourt suddenly can’t get out right-handed hitters. You can’t put a number on it.

To switch sports up a bit, let’s briefly talk about the two sports that are at least producing winning records. Off of the cuff, any thoughts on what Danny Ferry can do over the next couple of weeks?

There are going to be some trades in the off-season. There are a lot of names floating out there from Kirk Hinrich, to Michael Redd and possibly Baron Davis. I’m sure I’m forgetting others. Wally Szczerbiak’s last year of his contract, and Damon Jones is the same. I’m not sure what will happen with Eric Snow and his $7 million, but his knee is shot. They are likely to try for a medical exemption.

Point being, if you’re Milwaukee and you’re rebuilding, you may take Szczerbiak and Jones, and perhaps Anderson Varejao. The Cavaliers have attractive players, but mostly for the rebuilding teams. The one thing about Dan Gilbert is that you know he’ll spend money if it’s conducive, and you know he’s willing to take a chance.

I wrote a column this week that was sort of a fantasy conversation between the main players of the front office. I was hoping that two things come out of this summer: one, a player that can create his own shot, whether it be a point guard or a shooting guard. You don’t want to lock yourself into one position. Baron Davis, Chauncey Billups are just good guards, regardless of what you call them. And two, an offensive coordinator.

I mentioned it to Mke Brown, that he should consider bringing someone in similar to what Rick Carlisle did with him in Indiana. He was told to fix the defense. Carlisle got out of his way, worked on the offense and other areas. And Mike Brown did just that. He had total freedom. When you try to micromanage at this level, it may be a little too hard to do for most coaches.

What was Mike’s reaction to your suggestion?

He didn’t buy it. He thinks he can do it, and it is the same feeling that most coaches have.

Mike Brown is the combination of the nicest, most-stubborn man I have ever met. He’s very nice about his stubbornness. It works in some ways, and rebounding and defense has won us plenty of games. But other nights, when it hurts us on the offensive end, you’re now looking at your fourth offense in four years. It’s time to find something and stick with it. I am a big believer in the magic of the Triangle, that Phil Jackson brought to Chicago. It’s not that great of an offense, but they decided that that that was the offense and that they were sticking with it.

I agree. I just hope that he gets a little shove in the same direction from those around him. Obviously, it won’t be in the form of someone like Don Nelson or Mike D’Antoni.

You know, maybe that guy is on the staff, and just hasn’t been allowed to do it. I know that Mike micromanages. Other guys scout, and Chris Jent works with LeBron on his shooting. He’s almost LeBron’s private coach. If LeBron wants to shoot at 2am, Chris Jent is there. If he wants to lift weights at 6am, Jent’s there to make sure everything goes smoothly. I know Mike Malone does scouting, but that’s it. I don’t know what the other guys do.

They may have some good offensive ideas, but it’s like being the fullback coach has good offensive ideas, it rarely gets any attention.

Is there any chance that said “offensive mind” is Eric Snow, and that this could be worked into things with a buyout?

No. I don’t think so. It’s very hard to take a player and make him a coach on the same team. It’s very tough to go from a peer relationship to that of a superior. It would likely go one of two ways: either he’s buddy-buddy with players and doesn’t have respect. Or two, he comes in and acts like the boss and receives a lot of friction.

If he heads to someone like the Bulls, it could work with Doug Collins because he hasn’t played with those guys for the last several years.

It’s just wishful thinking from our perspective.

Right, and Eric, himself, is still learning. You start to see things a little differently. It’s like studying education and being a student to being in the front of the room doing the teaching.

Short answer then. Looking forward a year or two, does it take a championship in Cleveland to keep LeBron James?

I don’t think so. He just has to feel that the team is contending and that the coaching staff is right and management is committed. The last player to walk away from a maximum contract to sign with another team is Shaquille O’Neal in 1996. Now there have big free agents that have left, but every time that has occurred – whether Steve Nash in Phoenix, or Ben Wallace to Chicago – the original team did not offer them a maximum deal, and the offering team did.

The NBA is structured that your original team can offer you one year and $20 million more than anyone else.

Ah. “Bird Rights.”

It’s a great system. It really gives a chance to these teams. Now, could LeBron break the mold and do it? Of course, but I think that only occurs if he thinks that things are messed up here. Of course he was upset after the loss to Boston – he gave everything he had. You’re so drained, and perhaps if he hits that lay-up in Game 1, things are different right now.

A quick Browns question: Any chance that False Start gets a few chapters added on to it with the revival of the team?

I would hope either that or something else. I think that the difficult thing is that the schedule is very brutal. I was looking at it again this week, and it really is a combination of teams that are much better than we’ve face before along with weird times and weird days.

Baltimore and Denver are at home, but they’re within four days of each other. A Monday night in Philadelphia, these are tough games opposed to those in the afternoon. What I am pleased with is Phil Savage and is attacking of both lines.

When I wrote False Start, we didn’t really have a General Manager, and you didn’t know who was picking the players. Whether it was Butch Davis, Carmon Policy, Dwight Clark…who knew? One thing that Savage told me after his first year is that he tried fixing everything all at once. This led to the problems of 2006. Then he decided that he was going to fix the offensive line, and he did. Then he decided that he was going to fix the defensive line, and he did. Savage has spent more money on these two lines than any regime since the Paul Brown days. And whether it works or not remains to be seen, but at least we know what he was trying to accomplish. There were moves in the past that you look at and ask yourself, “What was the plan here?” They were just collecting guys.

From what I’m reading regarding the OTAs, I think they’re progressing well and we just have to hope that it translates to the regular season.

I know that they’re shopping like crazy for another cornerback. Terry Cousin is just a stop-gap for the slot, as he can’t cover the outside. He’s 33-years old, and doesn’t have much speed. The Browns will need to find a way to get Peek healthy, or find someone else. Beau Bell is working well on the inside, and while it isn’t a perfect team, it’s fun to watch.

I respect the way that Savage didn’t let Derek Anderson go. He’s running the risk of a quarterback controversy, but the fear of an injury outweighs this. If Brady Quinn were starting, and were to go down during week three, four weeks of Ken Dorsey could end the season before you reach November. Not knocking Ken Dorsey, but it’s just the way he is. Now, if this happens to Anderson, you have Quinn.

Last season, only 12 quarterbacks played all 16 games. Sixty-two of them started. Vinny Testeverde will come out of retirement again. It’s that hard to find someone. Look at the signing of Rex Hadnot. It’s an insurance policy that one of his main offensive linemen were to go down with injury. Seth McKinney finished the year on the IR. And sure enough, Ryan Tucker gets injured before the pads are even worn. But we’re not scrambling now, thanks to the depth.

A final question, as you are a well-respected member of the mainstream media, and WaitingForNextYear uses the blogging medium. Do you have any thoughts or feelings towards these two and what the future may hold for either?

The only thing that I don’t like that the blogs can do is get personal and attack people. They do not have to worry about facing who you write about, and it’s similar to talk radio but on the internet. That bothers me. Everyone has opinions, so that doesn’t bother me.

What bloggers do a lot better than we can is analyze a game. Say it’s a night game. When I write on some of the Cavs game, I’m forced to start without even having a final box score. I use some notes, and often times these pieces are done in 20 minutes. Some guys that can crunch the numbers without the deadline – and is good at it – these guys will come up with better analysis than I will. And I respect them. The depth of the analysis is great, as they’re not quite as rushed.

I do not think that it is the end of Western Civilization as we know it, nor is it the savior of media as media continues to grow. I often tell kids that want to write that there will be so many more outlets to write 10 or 15 years from now that we do not even know about yet and that they should go for it. I live in a world where there are a lot of media dinosaurs and they act like the old days were the greatest. But the truth is, we had a lot of problems back then as well. When I came out of school, we went from two newspapers in most towns to one. The 1980s and 1990s were very profitable. Everyone thought it was gloom and doom, but there was a lot of good journalism.

In the same, there are a lot of knuckleheads in mainstream media too, that do not do their homework. Frankly, as the blogs go along and move, the people writing the good ones will be rewarded and they will do better.

Thank you so much for your time.

No problem. I enjoyed it.

*****

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  • MacNip

    Finally got this out here huh? :)

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    *stands and applauds Scott’s great job*

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    @ MacNip: Yea…it took a while to get it on here. Sorry to keep you in suspense!

  • Adam

    Awesome. Grew up reading Pluto. A+ read.

  • DCBucks

    Nice work. I am really disheartened by his opinion that Mike Clown is too stubborn to let go of the offense. We can only hope the Dan Gilbert makes him do it.

  • Bryan

    Excellent interview, and excellent questions. Thanks a bunch!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    I love that Terry called WFNY ‘sophisticated’. He must not have seen my Sabathia farts posts…

  • Eli

    I love Pluto’s stuff. Kudos for the interview and its great to see someone like him show real respect to fan opinions.

  • Mr. Yuk

    Love Terry Pluto. And False Start should be mandatory for all Browns Fans.

  • Mr. Yuk

    Any chance of Less Les and More Terry ??

  • http://thedaveburbarevolution.blogspot.com/ Todd

    Impressive stuff–

    Any any interview that mentions David Segui is an automatic winner for me.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    It’s no Boniface Ndong, but I get what you mean, Todd. And thanks!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    Jason you get Terry to make himself that accessible and you have a deal…

  • BisonDeleSightings

    Awesome interview. Pluto remains my favorite Cleveland media member.

  • Louis

    Great interview. Its refreshing to see a msm writer cooperate this well with bloggers.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    Mine too….even if I count!

  • MacNip

    Great interview. Lots of good thoughts here.

  • MacNip

    And the Mike Brown comment was very disheartening to me as well. LET SOMEONE FIX YOUR OFFENSE YOU EGO-MANIAC

  • CJG

    Sportswriters from time to time really frustrate me, and I think alot of it has to do with the fact that I grew up reading Terry Pluto. I have honestly not found a peer to him in terms of getting to the root of what he’s writing about–be it a game, or a deep sports issue. I agree with #10; this is a superior sports blog, and if Terry contributed, I would never have to read ESPN.com again….ever. Just an idea.

  • Anon Imus

    Kudos. Although I coulda done without the kiss Pluto’s as s commentary in the introduction. (I guess you had to after he gave you such a good interview). You guys really flowed well, maybe he can hire you as his assisstant and you can turn to the dark side of print media.

  • http://www.socalsportshub.com Joey

    Nice job with this interview!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com RockKing

    Nice work Scott. My favorite part is the Guillermo Mota reference. That was just a brilliant little quip.

  • Dave

    Pluto is great. Sorry to see him leave ABJ, but he definitely belongs in Cleveland!! He brings a common sense approach to teams without blatantly attacking. How about the Miguel Dilone comparison to Dellucci??? If you’re being compared to Dilone, then your career is hanging by a thread. Nice homer last night Miguel Delucci or is it David Dilone?