Building and Maintaining a Winner in Cleveland

At Did the Tribe Win Last Night, we provide our readers with glimpses of all levels of the Cleveland Indians organization – the farm system and parent club, the players, the coaches, the facility, special events, and the front office.

Change is a big, inherent part of that business. The Indians will be facing plenty of that in the offseason with the departure of president Mark Shapiro to Toronto and the usual end-of-the-year roster moves.

Just like the franchise that we cover, the offseason will be busy at Did the Tribe Win Last Night, and sadly, some changes have been made of which our loyal readers need to be made aware.

Did the Tribe Win Last Night was born in the spring of 2011. By July, it had surpassed its crawling and walking stages and grew a louder voice to speak with and recapped a 6-2 win by the Indians over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The site, the brainchild of Ryan Hohman, was guided by Mike Brandyberry, Ryan’s first recruit.

More than four years later, through many ups and the usual Cleveland bounty of downs, the website has developed into a valued source of information in the Cleveland Indians online community. In 2012, it won Cleveland Magazine’s “Blog Bracket Challenge” fan vote contest and later in the year won the “Best Local Blog” in the publication’s “Best of Cleveland” issue. The site has followed players’ paths from the depths of the farm system to the Majors, covered dozens of press conferences, shared renovation news, took many strolls down memory lane, and had the opportunity to interview countless players past and present while sharing our findings with you.

These things happened because of the leadership and the recruiting done by Mike.

Effective at season’s end, Mike will step back from his most visible role as managing editor of the site.

While disappointed in that news, it does bring me great pleasure to note that his voice in the Indians community will not be silenced – it will just be heard less frequently than it has over the last five seasons. You can still pester him at @didtribewin; in fact, I encourage it. If you have not followed his Twitter timeline, his internet radio appearances, his podcast guest spots, or his writing, just get him talking about Francisco Lindor’s call-up. That should provide all the provocation needed for an entertaining discussion. If you are opposed to poking the bear, wax nostalgic about Cory Snyder. Either way, engage with him on the Indians and the game of baseball – you will not regret your decision.

Mike brought me in, unproven and green, in June of 2012. My first piece was memorable – recapping a win in St. Louis capped by Jason Kipnis breaking a tie with a three-run homer in the ninth before Chris Perez vomited all over the field in celebration of the save. Seriously. Talk about a debut.

I knew then that writing was going to become a bigger part of my existence than I ever could have imagined when I first reached out to Mike for the chance to share my passion for baseball with others. Through his guidance, teaching, mentoring, and the opportunities that he afforded me, my confidence in my writing is strong and my knowledge of the game of baseball and of the Cleveland Indians is even stronger. The trust that he placed in me over the years has never gone unnoticed by me.

More than three years later, several familiar faces remain from the crew that I joined with. The quality of the work has only continued to grow as we have maintained our intentions to provide the best coverage that we can possibly offer. While Mike may no longer be the conductor driving this train, there is no train wreck approaching. Our fall and winter coverage will continue unabated, with unique and informative stories regarding the past, the present, the future, and anything else topical that we can find. Out of respect to all that Mike and Ryan have built with our blog, I will not see this labor of love go to the wayside.

We will continue to be one of the sources that you can rely on and will continue to bring material to the forefront that is both entertaining and insightful. The Indians have been a part of my life since birth. I take that birthright seriously and intend to share my affection for and my knowledge of baseball with all of you.

This offseason, there will be new material each and every day, several times a day. Look for the continuation of our daily history piece, “Today in Tribe History”, each morning at 7 AM. A variety of looks at this season – the players, the coaches, the front office, the highlights, the lowlights, and everything in between – will continue at the 9 o’clock hour. Several new additions and storylines will also spring forth throughout the offseason, so keep your eyes open for those special features, some starting as soon as Tuesday afternoon.

Every day – new Tribe coverage. We won’t forget you. Don’t forget us. The season may be ending, but the offseason is just beginning here at Did the Tribe Win Last Night. We look to be winners in your eyes while providing plenty of looks at the Indians’ efforts to build and maintain a winner of their own.

Feel free to join me in sharing my thanks and appreciation for Mike and the years he has given of himself to this blog, as well as for his continued work with us. Do not hesitate to reach out to him personally to thank him for the work that he has done at Did the Tribe Win Last Night over the last half decade.

Thank you, Mike, for giving this baseball fan and all others on the staff special memories that can never be taken away.

Photo: Bob Toth/DTTWLN

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