The 20th annual Cleveland Sports Awards had a Tribe feel to them Wednesday night.
The Indians received the Sports Development Gold Medal from the Cleveland Sports Commission for the 2019 All-Star Game, and the week’s festivities were also recognized as the best moment in Cleveland sports last year. The Dolan family was recognized with the lifetime achievement award – something that meant a lot to owner Paul Dolan, who accepted on behalf of the whole family.
“Baseball is important,” Dolan said. “But family is more important. To recognize this as a family award means so much.”
After a disappointing 2012 Cleveland Indians season the organization is at a crossroads to decide how to progress with the organization, not just for the 2013 season but several seasons to come. Decisions involve ownerships, the front office, managerial and coaching decisions and the players. For the month of October, we’ll look at the how the Indians ended up in their current predicament, but most importantly, Where Do the Indians Go From Here.
Years ago, I was told by a school superintendent, “perception is everything.” It doesn’t matter to the public what is true or not, once the perception is there. If you are in the public eye, always worry about your own personal perception.
The Indians have an image problem in Cleveland. The perception is the Indians don’t spend money, pinch pennies and don’t make those bold moves to compete in the billion dollar business of baseball, while pocketing money through revenue sharing.
In a town that has three last place teams, even after a 68-94 season concluded Wednesday night, a fan could argue the Indians have the best nucleus on the field and opportunity to succeed in town. While Major League Baseball is far from a perfect system, the Cleveland Cavaliers are slowly rebuilding and the Cleveland Browns are mired in their second straight decade of ineptitude, yet the Indians remain as the least trusted and respected franchise in Cleveland.
The disconnect and lack of trust begins at the top.