Mark Shapiro Reaches Out to Indians’ Fans in True Town Hall Fashion: A Fan’s Reaction

Yahoo Contributor Network

I always come away entertained whenever I attend a pseudo-media event here in Cleveland. By pseudo-media I mean there is an eclectic mix of people from the mainstream media mixed in with bloggers, freelancers, and the increasingly popular Twitter super-user that according to Klout, is quite influential in the subject matter at hand.

On Friday, June 22 I was invited to attend a "Town Hall Luncheon with Indians' president Mark Shapiro." It was an invitation only event extended graciously by the Cleveland Indians organization to give enthusiastic media and social media users the opportunity to interact with the "man in charge" of the organization.

After a tasty buffet lunch in the Indians' Terrace Club inside Progressive Field, Shapiro took to the microphone to interact with attendees in true "Town Hall" fashion.

Quickly, the mainstream media had their digital media recorders operating to capture every tidbit of action, to be later transcribed and rushed to print. To be the first out of the gate with "breaking news" was of the utmost importance.

The Associated Press was in attendance posting their story Indians' Shapiro says Ramirez's return unlikely on Yahoo! Sports. They opted to highlight a question asking if the Indians were considering bringing back Manny Ramirez who was released by the Oakland Athletics on June 15.

"Chances of that are not real good,'' Shapiro said of the 40-year-old Ramirez, ''I never say never, but I don't think Manny's a short-term answer at this time.''

On the flip side it was interesting to see the active social media users with their mobile devices in full operation, thumbs going a mile a minute in an effort to get information out just seconds after it was stated.

From candid statements such as, "You know, if we rolled out the whole 1995 team in walkers and wheelchairs, it would be a popular decision, but with Manny, we believe there are better options out there,'' pertaining to Ramirez, to ''It wouldn't take much to improve us there,'' in reference to the need for a more stable left fielder, it only took seconds to read the statements I just heard flowing through my Twitter feed.

Likely as the night goes by, highlights of the event will be written on just about every platform that mentions the Cleveland Indians, with each touching on one aspect or another deemed newsworthy. It is what truly makes an event such as this so interesting--watching how each individual perspective takes the same event and formulates a story.

The best part is this event was not a one-time deal. Shapiro deemed it such a success at the end that he would like to conduct these "Town Hall" meetings on a regular basis. You need not be a member of a special "club" to attend the next one, just gain the attention of the team through one of their numerous social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tribe Vibe Blog, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google +). It gives anyone an opportunity to interact with the front office and ask those tough questions in person.

More Cleveland Indians Commentary from Paul Rados:

Cleveland Indians at Houston Astros, June 12, 2012: Fan Preview

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Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians, June 19, 2012: Fan Preview

Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians, June 18, 2012: Fan Preview

Pittsburgh Pirates at Cleveland Indians, June 17, 2012: Fan Preview


Cleveland Indians Town Hall Luncheon- June 22, 2012

Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados or leave him a message on Facebook.

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