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IBI making a big move to

IBI making a big move to
December 14, 2014
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Some big changes are coming to IBI in the coming weeks as effective January 1st the Indians Baseball Insider will officially be joining the network.

First and foremost, I want to ensure all of our readers that nothing will change as far as content and how you get to the site. Also, for those with premium memberships they will carry over to the new site. And I also still 100% control IBI. Nothing is changing on any of those fronts. The site will *look* different as it fits into the new network, but this is a change that brings about a great opportunity for growth not only for the IBI but for the many people involved with it and a better overall experience for those who read it on a daily basis.

In a nutshell, we are essentially just moving our little small town street corner coffee shop operation into a giant mall where foot traffic is going to increase enormously and we have a strong backing from a big company.

Scout had actually reached out to me back in 2011 when I was first deciding on making a change to what was then Indians Prospect Insider (IPI), but it just was not the right fit at the time. I wanted to see how IBI could grow on its own and what possibilities could develop. Well, three years later, Scout reached out again and this time it was a perfect match.

Some may be familiar with Scout as they were sold eight years ago by founder Jim Heckman to Fox Sports. When it went to Fox Sports the MLB product was largely ignored; however, Heckman has since bought back and with a significant amount of investment capital there is a strong backing to developing a full-fledged MLB network in addition to a network that covers all sports.

Scout contacted me about two months ago about joining their new MLB network they are building. Having had several meetings on the phone and in person with them, needless to say I am beyond excited about the commitment they are making to their MLB network and the IBI will be a spearhead at the front of it.

So how does all of this help you the reader/subscriber?

- Significant bandwidth increase for online content, images, videos, chat and forums
- Full support for desktop, tablet and mobile platforms
- User access to broader network (a member of one site receives the benefit of free and premium content from hundreds of sites).
- A significant drop in ads on the site which will allow for better loading.
- Premium members gain access to premium content, insider information, members-only forums, exclusive videos, exclusive shop offers (including 10% off all purchases at, ticket discounts (including 10% off all purchases at and even members-only events!
- And lots more coverage!

There are also a lot of cool site enhancements coming for things I have been trying to implement without any success the past three years. Things like player pages, player cards and so much more.

Another cool thing is premium members now have memberships and no longer subscriptions. What this means is with a membership you get access to premium material but you also get discounts on things which essentially end up paying for the membership. There are cool things where you can get 10% off tickets to Indians games (or just about any pro sports team) and there are also fan gear discounts and a lot of other things in the works to give discounts at some popular stores and maybe even some restaurants.

One of the things I am most excited about is a lot of the great talent here at the IBI will now get a greater chance to get more exposure with their work to a much wider audience. The backing of a network will also add to the credibility of the site among other things.

Over the next two-plus weeks I am going to be working on a migration of the site to’s server. All of that will happen behind the scenes and the changeover should be seamless on January 1st where you will go to the same URL as you always have just you’ll notice we have officially gone under the Scout umbrella.

This was a tough decision for me to make. Part of me liked the freedom that comes from being an independent entity. I’m also not big on change. But when I looked at all of the possibilities, all of the enhancements and the endless capabilities with the site as a result of this change, it was a no brainer decision to make.

I understand some will not approve of this change. I would welcome you to share your feedback and thoughts with me using the contact form above or using the comments section below. My feeling is most will be for this change, and once we move over to and settle in that everyone will be 100% on board once they see everything it has to offer.

Thanks for your support!

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

December 15, 2014 - 6:53 PM EST
Sorry for the delayed response. I avoided social media and comments posts while I caught up with some site work that got delayed because of some long morning/afternoon meetings.

I will send an email to subscribers soon to explain things in more detail....but in a nutshell the move should (hopefully) be transparent. Access will continue based on subscription level even after the changeover. I do know the monthly amount is going down and the annual amount is going up but I still can't say what they are exactly since they are not firm. I know Scout has a $99 or so annual subscription fee when you sign up through most other networks, but I can tell you we will NOT be that price. It will at least be half that. If you are a current Scout member and not an IBI member you will get full access to IBI. (As a sidenote, you should be able to sign up for my site and get full Scout access to NFL, NCAA and everything else for my price.) As for those who currently have both an IBI and Scout membership, that will be figured out. There will also continue to be regular free content.

As for the message boards and the community....that is very important to me. I will do everything I can to ensure that the community here continues there. Any such issues on the Scout Indians site before will be handled by me and we will work to change them so that they adhere to the practices we have set here.

Thanks again for the well wishes. It is a crazy transition and lots going on behind the scenes....and things may be a little goofy at first as well all get accustomed to it (the way articles post is much different there so a whole new process for me to learn). Like I said before.....with a little patience and time things will be running smoothly by spring training and even better than before.
December 15, 2014 - 5:27 PM EST
Tony is away right now . If I knew anything about money and accounts I would alert. But I literally known nothing, I don't even know how they currently work here. I just write articles. Sorry I dont know more. Tony will be on to explain how things work as soon as he can.
December 15, 2014 - 4:39 PM EST
I could say I am pretty active on - OBR Forum - Cleveland Browns

When you make the move officially January 1st, will members need to pay an additional premium to read the premium material of yours when it is incorporated?

I am sure it will be well worth an additional charge. I am just one of many who tend to procrastinate and never have signed in for premium content.

I really enjoy this site. Your and your fellow writers do a terrific job.
December 15, 2014 - 1:58 PM EST
I have premium subscriptions on here and scout? How will that be effected?
December 15, 2014 - 12:30 PM EST
I wish you prosperity and success Tony. Thanks for all your efforts to bring great content to Indians fans.
December 15, 2014 - 11:43 AM EST
Congrats Tony, I will follow this site wherever it goes. Like others have said, I'll miss the forum here because it attracted so many knowledgable fans. Perhaps because it focuses so much on prospects, you get a more patient fan base. I'm sure you and your writers will continue to appeal to the hardcore Tribe fans. Hopefully everyone here joins you and you pick up even more baseball geeks like us!
December 15, 2014 - 8:25 AM EST
I'm relieved to read that Jeff Ellis is staying with IBI. Will it still be called IBI? Jeff's a draft guy like me.We've agreed on most things with a few friendly disagreements, but I appreciate his work.

I really hope Tony maintains control of the product. This site is at the top of my favorites list & the first site I visit whenever I turn on my laptop.

A suggestion: any information about membership prices, availability of content, etc., would be appreciated ASAP. There have been several inquiries along that line already. Folks are anxious to learn the details. C'mon guys, let's hear something!
December 15, 2014 - 1:55 AM EST
Tony - I have frequented your site daily for many years now but never commented once. However this deserves a congratulations. I wish the very best for you and your team. I appreciate the hard and awesome work you guys do!
December 14, 2014 - 7:32 PM EST
Hey Tony, congrats on the move.

Does this mean no membership = no board access? Is any kind of free material a thing of the past with this?
December 14, 2014 - 7:29 PM EST
I can say I am going along with Tony and he did alert me to this a bit ago since I think I am the longest tenured writer. I am excited more eyes means more for the writers. The community should stay strong as I understand we will be staying very similar. For the writers like me who write on a few sites I end up making maybe a few hundred a year writing if lucky, other years I have made nothing. So what Tony is doing is also a benefit for the writers as the tie to scout will allow for more eyes and connections. Stick with us, I promise the same content will be coming from me for those who do like it. I know some do not, but thanks to all who have read and I will continue with the same features I typically do
December 14, 2014 - 7:06 PM EST
i wasnt overjoyed when fox sports ohio initially took over IBI but tony you worked your magic and since the merger IBI IS even better thab before. I wish the buyer wasntbased in new york city however cant have everything in life. i am sure they arent gonna mess with a successful formula that you have created. so i will maintain an open optomistic mind
December 14, 2014 - 5:57 PM EST
Congrats Tony! I follow Ohio State on Scout, good sports network. If this insures IBI stays available I am all for it, my #1 Indians site! best of luck. Hope Jeff Ellis is staying with you too. GO TRIBE!
December 14, 2014 - 4:59 PM EST
Congrats Tony. Having a start up project like IPI turn into something like this is a wonderful achievement.
Canadian Joe
December 14, 2014 - 4:54 PM EST
Have enjoyed this site immensly . Love the information, and the posts, and the opinions back and forth. If the new site is as much fun as this, it will be a good go. Congrats Tony, on another step forward. Just like the Indians !!!!
Ghost of Ted
December 14, 2014 - 4:04 PM EST
IBI was great while it lasted. A very intelligent and knowledgeable baseball community. Goodbye civility and high quality posts.
December 14, 2014 - 3:36 PM EST
Awesome, good for you guys! Scout used to be one of the best places to go for Tribe talk and info- that was a long time ago, but maybe it can come back again.
December 14, 2014 - 2:30 PM EST
Where will I get my recaps of what's been posted on
December 14, 2014 - 1:21 PM EST
Well I'm one of those buy local, know what's in your food anti-megacorp hayseeds. Fox has a lot of great people and programs but overall I am not a fan of Murdoch's NewsCorp. Tony has taken an idea- an online community for Indians blood brothers and turned it into a living, breathing, self-sustaining organism. There's always a price to pay when you decide to pursue a larger, broader more diverse audience under an umbrella that is operated, opened and closed by somebody else. On balance is it worth it? Tony is a pretty good businessman, a pretty good judge of character, and no one can question his loyalty. Let's see what happens.
December 14, 2014 - 12:24 PM EST
And yes we are replacing Indians Ink. No affiliation whatsoever with each other.
December 14, 2014 - 12:22 PM EST
Hey everyone I will reply more later. I'm away all day with family obligations. But I wanted to note that the cost of a monthly premium membership I believe is going down but the cost of the annual membership will go up. Not finalized so can't say for sure but I know it won't be anywhere close to what is charged for nfl and ncaa sites. I know the figures but want to make sure I am right before saying anything! Thanks again everyone. Like I said I know some may not approve of the move but this is a move that makes sense on so many levels. I am sure everyone will agree once we get settled in there and all that is offered.
December 14, 2014 - 12:17 PM EST
Congrats on the move.

Are you replacing IndiansInk?..or working in conjunction with them.......(replacing I hope)
December 14, 2014 - 12:11 PM EST
Tony, Hearty congratulations to you and your colleagues! You've come a long way.
December 14, 2014 - 11:38 AM EST
Please dont tell me you are moving to this site:
December 14, 2014 - 11:24 AM EST
Btw, do the writers get compensated financially at IBI, and will this move help them in that regard? It's ok if you don't want to say, but I certainly hope so!
December 14, 2014 - 11:20 AM EST
A big congratulations to you and the other writers here Tony!!

You guys (and gals) do a fantastic job of covering the Tribe and I am excited for you to be able to share your insights, talents and passions on a larger stage.

As mentioned by others, I hope the friendly nature of the site doesn't change. I used to participate in the old scout forums and they were notorious for their personal attacks, bickering and name-calling habits. All of which happen infrequently here I am happy to say. I give Tony the credit for that, and trust that his generous spirit will continue to create a welcoming environment for all Tribe fans.

I am thrilled to continue to support the new site, I celebrate the well-deserved acknowledgement of IBI writers, and look forward to the evolution of Indians coverage in 2015. Happy New Year indeed!
December 14, 2014 - 10:41 AM EST
Question I have is how much more will this move cost me. Those site isn't an outrageous expense right now.
MT88 in WI
December 14, 2014 - 9:58 AM EST
Well Tony, I congratulate you on the move. Had a feeling something was up.
I hope by spearhead they mean they will have others focused on the remaining 29 teams like your focused on theTribe.. It would be nice to have other in depth resources on other organizations to refer to when trade discussions are happening.

Does this ensure there will be or officially kill a 2015 book and podcasts shows???
December 14, 2014 - 9:49 AM EST
Agreed with Rocky55, Don't let the comments turn to!!!
December 14, 2014 - 9:39 AM EST
Tony this is great news, you have done such a great job growing your product. You by far have the best MLB content for any team around. Best wishes on the continued success and growth of IBI!!
December 14, 2014 - 9:38 AM EST
I am not much for change either especially since the status quo is so good here.
But growth and change seem to work together.
You have put your heart and soul in this website so best wishes for smashing success!
December 14, 2014 - 9:20 AM EST
What I remember of Scout when I belonged was the difference of the tone in the mods. Are we going to have "foreigners" as mods? Y'all are very light touch type guys who don't really stick your noses in unless someone is a giant A-hole, such as that guy with the many handles with "buck" in them.

This is a very friendly & welcoming site with very little of the sneering & scolding a la and, I must say, the old Scout boards. I hope it stays that way. I've been "acquainted" with Tony online through a couple of incarnations & I know him well enough to say that this site reflects his personality. As long as that stays the same any other changes are inconsequential.
December 14, 2014 - 7:43 AM EST
Tony: Let me be the first to congratulate you on IBI's exciting move to Looking torward to more great content and enhanced format in 2015. Good timing. It is shaping up to be an incredible year to follow the exploits of the Tribe!
December 14, 2014 - 7:27 AM EST
Will the cost increase with change over

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The 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!


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