|Home Runs||195||17th||Double Plays||398||6th||Strike Outs||1109||10th|
You've played 29 seasons with no postseason appearance, falling 3 games away last season from the wildcard spot. You've finished 2nd in the divison 4 out of 5 seasons. What will it take this season to get that 1st playoff appearance?
Learning the game has been a struggle for me. My life outside of HBD has gotten in the way more than I can tell you. I think if I added a couple of good SPs and a little bullpen help I may make it over the hump. Losing Stan Pearce hurt me offensively. But he never gave me a chance to re-sign him. Hopefully I can get a good pick for him.
Pedro Trevino, S2 #16th draft pick looks like he could be ready, will you be calling him up to help in the bullpen this season or continue his development in the minors?
Pedro worries me a little. Blew 8 saves last year at AA. Want to bring him up, but not sure he's mentally ready for the bigs. But since I'm hurting in the pen anyway, I'm pretty sure he will make his debut sometime this season.
You just signed SP Sammy Vazquez to a 5 year deal this season, how happy are you to have him locked up in a very nice contract for the next 5 seasons?
Sammy signing was huge!!! It may be for $8.5, but that guy is an innings eater. 251 last year with 8 complete games.
|Home Runs||179||24th||Double Plays||389||10th||Strike Outs||1075||21st|
You've won 2 division titles in season 1 and 3, what will it take to get Oakland their 3rd division title?
1. Oakland won it's division in seasons 1 and 2, but has dropped off since then. We were not a particularly young team when the league opened, and I knew that we'd either need to get really lucky in FA or make a major push to rebuild after those two seasons.
Given that starting pitching was SO VERY sparse when the league opened, I made the decision to draft as wisely as possible while lowering scouting budgets, and to trade away older players in the hopes of filling holes and upgrading my minor league ranks -- especially insofar as young starting pitching was concerned, since I strongly believe that pitching is the key. I tried to get a number of good pitchers lined up to take over in the coming seasons. This season will be tough for us as our young pitching staff is still only in it's mid-to-late 20's, overall, but we expect to be very good next season and beyond.
Currently you have 3 active teams, looks like you're the original owner for 2 of them and took over a season or 2 from the beginning in the other. What's the attraction to you on new teams?
2. I am a pretty busy guy in "real life", so 3 active HBD teams seems to be my limit. Of note, I am commissioner (no surprise by the title) in Stickball League, so that league takes even more time than my other two. I am one of those guys who sticks around for the long haul. I'm not interested in hopping around to multiple leagues and I only chose this league because I had so much respect for the ownership group lining up to be in NCAA II. I really appreciate the fantastic job our commissioner is doing here, I know what a commitment it can be.
Last season you had a payroll of $114M and finished 3rd in the division, this season you have a payroll budget of $120M? Do you usually operate with a large payroll for most of your teams and why didn't last see work out better with that type of budget?
3. In regards to the very high Payroll Budget I've been sporting lately, I think this season should mark the beginning of our turnaround. I mentioned above having a couple of good drafts, and now, it seems really important to add some solid mid-career guys to fill holes on the team. Last season marked the signing of some pretty good free agents, including one of the better veteran SP's available on the board, Salvador Freeman, but with such an otherwise young pitching staff, our overall record wasn't very good.
I expect to do some pretty serious damage to the FA market again this preseason as well, and to perhaps make a monster trade early in the season. While our pitching is still somewhat young, I plan to field a mostly veteran offense.
Another reason for the high payroll was that I was afforded the ability to sign Skip Cosart, a young innings-eater, to a long term contract that will only cost me $2.6M per season through Season 10. He isn't a premium talent, but the fact that he's average or slightly above average and should easily chew up a couple of hundred innings per season with such a light salary is huge. I've already got my best pitcher, 26-year-old Domingo Melendez signed to a long term contract, and I will need to come up with a contract similar to Cosart's next season for 27-year-old Hector Cruz as well.
If you look through my Major League team and my AAA team, you'll notice a pattern among my newly acquired SP's. I have a bunch of young, high Stamina guys. This is because my goal with Oakland is to eventually only carry 11 pitchers so I can have a deep bench. A lot depends on the development of those young pitchers, so you'll notice that the one piece of my Budget that I did NOT skimp on is Training.
8 trades last season alone, another 8 trades in S3; it seems like when you trade you're pretty active. What allowed you to make all those trades in seperate seasons?
Also 8 trades but 0 in ADV scouting, how comfortable are you trading without seeing projections and what's the advantages/disadvantages for 0 ADV for you?
4. Regarding the last two questions, having a 0 in Adv Scouting is new to me, although I've seen it used successfully by other owners. As for making trades with funky scouts, I'm trying to make educated guesses on minor leaguers by projecting ratings based largely on Makeup and Health in conjunction with pertinent Current Ratings. It's kind of a crap shoot, but I think if you've been around this game long enough, you more or less know who's going to be good and who isn't.
Also, as I stated above, I mostly drafted pitching and traded for "can't miss" young pitchers, so most of my tinkering (i.e. trading and FA signing) these days is for post 27-year-old position players. Advance Scouting is less of a factor when concentrating of veterans, of course. I could tell you who I intend to sign this season in Free Agency, but then I'd have to kill you (0;
|Home Runs||260||5th||Double Plays||360||18th||Strike Outs||1049||24th|
First off, congrats on the world series win last season and also it being your first in your career. How'd that feel to finally capture your first title?
Feels great to have the monkey off my back that’s for sure, nice feeling after all the work in all the leagues finally put together a winning team. Feels even better to do it in a strong league where fair play and lots of movement occur. I went a little bit off my original plan and went all in which typically doesn’t work well for me. This was my first World Series and honestly was just happy to get by Trenton who id put my money on winning it this year with a few upgrades in the field could be an even deadlier team.
What made this team any different from the other teams that you've had in the past?
Honestly, I sure don’t know I’ve had better hitting teams with the same level of pitching and never got out of the first round. I’ve had teams with great pitching and the same results. Not having many injuries helped where some other teams were decimated by them all year. Overall the big factor for winning was the complete lineup form on base guys to power hitting and somehow pitching was steady even though my pitching staff is far from great.
You've had some success in NCAA II, winning 3 out of 5 division titles, what do you contribute that too?
I think that my original plan when the league opened allowed me the success going forward. The first year I traded away the majority of my ML talent for youth. That youth translated in picking up so top prospects which in turn were later moved for some top end players. Having a low salary budget allowed me to attack the IFA market which landed key pieces to future trades such as Ortiz, De Larosa, and Gonzalez. The original plan was to hang onto all these pieces but when you have a chance to get guys like DePaula, Clayton, and Park I was willing to sell the farm to go for it I was just lucky enough to have it mesh well.
Oakland is a scary team and should fight me every step of the way. They are a team that makes lots of moves and once it all falls in order I will have a tough task of stopping them.
Salem has been a young team for the last few years and are about to have the top pitching staff in the division and if they add a hitter or two there’s no reason they wont be in the hunt to win the division this year and many more going forward.
Seattle like Salem has some great youth coming up though the ranks as the Ducks are declining Salem and Seattle could be the two battling for the top two spots and will be interesting to see how both teams youth come along.
This is the 4th straight season the #2 seed from the AL has won the world series, what's the deal with you #2 AL seeds?
I would never want to say that all of us #2 seeds are lucky but I sure know I was. I had Trenton pegged to win it all with that two headed monster at the top of the rotation. Some timely hitting allowed me to advance and thank the sim gods for allowing me to get by. Bobby Clayton be snubbed in the MVP voting put a fire under not only his by his team mates as well.
Last season you finished 7th in batting avg, 5th in Home Runs, and 1st in RBI's. How'd you get all those runs in?
Honestly, didn’t know I was that high in all three of the ranking I knew id be top in RBI but the other two not so much. Interesting that nobody has a super high batting ave as for the season as a whole not one player hit over 300 and nobody had a amazing OBP. But when people do it on base there is a lot of movement out there as 5 people had over 20 steals. Lots of timely hitting allowed for the offense to thieve. Would be interesting to see how many pitches my batters faced because we seem to get the others teams Sp’s to throw a ton of pitching causing teams to go to the pen more often. Having two MVP candidates as well as power hitting 3B Park in the middle of the order makes it a tough task to get though the heart of the order with out being roughed up a little bit.
Last season you made a blockbuster trade with Durham in which you received Hideo Park and Bobby Clayton. How big of a factor were they to winning the WS, what were your thoughts before the trade and now after?
The first thing about this trade that people should know it took like a week to get worked out and finalized. It was honestly, very nerve racking to think to trade so many top end youth players. When we first started discussing I was in fear of losing DePaula out to free agency so I was trying to fill the #3 hole in my lineup that would be left if Sandy move on. Making this move put me into a sell the farm fill the roster and go for it. Going for it never ever worked for me in the past but just had to do it. This trade being mad is what in the end won me the World Series, no way would I have gotten to that spot without Clayton and Park. Not to be lost in this series where two of the other players involved SP Kevin Glauber who was a toss in for me to take the salary off his hands wins 18 games with a .351 ERA. Never in a million years did I think he would play to that level. Tanyon Morgan steps in throws 150 innings and allows a great duo with Deion Burgess who regressed since the year before.
Durham picks up so solid youth prospects to put with the team hes already built and should be very tough to play in a season or two. I just hope that this trade allows him to become a top flight team and is always a pleasure to work with whether its trade talk or just shooting the shiz.
You're pretty active in trading, is that your favorite aspect of the game?
Yes and No LOL. When you’re a league run by Hop its clear on a couple of things all the owners are experienced and competitive. This allows trades to be pretty even where when you look at them you don’t scratch your head and wonder whats going on. In all leagues you have players who always want to trade, one example with us is Oakland who regardless of being in my division we have made many moves together. Difference between our league and others that im in the players who always want to trade never actually work to make a fair deal done. Have a guy who basically will only trade say his ace pitcher for your minor league ace who is basically the same player but younger and cheaper. In these same leagues new owner raping occurs every season to the point of wanting to drop the league. But here in NCAA II there is a lot of wheeling and dealing where the communication on both sides make it a very fun thing to do in this league. Here its also not a difficult thing to trade non superstars like O’Neil and Carter when your team is in need of that position. Its not pulling teeth in this league and even better that most people talk quite often amongst each other. Although, for this season may not have quite the moving as I have in the past as really only looking to upgrade LF, 2B, SP (yes I have no shame in plugging that).
Go Ducks and good luck to everyone this year.
|Home Runs||167||29th||Double Plays||360||18th||Strike Outs||986||30th|