This is the first in a series of interviews with the owners in our world.It seemed only logical to start with the guys that have been here since the beginning and I thought it would be fun to put the head of the world’s blog in the lead off position.
So Bulls7210 what part of the country do you live in?
I live in Central California in the Fresno area.
When not running your team what do you do to pay for your HBD addiction?
With a degree in business I have worked as a manager in retail, food service and the construction fields.Unfortunately, the economy in California has been hit hard by this recent downturn and I’m looking for a position that will utilize my skills while presenting a challenge to enable me to continue to grow as a manager.
Back to the fun stuff.You have owned teams in both the AL & NL, which style of play do you prefer?
Well, having chosen the St. Louis Cardinals franchise here in “Summer of ’49” I’m a big fan of the real Cardinals.I’ve been following them since ’85 and truly believe that the call in the World Series, at 1st base that year cost them the title.Both leagues have some things that make them unique, however if pressed, I feel that the NL style includes more strategy.Pitching is critical in the NL, requiring both a strong rotation that can go deep in games and a rock solid pen to allow for the double switches that are necessary.Without the DH, NL teams are built more to rely on their pitching staffs making it less likely that large deficits will be overcome.
If pressed to name your favorite ML player living or deceased who would you chose?
I probably have a few favorites, but having to choose just one I always liked to watch John Tudor. As you might remember he was a starting pitcher for the Cardinals during the 80's. He never had great stats and will never make the HOF, but he always seemed to find a way to win games. He was just a crafty lefty and who can forget his performance in 1985?
So what made you decide to become a owner of a HBD team?
As soon as I heard that WIS was starting a new game, I knew that I would be getting into it. I was pretty excited about the chance to own a team and try to develop players. I was just lucky to have found a bunch of great guys to play against.
How long did it take you to feel comfortable running your team?
Probably, two (seasons) however, the early updates made that confidence disappear almost immediately.Adjusting to the changes Admin makes, changes the importance of certain factors and adapting to those updates has been a challenge for me.At first there was no Rule 5 draft, you didn’t fall victim to mass retirements of your MiL players and players continued to improve in their later years.This was the so-called ‘Roid Years’ that created super human players that put up huge numbers consistently into the latter stages of their careers as opposed to the sometimes rapid deterioration of a players skills that you see now.$20 mil in the training budget and there were no worries about your older players failing to perform.
How importance is the amateur draft & IFA’s to your organization?
The draft is very important to building a successful franchise but, this is another area that has changed over time.In the first few seasons draft prep was a simple process.Limitations to how your draft board could be changed make it possible to find ML talent in the later rounds (4th-8th).That doesn’t happen anymore since they allow owners to move players around more on their draft boards. Those 4th-8th round picks are now moved up and taken in the late 1st or early 2nd round. It is now more important than ever to spend some time on the draft prep so that you can maximize your draft position.The international market has not been kind to me I always seem to be out bid on the really good players.This makes it very difficult for me to move $15M or more into scouting IFA's and then add $20M or more to the prospect budget to sign them . I think I can use that $35+M elsewhere.
Do you have a favorite HBD player?
I think it would have to be Jacque Lee a catcher for me since year 1. He was and has been the most consistent offensive player in my organizations history. I was fortunate to have him on the team when the league was created. It is too bad that he was 26 when season one began, it would have been interesting to see the numbers he could have put up had he been playing at the ML level, as I suspect he would have, had he started at a younger age.
Is there a trade that you have made that sticks out in your mind as something that dramatically helped your team?
I don't really have a memorable trade to talk about. I have had some good trades and also some bad ones I rather forget. I can’t really think of a trade that changed the course of history for my team. I would say that some of the trades I didn't make were some of my best moves I’ve made.
If you were put in charge of HBD and could change one thing about the game what would it be?
I don't like the idea that we have to move money around in $2M increments. I can live with a penalty for having to move money from one budget area to another but let us do so for any dollar amount. If I want to move $1.5M from coaching to player’s salaries, let me and dock me S750K. Don't let my money go to waste all year long because I don't have a full $2M.
Thus concludes the interview with Bulls7210, although there was a lot of sweating and fidgeting it appears he has survived the experience.Thanks for taking the time Bulls and good luck the rest of the season.