Saturday, December 20, 2008

Owner Interview: jonboynky

1. How did you get into whatifsports?

I actually began on WIS back in May 2001. I first heard about SimLeague Baseball by our local talk radio host Lance McAllister and have been a part of the WIS community ever since. I’ve play SimBaseball and Football, Hoops Dynasty and Clutch Racing Dynasty. I have only played HBD since it came out.

2. What is your favorite thing about HBD?

In addition to watching your players grow and formulating a long term strategy for building your team, I enjoy watching rivalries develop over time. The NLCS between myself and Atlanta last season was epic and now that the Cardinals are competitive I see the NL South as being a toss up which should lead to some bad blood between us.

3. Least favorite thing about HBD?

I think the least favorite aspect of the game is that I wish our “fake players” had more personal aspects to them. I understand the temper, patience, and make up ratings but I feel they have very little aspect on a player. I would like to see 50 game steroid suspensions. I’d like to see a guy go postal on his manager for not getting enough playing time or get a 10 game suspension from the commish for starting a bench clearing brawl. Admin has done an awesome job with creating HBD and I hope that in the future some of the enhancement will include dealing with adversity just like in real life.

4. How did you find out about Major Leagues?

Simply by reading the forums. A great majority of my teams were located in Cheyenne and I saw Major Leagues starting and thought it would be fun to try a different type of team and theme.

5. Who is jonboynky?

I am a 36 year old single father of my son Jamie. I grew up in Michigan and have lived in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area for 13 years. I am self employed as a management recruiter specializing in the hospitality industry.

6. What are your favorite sports and/or sports teams?

I grew up a Detroit Tigers fan and still follow them along with the local Cincinnati teams (Reds and Bengals). My favorite sport is probably racing. I enjoy all forms of racing, including NASCAR and Formula 1 but my favorite is Dirt Late Models. Almost every Saturday night from March till September you’ll find me at a local dirt track.

7. All-time favorite sports moment?

Watching the 1984 Detroit Tigers win the World Series. I remember that team started off 35-5 and then went to the west coast and got swept by the lowly Seattle Mariners. I was pissed.

8. What other baseball games have you previously played? (tabletop, fantasy, video, computer, i.e. anything from Strat-O-Matic to Baseball Mogul to RBI Baseball and everything in between)

My first baseball game was the old Baseball on Atari 2600. I loved those stick figures and square baseball. I’ve played so many over the years it is hard to keep track, everything from salary cap challenges to keeper leagues.

9. What player, in your minor league system, has the most potential to be a star and why?

That would be the 6’2” lefty from Lafayette , GA, Mr. Bobby Ray Dixon. Dixon was the first player chosen in the S3 amateur draft. Dixon is only 21 and is already a 77 OV. Dixon will start this year at AAA but may get called up later on this year. Dixon is kind of quirky in the fact that his velocity rating is 94, projected 100, and yet his four pitches are a change up, cutter, sinker and slider. Last year he struck out 162 in 151.1 innings. I’ll take that

10. Who is your Franchise Player and/or team MVP?

The reigning NL Cy Young winner, Cesar Carrasquel. I traded for him at the beginning of last year and he did not disappoint going 19-4 in his first season in the NL. Carrasquel accounts for almost 25% of my total payroll with his $12M salary but he is well worth it.

11. What are your team's prospects in the short, medium and long-term?

I believe the Cardinals will contend again this year for the NL South title. My team is young (average age of 26.3) and only two players are 30 or older. Many of my top players have yet to fully develop so I expect them to be better this year than last year’s 92 win team. I expect the Cardinals to become exceptional tough in a couple of more years once Dixon makes it to the bigs along with 20 year old Roberto Jacquez. I think that the Cardinals will have the best 1-2-3 starting rotation in the league for years to come which will make them a beast come a short playoff series.

12. Who is your biggest Major Leagues rival?

As I mentioned earlier, the battle with Atlanta in the NLCS was a classic and I think that has really lit a fire in the Cardinals. We open the season with four against the Braves and look to jump ahead early in the standings.

13. What do you look for in a Hitter?

I am attracted to more all around solid hitters. I am big on batting eye and contact. Also, I am a big speed guy which is why I prefer NL teams, I like the small ball aspect of the game. The push/pull rating is useless.

14. What do you look for in a Pitcher?

Obviously control and splits are important…..If a guys control is less then 60 chances are I won’t even look at him. I have exactly 2 pitchers on my staff whose control is less then 74. When evaluating pitchers I look at his 2nd and 3rd pitches. A guy with splits in the 60s or 70s can be equally as effective as a guy with splits of 80s if his 2nd, 3rd, and even 4th pitches are above average.

15. What is the best move you’ve ever made in Major Leagues?

Dealing for Cesar Carrasquel last year. I gave up 2 MVP caliber players in SS Miguel Lopez and 3B Brian Morris, along with SP Harpo Patterson. In return I got OF Trevor Corsi who batted .297 with 18 HR and 36 SB, along with the NL Cy Young winner. Pitching wins championships.

16. What is the worst move you’ve ever made in Major Leagues?

There are two actually…..a deal in S4 where I sent Vin Moya and Roosevelt Thomas to Colorado for Walker Leonard, Courtney Shaw and Jose Johnson. I would not have done that deal again, that goes to show that you should NOT evaluate trades while at work….not a good idea. Also a S5 trade where I sent Brian Richardson to Montreal for Solly Yearwood I probably should have thought twice about.

17. What is your most memorable HBD moment, any world?

That would probably be me very first world title in S2 of Rookies. Your first one of the most special but I’m proudest of winning 3 out of 4 titles in Pete Rose and am currently going for a three-peat.

18. What is your team’s #1 strength?

Balance and youth. My team is still developing and the future is bright in St. Louis. My team has a nice blend of speed and power. Lead off man 23 year old Alex Solano led the league with 130 SB while batting .299 in his rookie season while LF Hideo Hyun is the teams power threat slugging 39 HR last year which was down from 56 in S4. The Cardinals had 4 players with more than 30 SB and 6 players with 17 or more HR.

19. What is your team’s #1 weakness?

At this point lack of a dominate closer. Carl Ashley had a solid season recording 40 saves in 43 chances and posting a 2.63 ERA but the year before was 28 for 35 in save opps with a 5.61 ERA. While there are plenty of good relief pitchers in HBD, I think WIS needs to do a better job of creating dominate shut down closers. In MLB, there are always 5 or 6 guys who are money day in day out, in HBD, it is a crap shoot from day to day or season to season on how relief pitchers perform, even for the best of the best.

20. In what ways, if any, do you think Major Leagues could improve?

I think that Major Leagues is quietly one of the most solid worlds in HBD and peanut has done an awesome job as commish after the fiasco that was thaceo. I think the only think that could improve the world is having the Cardinals represent as World Champions, which will happen within the next three seasons. I have my international scouts assigned this year to the jungles of Nigeria searching for a mild strain of the Ebola virus to bring to Atlanta, Houston and Minnesota……not looking to kill anybody but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings either if a few teams lost some players for 250 days because of an airborne virus. 8 )

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