Monday, February 9, 2009

Owner Interview: overeasy

1. How did you get into whatifsports?

I originally signed up in December of 2001 where I did nothing but 10 game spring training sessions of SBD, one right after the other. I never paid them anything until a couple of years later when I started playing Hoops Dynasty with the dream of someday coaching my alma mater of Pacific in the Big West Conference of Division 1. I didn't start playing HBD until I was invited to join a new private world being formed by a member of my HD world who apparently respected my accomplishments over my 20+ season HD career. Once I started HBD, I knew I was done playing HD.

2. What is your favorite thing about HBD?

Honestly, its hard for me to pinpoint any one item at this point as it is a very thorough and complete simulation game. It's the ultimate stat geek's wildest dream.

3. Least favorite thing about HBD?

If you would have asked me a few months ago, I would have said coach hiring or the time consuming transaction process. Since then, I've adapted my approach to coach hiring which has made it tolerable and the advanced roster moves page has greatly expedited team setup. Now I would have to say spring training as it has become pretty tedious trying to make sure your current and future ML players get enough action to see benefit and prevent skill degradation. But ultimately, you just spend the entire time praying no one important gets hurt in a meaningless game.

4. How did you find out about Major Leagues?

I was invited to join with a personal invitation from the league commissioner, pstrnutbag44. He had just recently become a replacement member of the league I created and commish, Kinsella.

5. Who is overeasy?

I'm a 34 year old married man with two young boys, almost 3 and almost 1 year old. I live in Portland, OR and work as an electrical engineer with a small consulting firm.

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

I have always been a fan of the three major American sports. For baseball, my first ever Little League team was called the Braves and with daily access to games via Superstation WTBS, I became an Atlanta Braves fan with my favorite player of all-time being Dale Murphy. This was despite the fact that I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the Giants were our Little League rivals, so I just couldn't like any team with that name.With the 49ers conducting their Summer camp in a nearby park (and in those days they didn't even put up anything to stop you from watching right through the fence), I became a big fan of the team.In those same years, the NBA was all about two teams, the Lakers and the Celtics. I was one of the many kids who was mesmerized by the things that Magic Johnson did on the court. But honestly, with the changes in the way that the NBA game is played over the last 20 years, I would rather watch college than the NBA, where all of the players actually put out total effort for the entire game.

7. All-time favorite sports moment?

Watching on television, I would have to say "The Catch." It was my first season following football where I actually understood what was going on and so it seemed pretty magical that my team was going to the Super Bowl. Of course, it also made me expect it to happen every season.In person, it would definitely be my senior year of college (1997) when the Pacific Tigers defeated Utah State for the Big West Conference Tournament title. It was their first NCAA basketball tourney appearance since 1979 and their first ever Big West title since joining the conference in the 80s. I was among those that rushed the floor to celebrate with the team.

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)

The first baseball game I played was simply using my baseball cards to simulate seasons in my head and track things using notebooks. This started shortly after I first started collecting cards, with my first ones being 1983 Donruss cards. How the players performed was sometimes based off of my knowledge of the players, but many times it came from how they looked in their pitcher. The most notable player who was a stud in my games but didn't actually become one in RL until later was Dave Stewart. He sure did look like a bad ass in his picture while playing with the Texas Rangers. The most notable RL dud who shined in my mind was Glenn Bragg. Man that guy looked like a monster that should have been hitting 40+ homers a year. I simulated about 25 seasons over the course of 1983-1989 when I had other priorites being in high school.I did play in a fantasy baseball league freshman and sophomore years of high school. It was a lot of work in those days compiling stats from the league stats in the newspaper on Sunday.As for video games, I played the ultra-realisitic baseball game on the Atari 2600 with the three fielders, including the pitcher. I didn't own another baseball game until I bought a used copy in 2004 of EA Sports' MVP Baseball 2003 for my PS2. I'm still playing the same franchise season that I originally started and I'm somewhere around Game 120.

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

While I've got a couple of potential ace starters in my minors, I think there is nothing that is more of a sure thing in this game as power. The 18 year old kid I drafted this season, Butch Reed, with $20M projections looks as follows: Con 83, Pwr 96, vL 100, vR 65, BE 74. He is going to flat out rake, especially against lefties. He is even a passable catcher with a 70 PC projection. The reason he dropped to my draft position is probably because of his only 69 Dur projection. So I might only get 120-130 games out of him, but he could very well still hit 40 homers a season.

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

I don't really think a last place team has an MVP, so my franchise player at this point for the ML team would have to be Charles Mann. The 21 year old has played a passable 2B and has been great at the plate since his mid-season call-up. In 44 games, he has a .383 OBP and a .576 Slug. Pct with 12 homers and 9 SB.

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

My major league team does not currently possess the talent to compete. Between the farm and the ML team, I think I have the makings of a pretty good pitching staff once everyone has developed. So in the short term, I need to keep payroll down in order to bring in some more quality position prospects, as this area is severely lacking. I'd like to be able to have a team that can annually compete within 4-5 seasons.

12. Who is your biggest Major Leagues rival?

It takes time and a competitive team to develop a rivalry, of which I currently have had neither.

13. What do you look for in a Hitter?

I don't really look for any one particular style but try to find guys with the right combination to be successful. A lower power player better have very good scores in the other four categories, as power really does seem to be the primary attribute that can overcome other shortcomings.

14. What do you look for in a Pitcher?

I haven't had much success with starters with less than 60 control so I typically use that as a minimum, but like most the goal is for as many numbers to be 70+.

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

Since I haven't done too much other than trade away some veterans that I wasn't going to resign for some cheap ML role players, I would say my best move was joining the league.

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

Since I haven't traded away anyone of consequence yet, I don't think I have one.

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

This past season, it was a special moment to win the World Series in the world I created. The team was truly "my team" as only 2 players on the playoff roster were in my franchise at world creation, a RH hitting specialist 1B/LF/DH and the #5 SP assigned as a long reliever for the playoffs who didn't pitch at all.

18. What is your team’s #1 strength?

Young starting pitching: With Arlie Gant and Junior Gil on the ML team, Byron Watson and Luis Cruz in HiA, and Felix Tyner in LoA, I've got potentially a very good future starting rotation.

19. What is your team’s #1 weakness?

Hitting: Right now I am in short supply of quality hitters, because outside of Charles Mann (ML), Bo Hines (AAA), and Butch Reed (RL), the only other ML quality bats I have are going to put up decent homer totals, but with a low OBP.

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

I think the league could use more parity. I don't know what happened here in the early seasons, but there is a wide talent gap between the haves and have nots. So hopefully with time and stable ownership, the talent will eventually become more equally distributed.

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