World Major Leagues Blog (WMLB) recently caught up with defending World Series Champ fellman9 to get his views on HBD and a few other miscellaneous topics.
WMLB: Who is fellman9 in real life?
fellman9: My name is Mike and I'm a 41 year old single male, living in Los
Angeles. I was born and raised in The Bronx and moved from the NYC area
when I was 26 and have lived in several cities since (LA, Chicago, SF,
Seattle and now back in LA). I work in sports TV, have done so my whole
career. I love what I do and my career has treated me quite well,
thankfully. I live a block from the ocean and truly love my proximity
to the water. I have no kids but am a doting uncle to my twin three
year old nieces back in NY.
WMLB: Any hobbies or favorite pastimes besides HBD?
fellman9: Yes. Besides things like family
and friends, my greatest passions in life are: books, music, travel,
film and sports, probably in that order. I've been reading since I was a
little child and could not imagine a life without books. Or music, for
that matter. As for travel, truly, one of my few life goals is to
retire as soon as is reasonable and take a lot of time to travel, at
leisure, with no itinerary, etc.
WMLB: What was the key to your championship run last season, and how do you rate your chances to repeat?
fellman9: I think the key was signing
strong relievers to FA contracts before the season. I had a so-so
rotation, and a great offense heading into the off season. I didn't
want to go all out for FA starters because I felt like I had a few
decent minor leaguers poised to make the leap, but I had no bullpen
prospects to speak of. So I went all out and probably overstocked and
overpaid for relievers but I feel like it already paid off. That and
having no major injuries. I think I should contend for my division
title this season, that's about all the prognosticating I'm willing to
WMLB: Do you develop "man-crushes" on your HBD players?
fellman9: Unfortunately, yes. From my very first team to my
current franchises, there always seem to be a few players I get attached
to. Rico Uribe would be a prime example of that right now. My biggest
crush ever was probably a guy named Del Manzanillo from my first HBD
team in World Williams. All that dude did was hit bombs.
WMLB: What's the most under-appreciated player rating and why?
is hard to answer because I don't read the forums and am not sure who
values what from a global perspective. I know that in my early years, I
always thought people didn't value batting eye as much as they should,
but, I think that changed eventually. Also, I play in 3 private worlds
with a lot of good owners, most of whom are a lot better than me at this
game, so, I am figuring that most of my fellow owners place the right
amount of value on the right attributes. Sorry I don't have a better
WMLB: Favorite moment of your HBD career?
fellman9: My first HBD title, which occurred in GAP. That
was fun because that's a great world and I inherited a horrid franchise.
Just a few seasons later and the franchise is horrid once again thanks
to me, but, winning that title, against that competition was sweet and,
frankly, unexpected. Beating OE's Braves was the icing on the cake, I
should add. That squad won the 2 WS before and after my WS victory, so,
beating that team was no small feat.
WMLB: If you could change one thing about HBD, what would it be and why?
fellman9: I'd like to see
individual steal settings for players, instead of or along with the team
setting. I have had teams that were incredibly slow but had one
speedster and I'd have liked to have been able to give the speedster a
green light while exercising caution with the other runners. As for
why, I just think it would better mirror what a real franchise is able
to do in regards to stealing. Runner up in this category would be an
ability to have targeted spring trainings where you have player's focus
on certain areas for improvement.
WMLB: What popular song past/present do you most identify with?
fellman9: Well, as you get older,
certain songs mean more to you, while others that served as teenaged
anthems now carry nostalgic value with them but are no longer relatable.
When I was younger, the song "Everything She Does is Magic" by The
Police resonated with me because I was going through the same
circumstances as the song's protagonist. Now, the song reminds me of
younger me but I cannot directly relate. Then you take a song like
"Martha" by Tom Waits, and as a younger man it would have meant little
to me, but now it means a lot to me, unfortunately (it's a sad song).
And, for whatever it's worth, my favorite song of all time then and now
is U2's "A Sort of Homecoming" which is a wide-screen type of song that
might mean different things to different people.