Saturday, May 8, 2010

Owner Interview - domiisgod

Welcome, Domi.
1st of all I'd like to say thanks for your interest. 

Thanks for the interview.  First, who is domiisgod?
When I 1st joined WIS, I actually was joining the hockey simulation game.  I was only signing up for a hockey player name, or so I thought.  So I love Tie Domi.  I met him in a diner once as a teenager when he was playing AHL hockey in Binghamton, NY.  He was as drunk as I was and was really cool.  Anyways, he has always been my favorite player and that’s where my name comes from. Oh, my name is Dave. 

How did you learn about  Which games have you played?
I learned about WIS on accident.  I was Google searching for some stratomatic baseball, and ran into this sports simulation site.  I checked it out and have not gone back to find that stratomatic game that I was originally searching for.  I have played 80+ seasons of HBD.  I started with the hockey, tried the hoops dynasty, football dynasty and the baseball simulation.  They were ok, but once you play HBD and everything involved there is no going back.

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
I am a single dad of a kickass 11 year old girl.  She knows this website and tells me when to rest my players.  I love baseball, I am a fantasy baseball guru, I have started my own business where I do fantasy baseball consulting.  I am even a paid consultant for one HBD player, and I am consulting him on HBD! I love poker and my DVR.  I help coach her softball team and head coached her hoops team as well.  I love horse racing as well, used to own some but not anymore. Too costly. Finally, I love to cook and I’m getting better at it.  My cookbook selection is increasing almost daily.

Why do you think it is that sports are so big in our culture? 
I think sports are so big due to the lives of the athletes, the history of the teams, the tradition of the game, and the intense spirit of competition.  Fantasy sports and gambling are big too.

Which five people, past or present sit at your dream roundtable discussion?
1) Don Mattingly 2) Terry Bradshaw 3) Tie Domi 4) Billy Martin 5a) Howard Cosell 5b) Chef Gordon Ramsey 5c) My Uncle Lew

Who are your favorite players of all-time?
My favorite players of all time: 1) Don Mattingly. My idol, my hero.  I also love: Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Bucky Dent, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Tim Lincecum (yes, a non Yankee), and of course, all time greats DiMaggio, Ruth, Gehrig. You get the idea....

Which are your favorite teams?
The Yankees, Steelers, Knicks, NY Rangers and Anaheim Ducks, Notre Dame football and basketball. 

Did you play baseball (or other sports) growing up?
Growing up, I played baseball, tennis, a little football, and some hoops.  Now I mainly play softball.  I’m a killer 2B and do a little catching.  What I haven’t done yet and would love to do is play in the World Series of Poker--the Main Event--I’m good enough, but I don’t have the 10k to enter.

What would you consider your greatest WIS moment?
By far, it was FINALLY winning the World Series--in our Cobbfather World no less! Got the monkey off my back--and though I’m like 1-84 or something, I have made the playoffs over 40 times.  I just can’t seem to get very lucky in the playoffs.

In HBD, how do you allocate your budget?
My budget allocating is pretty simple: I crank my advanced scouting and training budgets to 20, and keep medical at least at 16 million.  Need to have the advanced scouting high to make good, accurate deals, and the training helps prevent injuries and develops your players.  I usually don’t get into the international market as the prices are over inflated and you can’t always count on enough of them to come.  I only budget 10m for coaching, and the more I spend on payroll, the less scouting, and vice-versa.

How do you approach off-season events with players such as arbitration and free agency?
I will resign the players I really like and feel are most valuable before rollover..Regarding arbitration, I almost always sign them in arb for the 1st 2 arb years as the salary is lower, if I really like them Ill sign them long term in arb year 3, if not, I’ll sign them for the 3rd arb year, then let them walk FA and try to get a draft pick---often times, I’ll let a FA walk, and if not resigned by another owner, I can get them after spring training for much lower.

What is your general strategy for hiring/re-hiring coaches?
I resign everyone I can, then wait until the 2nd day of coach hiring then do my hiring. Since I don’t enjoy coach hiring (sorry Kid), I’ll sign the best I can get in day 2 except for important ML positions or rookie coaches then I’ll pay for them.

How do you finalize rosters at each level?  What role does spring training play in your decision making?   I do them all in spring training, basing it on performance, upside and to some extent, age.  I invite everyone that has ML possibilities to spring training, and get hitters 20-30 AB's and starting pitchers a dozen innings, and relievers a few short appearances....though I always have bad starts and mess up spring training so don't take my advice here.

What is your basic strategy for setting your starting lineups and pitching rotation?
I always play with 12 hitters and 13 pitchers.  5 man rotations.  I set the minors up how I like, use the management settings, and let them roll.  I don’t have to make day to day changes, just check it now and then and fix the injuries and hitting fatigue.  I have figured out how to let the minors manage themselves.  (As I answer your questions, I am watching Chef Gordon Ramsey make this fat ass chick cry on Kitchen Nightmares, It's just classic).  My starting lineup is pretty classic too, speed in the 1,2,9 holes, best hitter in the 3 hole, power in 4, 5, 6 and hide the lesser hitters in 7 and 8 hole....Pitching wise, 5 SP, Long A, Long B, mop, 2 set a 2 set B and a top closer. I always try to build a dominant pen and I am loyal to my best closers to a fault.

What do you believe are the more important individual player ratings for performance?
I think the most important player ratings for pitchers are control, splits (especially vs. RH) having 1 pitch over 80, 1 over 70 and none under 45ish if you can help it.  As far as hitters, I love a great batting eye, great vRH, and depending on the park, will determine the rest. 

How do you approach in-season player events like the draft, international prospects, waivers and promotions/demotions?  I prepare for the draft last minute, the night before.  I ignore internationals, and don’t use Rule 5 much, as the good worlds I am in don’t leave much out for the Rule 5. As far as end of the season stuff, I do all my promotions during the playoffs to try to avoid as many retirements as possible.  I need their slow, fat asses to fill my minor league teams, not to retire and sit home and eat donuts.....BRB, I have to go get a donut, and we bought a tasty dozen last night....  

Do you think your strategy will be conducive to building a multi-season dynasty?  Or, do you feel that your team may be great for a couple of season, but then must rebuild? 
My NY Yankee style of managing usually leads to higher payrolls.  I like to build with trading and an occasionally lucky draft.  Though in my Cobbfather world we all play in, I have drafted pretty well (Martinez, Donatello...etc...).  I can rebuild a franchise from scratch (see Anaheim in Clemens, Jacksonville in Duff Beer, and I can keep a top team going (Cobbfather, Pine Tar world--Philly, etc) I never have to completely rebuild, I do it on the fly, Yankee style!  

Do you have any favorite players from any of your HBD teams? 
My favorite player on any HBD team is Javier Chavez, on my Wichita team in Gehrig World.  I have had him for 11 seasons and will NEVER trade him--EVER. I love most of my players on most of my teams--if I don’t Ill trade them or release them! Love Ken Evans from Cobbfather, Rich Meyers from Pine Tar, Juan Pulido from Clemens and many more. 

How much time do you spend on your HBD teams?  How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?   As far as time spent, waaaaay tooo much! It might cut down some soon, as I am taking over some new responsibilities soon and moving my office next to the CFO, so daytime hours spent might decrease soon, hell, I’m spending an hour or more answering all these questions ! 

Who are the users that you respect the most?
Wow.  I'd say, starbuckdc, bpdelia, rawdk (believe it or not), thorku (don’t tell him I said that), Mookie79, hypnotoad, and a bunch of others I can’t think of off the top of my head...A couple I least respect are Threester, Zbrent, Reggiedeal and all other tankers out there like Reggie........ 

What's your favorite aspect of HBD?
The fact that I get to do everything that an owner, GM and manager all get to do for a real team! 

What is your least favorite aspect of HBD?  If you could change three things about HBD, what would they be?    My least favorite is the sometimes complete and utter randomness of the SIM and also coach hiring is so BORING (yeah Kid, publish that!)..What 3 things would I change? 1) FA negotiations...seems like the FA will only take what they ask for and their not very flexible....2) all playoff series are 7 games long. 3) More minor league FA players, both hitters and pitchers. 

If you were in HBD, what position would you play?  And, what would you be rated?
Very interesting, as I have thought about it before.  If I were a HBD player, I’d be a 2B.  My range would be 75, my glove 96, arm strength 55, accuracy 65.  My speed would be 69, my health and durability about 50 each.  Hitting, my contact would be 85, power 50, 75 vRH and LH, batting eye 12 (I don’t walk and almost never take pitches)....Overall, I’d be about a 74 overall...... 
Well, there you go, the Cobbfather world now knows a little more about Domiisgod....

Check out my website:  It's my new business that I just started.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gord the Swami's Season 8 Playoff Preview - American League

American League

#1 Houston Space Cowboys- 117-45, 1st place AL South
Strengths: Pitching, hitting, fielding, the bullpen, you name it - Houston's got it in spades.  Two MVP candidates, two Cy Young candidates, the AL Fireman of the year, and four Silver Sluggers is about as good as it gets.
Weaknesses: Gord doesn't like the look of their mascot, and thinks that their press buffet is weak.  
Keys to Success: The defending World Series champions have been getting it right pretty much from day one in Cobbfather, so really there isn't anything Gord can add to their already successful formula.  Keep on keepin' on says Gord.
Team MVP's: 3B Zach Charles & SP Walt Lowe & RP Luis Gonzalez
Outlook:  When the 2nd place team in your division wins 107 games and you still win the division by 10 you know that your team isn't just good, it's an all timer.  So anything less than a World Series run for these guys has to be considered a disappointment.  They have the horses to do it, but there are some matchups, namely Santa Fe and Florida, that could put a hitch in their getalong if they aren't careful.  Still Gord likes them to repeat.
Odds: 2-1

#2 Florida Hurricanes - 95-67, 1st place NL East
Strengths: The clear strength for the Hurricanes for the last few seasons has been their stellar rotation, and this year was no different.  Carl Sosa and Chris Pendleton are both up for the Cy Young award, and helped the team overcome a down year by fellow big three member Matt Lawrence.  The lineup is solid too, just not on the level of the rotation.
Weaknesses: The lineup had a collectively average season, and weren't the force they could have been, and paled in comparison to the two dynamos in the AL South. 
Keys to Success: You would have to assume that between the top four pitchers in the starting rotation, at least half of them will pitch to their capacity in the playoffs.  If that occurs all the lineup needs to do is put three runs on the board and victory should be assured. 
Team MVP's: OF Dan Waltman & SP Carl Sosa
Outlook:  Where Houston has tapped into the playoff mojo mine in recent years, Florida has had it collapse on their heads with some pretty forgettable first round losses that left the fans and management in a rage.  Will this year be any different?  Gord thinks maybe, but their opponent in the divisional round will be pretty good no matter who wins between Boston and K.C.  But Florida is due to advance to the LCS sometime soon, especially with their pitching.
Odds: 4-1

#3 Kansas City Tweakers - 91-71, 1st place AL West
Strengths: The Tweakers are a complete team, with solid pitching, hitting, and fielding.  They have some big stars in the rotation and lineup.  Rookie Dennis Gulan added considerably to the punch of the lineup, and makes this squad much more formidable than last seasons edition.
Weaknesses: There aren't any real glaring weak spots on the team, as they were solid in all aspects of the game this season.  They started slow but really turned it on after the break and kept pace with the top teams in the AL, which coincided with the call ups of some of their top prospects.
Keys to Success: One of the SP's other than Emmanuel Hartman needs to step up his game, as Clem Webster, Pinky Matheson, and Francis Munoz all had average regular seasons and are capable of much more.
Team MVP's: 2B Dennis Gulan and SP Emmanuel Hartman
Outlook: Johnnie Kennedy really sparked the Tweakers after he was called up, going 7-1 with stellar stats.  If the Tweakers keep playing like they did after he hit the bigs then they can hang with the top teams in the AL.  If they get past Boston they match up well with Florida, so a deep run is a possibility for them.
Odds: 7-1

#4 New York Pride of the Yankees - 88-74, 1st place NL North
Strengths: The Prides lineup is very good, hits with tons of power, and is pretty solid top to bottom.  Ken Evans was elite in the rotation and Esteban Terrero was solid in the bullpen.
Weaknesses: New York was one of the weaker defensive squads this year, and outside of Evans and Juan Martin their starting pitching was inconsistent.  Closer Terrero isn't exactly known for being clutch in the playoffs as well.
Keys to Success: The lineup needs to power their way through opposing pitchers to give their starters some breathing room and allow the bullpen to avoid the relatively weak middle relief.  Evans needs some support form another one of the starters, and Terrero can't "Pull a Sharkwave."
Team MVP's: C Endy Donatello & SP Ken Evans
Outlook: NY was rewarded for winning their division with a first round matchup vs. 107 win Santa Fe, which is not the matchup you want right out of the gate.  Gord sees some free swinging high scoring games between the two teams, and thinks that NY's offense is capable of hitting their way into the next round, but the pitching is going to have to really hold up in order for that to happen.
Odds: 15-1

#5 Santa Fe Dope Smugglers - 107-55, 2nd place NL South
Strengths: The SFE offense was the best in the league this season, and it wasn't just the park effect that is the reason, as the Dope Smugglers lineup is one of the tops in the league.  Their pitching was very effective as well, finishing in the top half of all teams despite playing half their games in Santa Fe. 
Weaknesses: On paper the Dope Smugglers don't really have any noticeable weaknesses other than playing in the same division as Houston.
Keys to success:When you win 107 games in a season you are doing something right, so Gord thinks the Dopies should just keep on pounding the ball and letting the rotation get through to shut down closer Anthony Gordon. 
Team MVP's: Util. Stuart Paulson &; SP Harry Mieses
Outlook:  The Dope Smugglers put up an epic regular season, the only problem is Houston's more epic.  That being said Santa Fe has the inside track to a showdown with the Space Cowboys if they can club their way past New York in the first round.  Both teams lineups play the same way, but Gord likes Santa Fe's pitching much better, and thinks that they could go a long way.
Odds: 3-1

#6 Boston Massacre - 85-77, 3rd place NL East
Strengths: Boston has a nice rotation that was bolstered by the acquisition of veteran Rusty Warden.  The lineup can mash with the best of them in the AL, and the smart signing of Aaron Tam added another dimension.  Boston is pretty sharp in the field as well.
Weaknesses: Boston doesn't really show that many weaknesses on paper.  But one key minor injury to Warden has him out for the first round of the playoffs.
Keys to Success: Let Johnny Sherman and co. continue to mash like they did in the regular season and hope that Albie Torres and the rest of the rotation can hold court until Warden returns for the second round.
Team MVP's: LF Johnny Sherman &; SP Albie Torres
Outlook: Boston is pretty evenly matched with Kansas City in the 1st round of the playoffs, and should they survive that dogfight look to be a team that could challenge Florida for the right to proceed to the ALCS.  But the quality of the teams in the AL playoffs this year is as good as it has ever been, so the cards will have to fall just right for Boston to advance.  Still, the 1st playoff appearance in franchise history is a big step up in the right direction.
Odds: 9-1

Gord the Swami's Season 8 Playoff Preview - National League

National League

#1 Rochester Rolling Rocks- 107-55, 1st place NL North
Strengths: It's more like a case of what isn't a strength for the Rolling Rocks.  On paper this team should own every other squad in the NL.  And it shows in the awards as well, with Rochester having three MVP candidates, two Cy Young candidates, and the Fireman of the Year runner-up.
Weaknesses: If there is a weakness it might be the closer spot, where despite having an excellent season Bucky Rodgers isn't the most intimidating closer in the league.   
Keys to Success: The key for the Rolling Rocks is to avoid the playoff letdown that has plagued this team the past few seasons.  They have the talent to win, even against the best of the AL, but have been flat in the playoffs and have yet to live up to their potential.
Team MVP's: RF Bill Everhart & SP Vasco Serra (although there are worthy replacements for both)
Outlook:  The rest of the NL was nowhere close to Rochester in the regular season, and the Rolling Rocks are seriously overdue for some playoff success, so Gord thinks that this is the year they finally break through.
Odds: 2-1

#2 Dover Diamond Dogs - 95-67, 1st place NL East
Strengths: The Diamond Dogs lineup may not have the most power or speed, but they are extremely disciplined at the plate and were second in the NL in OBP to Rochester.  Rondell Burks leads a balanced and deep lineup that features many very dangerous hitters.  The starting pitching is pretty good as well, and was a top 5 performer in the NL. 
Weaknesses: The main weakness for Dover is probably their lack of a true #1 starter, although Bernie Melo is having a career year to put himself in Cy Young contention.  In the playoffs it really helps to have a stopper, although Dover has done a very good job of getting around that, seeing as how they made the World Series last year and had another successful regular season this year.
Keys to Success: Bernie Melo or some other starter will need to step up and throw a few big games, and the lineup will have to keep it's mojo going into the playoffs against some of the tougher rotations in the NL.
Team MVP's: RF Rondell Burks and SP Bernie Melo
Outlook:  This team has historically gotten it done, having represented the NL in the World Series three times in seven seasons, and they have the potential to do it again this season if they can get some good matchups.  If Rochester gets upset Dover definitely has the inside track.
Odds: 4-1

#3 Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens - 89-73, 1st place NL West
Strengths: Sacto's bullpen helped overcome an atypically weak year by the rotation, led by Cy Young candidate Sammy Felix, who was named player of the week twice.  The lineup overcame a very slow start as well to become a pretty decent group at getting on base, finishing 2nd out of 32 teams in walks.  The rotation has a few good pitchers too, notably Gerald Heathcott and Brandon Choinard.
Weaknesses: Once the lineup got on base they had trouble finishing the job, as the Sacto offense was pretty meagre.  The rotation had bad years from the normally solid Greg Maduro and Ray Fitzgerald.
Keys to Success: Keep riding the hot streak that saw them win 10 straight at the end of the season to come from behind and win the NL West, and get some solid games thrown by Heathcott, Maduro, and Choinard.
Team MVP's: RF Ricky Swann & SP Gerald Heathcott
Outlook: The Cornish Hens are the hottest team heading into the playoffs, having won 10 straight at the end of the season to come from behind and win the NL West.  In truth, they have been one of the best teams in both leagues for the latter half of the season, and if they keep that form up could make a deep run.  But if they play like they did at the beginning of the year they will be a quick out in the playoffs.  Gord thinks it could go either way.
Odds: 7-1

#4 Jackson Rockets - 79-83, 1st place NL South
Strengths: The Rockets have a great starting pitcher in Shawn Creek, and this is a veteran team that has continually experienced playoff success.
Weaknesses:  The Rockets are either old, inconsistent, or injured at many key positions, thus their regular season losing record.  Top run producer and key player William Katou is injured and out for the playoffs.
Keys to Success: Todd Nichols needs to rediscover his old MVP calibur self for one last run, and Shawn Creek needs some support in the rotation from the likes of Jason Reames or Willy Murray.
Team MVP's: 1B Todd Nicholson & SP Shawn Creek
Outlook:  The outlook isn't very good for the Rockets, Gord is sorry to say.  They just don't have the depth or lineup to make it happen in the playoffs against top tier competition.  They might pull an upset in the 1st round if Creek gets two victories and one of the other pitchers throws the lights out, but anything further than that is a stretch.
Odds: 40-1

#5 Honolulu Haoles - 87-75, 2nd place NL West
Strengths: Honolulu has the best starting pitching in the NL, and possibly all of Cobbfather.  Justin Powell was just incredible this season, and Joseph Hyun and Alberto Beltre also impressed.
Weaknesses: As good as the rotation was for Honolulu, the lineup was anemic.  Chuck Donovan came out of nowhere to put up a career year, but pretty much everyone else in the Haoles lineup under produced.
Keys to success: If pitching is key to success in the playoffs, the Haoles are in good shape as Powell was nearly unhittable this year.  If the lineup can offer the rotation any kind of support at all the Haoles could make a run. 
Team MVP's: 1B Chuck Donovan & SP Justin Powell
Outlook:  The Haoles might be reeling after blowing a 3 game lead with 10 games remaining to lose there shot at their first division title.  But they still made the playoffs and got a favorable matchup with Jackson as a result.  Gord thinks the quality of their pitching should be enough to get them into the next round vs. Rochester, where there it is probably lights out. 
Odds: 15-1

#6 Cincinnati Red Stockings - 85-77, 3rd place NL East
Strengths: Marvin Mays is far and away the main strength of this team, and once again lived up to his preseason MVP hype.  Del Campos won the Fireman of the Year award over some very good competition this year, and the rest of the bullpen is also very good. 
Weaknesses: The starting rotation is not a group that will strike fear into the hearts of opposing lineups, and if Cincy loses they will probably be the reason why.
Keys to Success: Keep getting pitchers like Gus Shibata and P.T. Chantres to outperform their expectations, or at least have the rotation keep the team in the game long enough to reach the very good bullpen and let Marvin Mays and Talmadge Malone do the rest. 
Team MVP's: 3B Marvin Mays& RP Del Campos
Outlook: Cincinnati faded a little bit at the end of the year and cost themselves a chance to face Jackson in the 1st round, and instead got on paper the tougher wildcard draw vs. Sacramento, a team they went 4-6 against in the regular season.  But this is a team that has outplayed expectations before, as their season 6 World Series title shows, so count them out at your peril.
Odds: 16-1