We caught up with the GM of the season 4 World Champion Milwaukee Manic Maulers, gydk, to get his thoughts on his world champion club, the Baltimore Orioles and the biggest trade in The Bigs history. Here's what gydk had to say:
After being so close a few times, how does it feel to finally get that first World Series title in The Bigs?
It feels great. As an owner with 80+ seasons under my belt, I had not won a title. Recently, I have now won 3 titles in my last 4 seasons with 3 different teams. This title is particularly special because I have been with this league from the start and we have an amazing group of fun and competitive owners. It makes winning and playing in general a lot more fun when it’s with people you enjoy competing against.
What was different about your team in season 4 that helped you win the WS compared to the first three seasons?
The biggest change I made this season was improving my team defense. For the first time I sacrificed some offense to improve my defense and was right around league average as opposed to being way below average. I played Eric Speier at SS who hit 32 HR's for me, though he killed me in BA. His defensive play at SS made a huge difference.
Aside from your Milwaukee team here in The Bigs, you run about nine other teams in different leagues. How do you have the time for that? I sometimes don’t have the time to run three teams. Do you have a job?
Believe it or not, I work non stop. I am a principal of a high school for students with learning disabilities and mild emotional issues. I am also the Camp Director of a summer day camp with 400+ campers. I am also married with 2 little boys ages 4 and 1. WIS is my relaxation. I have running my teams down to a science so that I need about 15 -20 minutes after each cycle and then I spend about 30 minutes each night around midnight doing some extra maintenance. Obviously, the beginning of each season takes a little more time. I love having a bunch of teams because each one is unique and it gives me the ability to experiment with different things.
You and I pulled off what is probably the biggest blockbuster deal to this point in The Bigs when we swapped Javier Henriquez for Luis Martinez, Del Lopez and James Morton prior to season 1 starting. It was a bit of a controversial deal at the time. What were your reasons for making that trade?
He would be a nice player to have on my team right now, but sometimes I feel you need to trade one superstar to fill a few holes with great talent. I turned one player into 3 players who really could have helped me. Del Lopez was a whole mess with the issue with the Rule V, but that’s another issue for another time…I feel that Martinez will roam my CF for years to come and Morton has won a lot of games to me…The real question is would I do the deal again if I had a chance…You never know….
Your profile says you’re an Orioles fan. How do you make it through the MLB season? Or do you just not watch anymore?
Honestly, I just don’t watch the Orioles anymore. It’s just too painful. I am a huge Fantasy Baseball guy though, so inevitably, I know how every player is doing. I am in a huge 16 team 29 player auction league and that takes up a lot of time during the baseball season!
There are reports out there saying the Birds are trying to acquire Rich Hill from the Cubs. Will he make them respectable or will it even matter?
Rich Hill is a nice young talent but in the grand scheme of things it means nothing. The O’s are in the toughest division in baseball and they have a terrible owner. I really don’t see them winning any time in the next 25 years. It’s so frustrating and it’s compounded by living in New York and hearing about the Yankees non stop!
What do you need to do to your team to get them back to the World Series in season 5?
I need to get another SP. Solano is getting older and I lost my #2 SP right before the playoffs, Joe Gleason. I also will have to make the decision to start rebuilding my system sometime soon because some of my key players are getting older and I need to have people to fill their holes.
If you could change one thing about HBD, what would it be and why?
I absolutely love HBD. I think it’s such a realistic model and really incorporates all aspects of being a GM. I would love to have an Arizona Type league that would allow you to work with individual players on set skills. I.e. being able to make your SS better defensively or even teach a pitcher a new pitch that could alter his ratings..