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Big Daddy Baseball League

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slant.gif (102 bytes) Know Thy Enemy, 10th Anniversary Edition

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July, 2009
by "Biggest Daddy"

Interview with Tony Badger,
New Hope Badgers

BIGGEST DADDY: Thank you for sitting down with us for another installment of "BDBL: A retrospective". Generally speaking, how do you feel about the BDBL?

TONY BADGER: Always a pleasure to speak to Biggest Daddy. I feel very privileged to be an owner in the best DMB league in the universe. I enjoy the lively banter on the board, the stressing over "do I send the runner?", and the thought I am pretending to be an owner and GM of a real franchise.

BD: How have you felt about the overall success of your franchise at this point?

TB: Mixed feelings right now. I took over a franchise that was long ignored and had to turn it into something that I could call "mine". I made a few trades that season and in the off-season, and got blasted for them. The first full season in 2005, contending until toward the end, was very satisfying as it proved out how I could build a team. Then, the Ozzie League Championship in 2007 had all the pieces in the right place, and came up short.

Since then, it hasn't been very good. I've made mistakes, and some guys tanked on me. But it's not like I haven't built a winner before, so it will come back around again.

BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?

TB: The forum. I've missed it the last few months, and feel out of touch now. With people across the country, you still feel you "know" the other owners, beacuse most are active there.

BD: Tell us the absolute low point of your franchise, whether it was a particular game lost, or a particular trade ripped to shreds, or a particular fellow GM that ticked you off.

TB: Game 3, 2007 World Series. Down 2 games to none, we tied the game late off Papelbon, and then neither team could score until the 15th inning. Had to go with the last guy in my bullpen, and he didn't get an out. That series still makes me mad. Kansas was the better team, but I felt my team underperformed at the wrong time.

BD: Over the course of your time in the BDBL, who is the one GM that you consider your largest rival or target?

TB: I'd have to say Glander, because he's in my division and has been the measuring stick of that division for so long. Our series are actually almost always splits too, no matter the strengths of our teams. Always entertaining, with lots of circus clowns.

BD: Name a GM that you absolutely love to talk trade with.

TB: Anyone that comes in with the intent of winning a trade without making it a blood bath in their favor. A trade in my definition helps BOTH teams in some way. That way might not always be obvious to everyone, but as long as a GM is dealing in good faith, I enjoy the trade talk.

BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?

TB: Tom DiStefano. He showed me the Star Wars video with his head being cut off, and some funky asterisk shooting a laser to kill the league champion. I wanted in at that point.

BD: What would it take for you to exit the league?

TB: Can't think of a reason other than being thrown out.

BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?

TB: BDBL Weekend in Philadelphia. Getting to meet the other owners, and having a blast at Dave & Buster's. Who wanted to play on that snooker table again?

BD: What is your best trade ever? And your worst?

TB: I'll give you three.

Best trade: No contest. 2007 - Giambi, Victorino, and Marcum to Marlboro for Big Papi. I thought Ortiz would have a great year in my park, but not that great!

Worst trade: 2008 - Blanton, Lannan, Robertson, and Happ to Great Lakes for Smoltz, Cuddyer, Germano. Wish I didn't have the urge to go for it. Team had overachieved, and Smoltz wasn't enough to help me out. Put me in a hole this year not having Blanton and Lannan to soak up innings cheaply, and I liked Happ.

Favorite trade: 2005 - Mike Lowell to Ravenswood for Eric Chavez. Having Edmonds (MVP) and Chavez, LHB lefty killers, made that season.

BD: Other than Glander, what GM would you absolutely hate to see leave the BDBL?

TB: Tom, as he's my friend and the guy that showed me the league in the first place. It wouldn't be the same if he wasn't here.

BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?

TB: Does he still go by "Skizm?"

BD: If your franchise had a Team Hall of Fame, which players would be members?

TB: Grady Sizemore, David Ortiz and Jim Edmonds. Even with the later two only spending 2 years with the franchise, those 2 seasons were incredible, and won 3 straight MVP's.

BD: Tell us which MLB team that you feel like your BDBL franchise is the most like.

TB: I really can't think of one. I only follow the Yankees in how their team is built, and I'm definitely not like them.

BD: During the 2007 World Series, at what point did you realize "it ain't happening for my team"?

TB: Mike Mussina hitting a home run off Sean Marshall in Game 2. There was already one rain delay, and coming out of it, Marshall seemed fine until that point. Then another delay, and the flood gates opened. My park now has a retractable dome because of this game. I think it's a very different series if I won Game 2.

BD: How has your overall team-building philosophy changed over the years?

TB: Generally it's the same philosophy. I like power hitting and runs, and usually put my pitching staff at a disadvantage beacuse of it. So I'll continue to go that way, as if you can cobble together enough pitching, the offense can carry you. The 2 good seasons didn't have the strongest pitchers, but they did have an ace (Pavano and Lackey) and a stud at the back end (Gagne, Rivera).

In the farm, I have changed a bit. I liked more "ready" guys, and still do because they can turn into cheap decent talent. But I've went more for the very young lately (I have 3 high schoolers, and a few others barely out of HS). With 15 slots, I can bury those guys and ignore them until they turn into something, or do nothing. So my farm will be a split between the 2. And they all are good fodder in the right type of deal.

BD: What has been the most significant change in the BDBL?

TB: The no-trade for Type H players, and adding the year to their minimum deal. I felt one or the other was enough, but not both. That was overkill.

BD: Name your favorite "off-the-field" moment from BDBL Weekend or the league forum.

TB: The group picture at Citizens Bank Park, as I think half the league was in the picture.

BD: What could prevent the Badger franchise from ever winning a title?

TB: What has so far: not enough pitching. I ended up spending on Pettitte and Doug Davis last year because there wasn't pitching anywhere else, and then dumbly trading away a few other cheap guys in going for the playoffs. So I set my franchise back at least a year. If I can ever find a few quality starters, and enough arms in the bullpen, I will always like my team's chances. I have before, and will again. Out of that, I would hope to win a title.

BD: What's keeping you sooooooooo busy these days?

TB: Well, first let me say it has been KILLING me that I can't do much BDBL. I really can't allow myself much time because I enjoy it so much, and it consumes time I just don't have right now. I have a job that is not very fulfilling at the moment. Worked my ass off for 4 months on a project that ended up not leading to "the big one", and then layoffs that have us very short staffed right now. So when we do get a project, I'm working a lot of hours to get it done, alone. Very draining.

Second, I am heavily involved with my kids sports life. I coach 5 different sports teams right now. Manager of my 9-yr old son's baseball team, assistant coach on my 5-yr old son's T-ball team, assistant coach on both my 12-yr old daughter's softball teams (in-house and semi-travel), and head coach of my daughter's summer basketball team. I am also League Director for T-Ball, which means baseball Board Meetings. Since late March, there hasn't been but maybe one night a week where we are home as a family for a meal, and not at some sporting event. Some nights, especially weekends, we don't get home until after 9PM. Here's this weekend: Saturday: 9AM softball, 11AM baseball, 2PM T-Ball, 3:30PM - softball. Sunday, 10AM: baseball, 1:30PM: soccer, 2PM: softball, 4PM: softball. And those baseball games are for a first round bye, so there's like playoff games.

Once mid-June rolls around, 4 of those teams go away, and hopefully I'll have figured out the work situation. I miss the BDBL, but need more free time to get fully back involved.

BD: Thanks, Tony!

TB: Thank you!!