by "Biggest Daddy"
Interview with Matt Clemm,
Bear Country Jamboree
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?
MATT CLEMM: Love it! Such a great hobby. When life dictates that I need
to cut out hobbies from my life, the BDBL is never one of those to be
cut. In addition, it has completely changed the way that I watch
baseball now, as I am almost completely focused on the success of my
players, often rooting for them to defeat my favorite MLB team.
Definitely enjoy the various personalities and the opportunity to build
my team every year. I guess the only negative aspect is when DMB does
not behave like I believe it should and so my blood pressure rises quite
a bit when that happens, but I deal with it in my own way.
BD: How have you felt about the overall success of your franchise at
MC: Well, while I would like to have a contending team every year, I
think the franchise has done as well as possible given the limitations,
but the most important thing is that I have learned a lot, and intend on
competing most years at this point (no four-year losing draught).
BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?
MD: The draft. Defining the holes on the roster, targeting free agents
and their potential salary range, and then going and getting what my
team needs is the best part. I think there is a feeling that if the
draft goes well, you can lock up a position as "strong competitor".
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 pissed you off.
MC: Probably somewhere in the 2005 season. 108 losses (one of my
pitchers went 0-16) and really messed up some trades too. For any team,
I would think the low point would be a time when you either lost all
hope and competitive drive.
BD: Over the course of your time in the BDBL, who is the one GM that
you consider your largest rival or target?
MC: I don't really have one. Just kidding, although given that we've
been in the same division for a while, I would say all Griffin Division
teams are my biggest rivals... I think we've gotten to know each other
on a personal level and each of the four GMs like to talk about their
teams. While I thoroughly enjoy attempting to defeat Jeff, its tough
because I also rely on him to talk trades....And we rarely seem to be
competitive the same season. This was the first year for that, and it
didn't exactly go down to the wire either.
BD: Name a GM that you absolutely love to talk trade with.
MC: Honestly, nobody really comes as someone that I love to talk trade
with.... I think Peburn and I have made some good ones in recent years
(Chipper Jones for Capuano and a few others was my fav)... This sounds
weird, but when I talk trade, I sort lose track of who I am actually
speaking to on the other end and negotiate like that other owner is ANY
other generic owner, regardless of previous trade history and track
BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?
MC: Jeff had exposed me to DMB way back in the day when it included just
a black and white UI and simple play-by-play. I thought it was kind of
silly, until Jeff mentioned the opening and introduced me to the current
format. At that point, it was a simple decision, and after nabbing Kenny
Lofton and Turk Wendell with my first two $5 mil picks in the 2001
draft, my team was off and running.
BD: What would it take for you to exit the league?
MC: If my life somehow got busier, but as I said, its a great hobby. It
an escape from the real world, so I can turn to the BDBL instead of
taking that last shot of Jack Daniels or that last handful of sleeping
BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?
MC: Well, I once played two live series at the exact same time. I
accidentally double-booked and so I elected to just play them
concurrently. I opened two DMB windows, and just bounced back and forth
playing 8 games over a two hour period. It was incredibly stressful, and
I completely lost any visability to the game results -- strategy was out
the window; I just needed to play as fast as humanly possible. Not
suprisingly, my team went 1-7. And to this day, neither manager knows
what occurred that Saturday morning.
BD: What is your best trade ever? And your worst?
MC: Oh, gosh. I would have to say the trades that got me to my first
post-season, with Ken Huckaby and Alex Sanchez being send to -- I think
-- SoCal for Randy Wolf and Tim Wakefield. And then later on traded
Scott Podsednik to Atlanta for Greg Maddux..... that was my 2003 Wild
Card winning rotation and I didn't have to give up a lot to get it.
Worst trade? How can you choose between Dustin Pedroia for 1 season of
A.J. Pierzynski, Edinson Volquez for Kevin Mench, Kevin Youkilis for
Russ Springer, or the Sosa, Reed, Hitchcock, Beck, McGriff for Merkin
Valdez? Well, cancel the latter from the list....still waiting to see
how Merkin does....
BD: Other than Glander, what GM would you absolutely hate to see
leave the BDBL?
MC: Paulson. The dude drives me nuts with his self-promoting,
Dodger-loving, taking-pitches ways, but its this hobby that keeps us
close despite living 2000 miles apart.
BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?
MC: Glander. Who in the right mind would spend the time he does writing
articles, updating the site, playing the games, creating and running the
live draft and and probably doing 100 other things that I don't even
know about for the simply enjoyment of 23 other guys? That and when it
comes to politics, he won't listen to reason. But seriously, I don't
think we can thank him enough.
BD: If your franchise had a Team Hall of Fame, which players would be
MC: Alex Rodriguez easily. I'd give a slot to Jim Thome too, as he was a
dominant force for a few years there. Can't think of too may other guys
because for the month part, I've turned over players quite a bit....
that and the other players that have been around long-term all sucked,
like John Lackey.
BD: Tell us which MLB team that you feel like your BDBL franchise is
the most like.
MC: San Francisco.... yeah, yeah, hear me out though. I've had probably
the biggest superstar the entire time (ARod), just as the Giants
probably had the biggest (Bonds)... for a few years there, I had good
competitive teams and almost made the playoffs (the Giants from 1997 -
2001)... then in 2003, the Jamboree finally got in as the Wild Card (the
Giants in 2002), and then my team had a dreadful losing streak (the
Giants from 2005 - 2008)...
in 2008 the Jamboree finally make the playoffs (Giants in 2009).... In
addition, all my starting pitchers have been really solid, but no real
ace (Nomo, Trachsel, Capuano, Lackey, for example), just like the Giants
(Russ Ortiz, Livan Hernandez, Shawn Estes, Kirk Rueter, Noah Lowry,
Brett Tomko,...ok maybe Jason Schmidt was).... but now I have a rotation
of kick-ass starters of Webb, Burnett, Hudson, Saunders....(like the
Giants with Cain and Lincecum)... and can you think of any good young
Bear Country studs?? Nope... any Giants until Lincecum? The similarities
BD: Where would your franchise be without Alex Rodriguez?
MC: Hard to say. Frankly, ARod underachieves every year...His stats are
ALWAYS worse than real-life.... The only exception is his 2007 year,
when his stats where way better, but 2006 was a particularly bad year
for ARod in real life.... Since 2008 wasn't a fantastic ARod real-life
year either, he should tear it up in 2009 BDBL. The only real saving
grace has been his $10 million salary. He's always been worth more than
that, so that's the primary reason that I have hung onto him for all
this time. So he's been nice to have around, but given that I am always
so disgusted with his lack of clutch hitting, I won't be devastated when
the contract finally expires.
BD: How has your overall team-building philosophy changed over the
MC: Personally, I have decided I don't like big contracts.....Too much
risk involved and they completely limit your flexibility. In addition, I
think I finally understand the true value of a good farm system. As far
as trading, I realize I am lousy at it, but its hard not to trade, but
ideally I would not partake in as many as I have in the past.
BD: What has been the most significant change in the BDBL?
MC: I always have been a victim of these bonus/penalty rules that we
seem to implement every year. In other words, I am always on the wrong
side of the bonus or penalty from implementing a new rule surrounding
wins and losses. For once, I would love for a rule change around wins
and losses to help me.
BD: Name your favorite "off the field" moment from BDBL Weekend or
the league forum.
MC: First night of BDBL Weekend Chicago. Skiz takes us to some amateur
comedy club north of Wrigleyville....there were probably more people on
stage than in the audience. The look on Glander's face (what in God's
name are we doing here????) was absolutely priceless. That was one of
the most random and hilarious situations I have ever been in.... I also
heard one of my favorite Seinfeld-esque observations that night too:
"The best part about ordering Onion Rings at Burger King is the free fry
that you get at the bottom!!".
BD: How's the new baby doing?
MC: Lilly is excellent! Almost 7 months old and Molly is 4 now.... I
just can't believe how fast they are growing! Makes me realize that not
only do I have to enjoy watching them grow up, but that life is short
and I have to make sure I enjoy my own life as well.... even if it makes
I get mocked after trading ARod.
BD: Thanks Matt!