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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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April, 2009
by "Biggest Daddy"

Interview with Tom DiStefano,
Allentown Ridgebacks

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?

TOM DISTEFANO: I love the BDBL.  I canít imagine pulling together a smarter or more dedicated group than the guys we have running teams in this league and Glander is the perfect guy to pull it all together.  Itís a great challenge and I really enjoy the competition.

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

TD: Iíve caught some really big breaks with farm players over the years (Oswalt, Peavy, Felix Hernandez, Kelly Johnson, Lincecum, etc) leading to some great success.  Tack on a lot of luck in the post season and Iím very happy with my teamsí success over the years.

BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?

TD: Managing my games.  No, Iím kidding, itís actually drafting (FA and farm). 

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.

TD: Ohhhh without a doubt the 2003 championship series was my low point.  I had a good team, was up two games to none, and then my team completely fell apart.  I lost three, one-run games and hit into eleven dpís in the four losses.  Throw in the Condrey fiasco and the Manny Ramirez meltdown and it was definitely my low point.  I just hope writing about it doesnít cause the nightmares to return.

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

TD: Chris Luhning is the obvious answer because he usually fields a really strong team and is in my division.  John Gill and DJ Shepard also cause me a lot of grief as they seem to be picking right off my draft lists.

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

TD: I think my favorite trading partner is Anthony Peburn.  He enjoys trading and is pretty straight forward and very responsive. 

BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?

TD: The BDBL was listed on the Diamond Mind website.  I was considering joining a league (was in one that was folding) so I lurked on the forum for a bit and applied.  I got lucky as someone had recently quit and there was an opening.

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

TD: Some kind of crazy scandal.  Like finding out that Glander and DJ are actually the same person (has anyone actually ever seen DJ?).  Otherwise, I canít really see myself quitting as I find it to be a challenging and relaxing hobby.

BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?

TD: I still occasionally read Glandersí multi-part story on the 2005 post-season.  That entire post-season was a lot of fun for me.

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

TD: Iíve made so many trades over the past eight years that Iím having a hard time determining the best and worst.  Acquiring Bonds from Litchfield was a great pick up.  The worst MOVE I ever made was cutting Roy Halladay and Johan Santana on the SAME Cutdown Day.  Great moves, there.

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

TD: There are a lot of guys Iíd miss, itís too hard to pick one.

BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?

TD: This question should probably be who is the SECOND craziest character because who else can you pick besides Skizm?

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

TD: Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, and Roy Oswalt are the definites.  Jake Peavy is on the bubble.  Hopefully down the road weíll be able to talk about Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, and Lincecum.  And I have high hopes for Elijah Dukes and Super Ronny Cedeno.

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

TD: Tough one.  Maybe the Atlanta Braves as Iíve been pretty lucky with the development of SPís?

BD: If you were running the BDBL as a dictator, what's the first thing you would insist on changing?

TD: I would not allow the use of extreme split players (150+ point differences) and I would reduce the active rosters to 22 players.  I think those changes would go a long way towards reducing our reliance on platoon freaks.

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

TD: In recent years Iíve looked more closely at speed and defense.  Also, picking so consistently low in the farm drafts has forced me to look at lower level players as well as college and international guys.

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

TD: The institution of the auction.  Itís a change I really like.

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

TD: I made it to two BDBL weekends and had a good time at each.  I also have a good time watching some of the random debates that break out on the forum as it proves just how diverse the owners here are. 

BD: Do you take all those BDBL trophies for granted, knowing that some teams will never get one, while others can barely even sniff the post-season?

TD: No I donít.  All three of them are on a shelf in my ďofficeĒ and Iím very proud of all of them - I think itís a great accomplishment given the level of competition in this league.  However, I had number three checked for Anthrax as I wasnít sure how Glander would react to this last one. 

BD: Looks like you are just about one year away from turning 40.  Will the first 40 years be the best of your life or the last 40(+)?

TD: Ouch!!  Iíll be 39 in April of 2009 and Iím not quite sure where the years went as it seems like I was 23 just yesterday.  Like anyone else Iíve had my share of ups and downs over the first 40 but itís been a fun and interesting ride.  Iím hoping the next 40 will be the same and Iím hoping to add a few more BDBL trophies.