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?
GILL: This is the greatest league ever. And it is this way
because of the commish and the supporting staff. I highly
doubt that there is a league out there that has been in
existence for 10+ years. The league owners are also great
to deal with, plus they are inciteful and have a great sense
of humor. As Kramer would - "I'm lov'in every minute
BD: How have you felt about the overall success of your
franchise at this point?
feel pretty good about my franchise. For the most part, I
have been able to field a competitive team. I have had two
great opportunities to win it all and failed miserably.
That is my biggest disappointment. I should have stopped
after 5 games against Marazita the first opportunity and
resumed a different day to get my head back on straight.
Ravenswood outplayed me the second time. Maybe this will be
the year. Who knows.
BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?
is a tough question. I love the forum. I also like the
salary structure for the league. It works pretty well.
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
low point would be losing game 7 of the BDBL Championship
against the Zoots after leading 3 games to none. You cant
get any lower than that. I think game 7 was played at like
3 or 4 in the morning. I should have stopped after game 5
but figured there was no way the Zoots would win 4 in a row
against my lineup. I'm still pissed about that to this day.
BD: Over the course of your time in the BDBL, who is the
one GM that you consider your largest rival or target?
will mention two. The first is DJ Sheppard. Akron is
always either winning the division or finishing second and
is mentioned year in and year out as the favorite to win the
division. The second is Tom DiStefano. I have played
Allentown a several times in the playoffs and it is always a
great series (whether I win or not). Tom's teams are always
difficult to play against as his 3 BDBL championships can
BD: Name a GM that you absolutely love to talk trade
Mike Glander. He is not afraid to make a deal involving
headliner players and is very fair to deal with. This past
year I traded Mark Texierra for Miguel Cabrera and initially
regretted it because I really liked T-Rex, especially
because he is a switch hitter (I needed a presence from the
left side of the plate). But, now I'm glad I did the deal
as Cabrera is having another stellar season and I am sure
that Mike is happy with T-Rex and the season he will have
next year. There are several other GMs that I enjoy dealing
with as well.
BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?
was a long time ago, but I believe DMB would list leagues
that used their product and I noticed that Mike had posted
that they were looking for participants. I read the rules
thought the structure was interesting, so I applied. 10+
years later, I'm still here.
BD: What would it take for you to exit the league?
Something tragic in my personal life to happen. These past
couple years have been extremely busy March thru July due to
my two kids playing baseball. Combined they had games every
day with a day off scattered here and there. It made it
difficult to do this, play H2H, and watch their games. I
was able to do it and will continue to do so.
BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?
That's like asking what is your favorite time eating Lou
Malnati's Deep Dish Pizza. Its hard to pick one, let alone
two. They're all good.
BD: What is your best trade ever? And your worst?
tough questions. I thought getting Mark Prior for Scott
Rolen was a good trade - could have been a fantastic trade
if Prior didn't get hurt. Also the trade this past winter
getting Cabrera for Teixeira. In addition, I got Cameron
Maybin which aided me in landing Geovany Soto; and I got
Alex Rios who was involved in landing Manny for
the remainder of this year. My worst trade was probably
getting Derreck Lee and giving up Victor Martinez. Of
course if Maybin turns out to be a stud and Soto turns out
to be a dud, then that may be the worst trade.
BD: Other than Glander, what GM would you absolutely hate
to see leave the BDBL?
That's too tough to answer. Each GM participates in their
own way and the league would not be the same.
BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?
Probably Skizm. Anybody who uses GG Allen as their avitar
is out there. But, I love it.
BD: If your franchise had a Team Hall of Fame, which
players would be members?
Manny Ramirez, Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra. I'm
probably missing somebody. Prior and Sheets threw
no-hitters, so they would probably be inducted as well.
BD: Tell us which MLB team that you feel like your BDBL
franchise is the most like.
Unfortunately, the Chicago Cubs. Like the Cubs, we have not
won the World Series.
BD: Most divisions have a "dominant" team...the team that
finishes 1st or is especially competitive every single year
practically. Which team is the dominant team in the Hrbek?
and Akron. Call it a tie.
BD: How has your overall team-building philosophy changed
over the years?
has pretty much remained the same. We try to develop a
strong minor league system and use it to trade or keep low
salaried solid players/pitchers. Also sign star caliber
free agents. Unfortunately, this philosophy has not worked.
BD: What has been the most significant change in the BDBL?
I hate it. It is geared more towards ROTO leagues rather
than sim leagues, but the ridiculous trades have been
reduced - not eliminated.
BD: Name your favorite "off-the-field" moment from BDBL
Weekend or the league forum.
Unfortunately, I have not been to a BDBL weekend. I do want
to go, but they are always when I am on vacation in North
Carolina - end of July is the first opportunity for my
family to go on vacation due to my wife working summer
school and my two sons playing summer ball. My favorite off
the field moment is the auction every year. I know you are
looking for something more specific, but that's the best I
BD: What is preventing the Black Sox from ever finishing
in last place?
have finished last twice in the Hrbeck. As for the Eck,
call it luck.
BD: Tell us about life in Chicagoland these days. Who is
keeping you more busy: The BDBL or your boys?
in Chicagoland is great - especially during the summer. I
saw Bruce Springsteen at the United Center in May. It was
an awesome concert, but unfortunately, we were not able to
get in the pit. Our chances to get in the pit were 51% and
we lost. I have seen Bruce over 30 times (3 times in the
pit). Obvisouly, I'm a hgue fan. My wife and I went to the
Billy Joel and Elton John concert at Wrigley a couple weeks
ago. It was a good time, but definitely a chick event. I'm
not a huge fan of either, but went because I'm a nice
husband. Also went to see Joe Ely with Bobby Keyes
(saxophone player for the Stones) at Fitzgeralds in Berwyn.
That was a great show too. The funny thing is, there was a
group of people from central Indiana who drove a couple
hours just to see Bobby Keyes. They didn't know that he was
part of Joe Ely's band.
As for my
boys, they do keep me busy. Much busier than the BDBL. My
oldest was a high school senior this past spring and was
pitching in front of a college scout when I was at the
Springsteen concert (I had to make a choice, and I chose
Springsteen). My wife texted me updates while standing in
line waiting to see if we could get in the pit. He hit a
game tying two run homer in the fifth and pitch a complete
game 3-2 win allowing one earned run. It was a blast
watching him play and watching his team do well. They lost
in the regional finals. He will be going to St. Francis
University in Joliet and playing baseball. I have a younger
son who was a freshman this past year and he made the
Freshman A baseball team. Hopefully he will be able to do
as well his brother. He got off to a good start.
BD: Thanks, John!