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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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August, 2009
by "Biggest Daddy"

Interview with John Gill,
Chicago Black Sox

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? 

JOHN 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 of it.

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

JG:  I 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? 

JG:  That 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 off. 

JG: The 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? 

JG:  I 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 attest.

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

JG: Probably 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? 

JG:  It 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?

JG:  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?

JG:  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?

JG: Two 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?

JG:  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?

JG:  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?

JG:  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.

JG:  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? 

JG: Chicago and Akron.  Call it a tie.

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

JG:  It 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?

JG:  VORP.  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.

JG:  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 can do.

BD: What is preventing the Black Sox from ever finishing in last place?

JG:  We 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?

JG:  Life 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! 

JG.  No.  Thank you!