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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 Gene Patterson,
Atlanta Fire Ants

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?

GENE PATTERSON: Thanks, Big Daddy. The BDBL....the best league ever, period! The BDBL really is a "complete" league. There is a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge, a great mix of personalities, the most active forum, a great commish. The complete package.

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

GP: Honestly, not that great. The first 3-4 years I was basically feeling around in the dark. By the time I started to figure things out, our franchise was in pretty bad shape. However, now, I really like were we are headed.

BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?

GP: The active forum. The games are fun to play and following your players, drafting etc. is all good but the forum really takes this league to a different level.

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.

GP: Honestly....the 2007 Season Preview FTDOTC. Our franchise was compared to that of the Pittsburgh Pirates and/or Kansas City Royals. The commish said that we lack a "master plan" and were going to be stuck in a "vicious cycle." Sad thing was, he was right.

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

GP: The problem with rivalries is that you have to be decent enough to compete against someone to have a rivalry with them. Until recently we haven't had a team that could compete with hardly anyone. If I had to say I guess I would go with the Akron Ryche, not because we have anything against their owner. DJ is a great guy. Just that Akron has always been a leader in the Hrbek division and if you are going to win the division you are going to have to knock them off.

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

GP: Probably no surprise to anyone.....The Emperor.

BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?

GP: One day I was just searching the League directory at DMB and came across the BDBL. I had been in a league for a while but it was a pretty boring league and I was looking for something more.

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

GP: A lot...But I could possibly see something maybe at work. My goal is to one day be the Athletic Director at our school. The time commitment there "might" cause a problem but I would do my very best to work it out.

BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?

GP: Winning the WC in 2005.

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

GP: Hmm, these are hard because after looking at things, I haven't made a lot of trades over the years, at least compared to other teams. Right now I guess my best trade (because of my current standing) would be Jesse Litsch for Ervin Santana and Joey Devine. My worst trade would probably have to be sending Mat Gamel to Allentown with Jorge De la Rosa for Sonnanstine, Claudio Vargas and Jermaine Dye.

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

GP: Again, probably no surprise.....The Emperor.

BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?

GP: Seriously.....isn't that one obvious?

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

GP: Gee, I'm not sure we have anyone worthy......

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

GP: Ummm....maybe Tampa Bay. We have been the doormat of the Hrbek for a while but a couple years ago we changed some things. Started "scouting" prospects different, drafting with a different philosophy and are now starting to see the rewards of our hard work.

BD: What went right in 2005 when your team has pretty much finished in last each year?

GP: Sad to say but I think I just got lucky. Had an average team and a lot of teams back then were waving the white flag in order to build super teams.

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

GP: Developed a "special formula" for looking at prospects and started looking to draft/obtain younger players with high upside.

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

GP: I think the auction was a pretty big change.

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

GP: Several years ago Tony Chamra and Tony DeCastro came down to Atlanta to have a "mini-BDBL Weekend." I really enjoyed that....now if I could just get to the real one.

BD: Be honest, when you were up 3-0 on Allentown in 2005, did you genuinely think you had won the series?

GP: Yes, I actually thought I had that series. I was thinking surely I could win 1 out of the remaining 4......yeah right.

BD: Tell us what the typical day is like for you as the trainer at your school.

GP: I usually spend 30-40 minutes every morning having coffee with the "veterans" out our school discussing just about anything. I don't have to be "at work" until 10:00 am but I go in a little early to have coffee with them. Besides being the head athletic trainer I also update the athletic portion of our schools web page so I spend most of the morning working on that but at the same time will have 2 or 3 athletes come in and work on rehab. Same thing after lunch, several athletes will come in up until 3:15 when we get out of school. From 3:15 to 4:15 the training room is really busy with athletes getting ready for practices/games. Then it is either out to a practice or off to a game. If there are no games I'm usually out of there by 7:15 PM, if we have a game at home, anyone's guess when I'll leave. Generally 9:00 PM but can easily be later.

BD: Thanks, Gene!

GP: No problem. Anytime.