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slant.gif (102 bytes) Know Thy Enemy, 10th Anniversary Edition

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November, 2008
by "Biggest Daddy"

Interview with Bob Sylvester,
Southern Cal Slyme

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?

BOB SYLVESTER: The BDBL has a really great group of guys (and Glander too). I like the fact I can detach from the grind of regular life and plug in to a group of guys who love baseball.

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

BS: I like the fact I've had some really good years, but I haven't found the ability to be consistent. Additionally, when I do make it to the playoffs I seem to get rolled. That can be pretty disappointing.

BD: What is your favorite aspect of the BDBL?

BS: Definitely the draft and trade talks. However, the trades seem to have fallen by the side a bit. Perhaps folks are getting more cautious.

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.

BS: The year I made it to the playoffs with a great record and a rotation headed by Halladay and Loaiza (two 20-game winners) and a dominant bullpen. I got crushed in round 1 and that sucked.

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

BS: Clearly my son. I want to make the playoffs, but goal one is to beat Bobby in the standings. Bragging rights are important in the Sylvester family.

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

BS: Again, I have to say Bobby. We talk trade (on the phone) which tends to be an easier way to deal. MP trade talks can really drag out.

BD: How did you first hear of the BDBL?

BS: The DMB web page...I always wanted to join a brand new league and this was my opportunity.

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

BS: Any issues with family. My family is job #1 for me, so they will always take priority.

BD: What is your favorite BDBL memory?

BS: I have lots of fond memories, but the 11-run comeback to beat Glander H2H has to be near the top. I could picture him getting "frustrated." But the top memory was my trip to the BDBL World Series in our first season. Seven game series, but I couldn't bring it home. I'd like to get back.

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

BS: Picking up Hanley Ramirez was probably my best. My worst will likely come out of one of my trades this year where I dealt Ervin Santana, Joey Devine, and Adam Jones. I'm sure others could identify worst trades I've made.  However,I traded Jason Schmidt for Carlos Pena a few years back...too bad it took Pena six years to perform at the level I hoped he would.

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

BS: Easy answer...my son.

BD: Who is the craziest character in the BDBL?

BS: Likely Skizm...when I read his posts I wonder about him sometimes. Over the counter medication?

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

BS: Greg Vaughn from my first season and Victor Martinez. I hope to put Hanley Ramirez and Ryan Zimmerman in down the road.

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

BS: Probably the Florida Marlins (minus the championships)...up and down and up and down...

BD: The Slyme have enjoyed 6 separate visits to the post-season. What is the secret recipe?? And why no championship?

BS: No secret recipe to making the post-season. I like to build a strong bullpen which really helps in tight games. No championships is partly due to bad luck in the playoffs (thought not as bad as Glander) and lack of shut-down starting pitching. I'm afraid that will be an issue again this year.

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

BS: I tended to hang on to youngsters a little more in the past...lately I've traded them (Adam Jones, Joey Devine) or tried to (Ellsbury.) I used to hang onto those guys for dear life.

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

BS: Less H2H in the Eck League...Not sure why, but I like H2H much more.

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

BS: Traveling up to Chicago for the BDBL Weekend with my son. We had a blast and it was great to see so many of the guys. Additionally, my family and I took a vacation to the East Coast and Bobby and I met Mike at Outbacks and had a great chat. Two good memories.

BD: How does your son's involvement in the league enhance your enjoyment of the BDBL?

BS: Bobby and I are very close. He isn't just my son; he's one of my very best friends. I think BDBL has just given us another topic of discussion. Even though he's at college now, we talk every day and BDBL is often one of our topics.

BD: Tell us a little bit about your experience with the Air Force and where you see yourself over the next decade or so.

BS: The Air Force has been great for me and my family. We've traveled quite a bit which has been super for my family. My year and a half in the Middle East was a wonderful experience (professionally) and I got to see so many of our young men and women who selflessly serve their country. Makes me proud to serve with them.

I'm currently commanding a squadron in California. I know this is only a two year assignment, so in about two years we'll either go to Washington DC, Germany or Hawaii (I think.) Once you achieve a little rank you lose control of your career. We'll see where they want me to serve and I'll salute sharply and do just that.

BD: Thanks, Bob!