We recently contacted veteran user Pubs and we talk about quite possibly the oddest 5 person roundtable we have ever seen during these interviews. We also get into Hardball Dynasty and the strategy that goes into winning a championship.
Who is Pubs?Pubs
I'm a 35 year old (actually just celebrated my 35th) project manager out of NYC. Friends call me Al.WIS
Well good to meet you, Al. How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?Pubs
A friend of mine had been talking up this baseball simulation game which simulated based off of real historical MLB stats. I thought it was a great concept and followed up on it. The game immediately cut into my fantasy sports time. Within a few months, I found myself abandoning 2/3 of my regular fantasy sports teams and switching over to your Sim baseball product.WIS
Why is it that you have only played our baseball games?Pubs
Well baseball has always been my number one fantasy sport. I do play other sports, but to be honest, I really wouldn't have the time to get as involved with your other sport products. It would consume too much of my time. I'd have to either retire or give up dating. Neither of which is a viable option at this point.
(not against Andy Roddick)
Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?Pubs
Well when you guys aren't consuming all of my free time, I like to travel, play and watch sports, Happy hour, keeping abreast of the latest technologies, and watching the stock market resemble that rollercoaster I always feared in childhood.WIS
Have you ever gone to Happy Hour and than set your lineups for one of the games? Might not to wise to attempt. Which do you like better Ė SimLeague Baseball or Hardball Dynasty?Pubs
Probably HBD. But they are both great. HBD is newer to me so thereís more there to appreciate. But regular Sim is great as well. Hows that for politically correct!?WIS
Which five people, past or present sit at your dream roundtable discussion?Pubs
Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, Orson Wells, Jim Morrison, and Madonna. Yep, quite an eclectic group..WIS
I agree that is quite an electric group. Do you mind elaboring as to why you chose some of these people?Pubs
I consider all 5 individuals as accomplished innovative and gifted people who contributed and are still contributing a great deal to society. Each was responsible for shaping generations with their pioneering style and leadership. Although each had a unique and distinct personality, it would be fascinating to get all of them into a room together to reflect back on their achievements, contributions, and the inspiration they used to drive themselves. Not to mention, they are all people who I admire and would love to just shoot the breeze with.WIS
Who are your favorite players of all-time?Pubs
Assuming weíre sticking to baseball here, Mickey Mantle, Don Mattingly, Bernie Williams, Craig Biggio, and Roger Clemens.
Very different, diverse group of players. What are your favorite teams of all time?Pubs
Yankees, Astros, Dodgers in that order. Although Joe Torre and Manny Ramirez are doing about all they can to get the Dodgers removed from the list..WIS
Really? I never would have guessed Yankees and Astros from looking at your favrotie players. Did you play baseball (or other sports) growing up?Pubs
Sure did. Baseball football Basketball and Tennis. (Yep Tennis)WIS
What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?Pubs
Visit every MLB ballpark.WIS
That's a nice goal. What ballparks have you visited so far?Pubs
So far I've been to Yankee Stadium, Shea and Citi Field (Mets), Wrigley, Fenway, Tropicana (TB), Landshark (Marlins), Camden Yards (Orioles), Comiskey (Chisox), Mile High (back then it was mile high though I'm still scratching it off the list), RFK (Nationals), Rodgers (Blue Jays), and I think that's it..WIS
In Hardball Dynasty, what is your strategy for allocating your budget?Pubs
Haha. I get a bit lackadaisical at times, especially when a season rolls over. So often time I just go with my last yearsí budget. If it starts to look like I need to adjust, Iíll make a note of it alongside the budget category so I can remember to do so next year..WIS
How do you approach off-season events with players such as arbitration and free agency?Pubs
Iím a money ball guy. Anyone whose approaching a contractual payout, Iíll try to trade ahead of time. Although in one of my worlds, we havenít had much talent come through the pike lately. So Iím actually abandoning the strategy there and signing guys to long term contracts before the season ends. (I cant believe how much these arb-eligible prima donnas want)WIS
What is your general strategy for hiring/re-hiring coaches?Pubs
I donít like the hiring coach process much Ė gets rather tedious. So anytime a guy wants to stay at his current role, theyíre in. Otherwise, Iíll evaluate based off of whats available and see whether the returning coaches are worth the bump in level.WIS
How do you finalize rosters at each level? What role does spring training play in your decision making?Pubs
I fill my A level teams with mostly junk but junk that would perform well no less. When I have enough good young talent down there, I make sure to manage the roster myself. Otherwise, Iíll let the AI do it. With the Double and Triple A teams, I try to stay on top of those as best as I can. In addition to whatís in house, Iíll try to round out the squads with good Minor League FAs. I feel itís important to make the playoffs with the minor league teams so that your potential future stars get their experience. As for the ML roster, I try to get a player for every role. I also try to balance out my lineup so that none of my daily players get taxed. My Squads are always deep. This balance act allows me to lower my Medical budget as I try to avoid injuring players through overuse.
What is your basic strategy for setting your starting lineups and pitching rotation?Pubs
Nothing out of the ordinary with the exception of the balancing act mentioned above. Iíll give guys a day off here and there Ė especially against inferior SPs. That way everyone stays fresh.WIS
What do you believe are the most important individual player ratings for performance?Pubs
Setting aside the importance of ratings to complement a particular ballpark, for batters itís the Eye. For fielders itís the range. For pitchers itís effectiveness. (Vs L / Vs R)WIS
How do you approach in-season player events like the draft, international prospects, waivers and promotions/demotions?Pubs
The draft is a dreaded day for me. But you definitely need to spend time on it and order your players up as best as you can. It could be the difference between getting 1 ML quality player as opposed to potentially 5 or 6. IFAs you haveíto go get if you have the $. Waivers, I try to only waive players who are undesirable and donít belong on an ML club. If theyíre good players you should try to trade them first. I try not to promote guys too quickly. Then you have an underperforming player whose clock starts to tick way too soon. Heíll also lose his trade value in the process. So Iíd definitely recommend not rushing a player to the Majors. Now on the other hand, if the guy is up there in age and / or has been absolutely dominating his level, promote him. You should also keep in mind his Patience rating too.WIS
Do you have any favorite players from any of your HBD teams?Pubs
Not really. I donít get attached to any of the players.WIS
How much time do you spend on your Hardball Dynasty teams? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?Pubs
Answer 1 Ė not enough. Answer 2, it depends on how long youíve had the squad. If itís a first year with the franchise, you need to put in a couple of hours a day at the least. Once youíve stabilized your franchise, (have owned it a few years) 30 to 45 minutes a day during off peak times. (off peak meaning when thereís nothing else to do but set your lineups..)WIS
Who are the users you respect the most?Pubs
I respect every user in a competitive way. But Iíll respect those who are courteous and good sports the most. The only folks I donít respect are the ones who take over message boards with nonsense or force their opinions on everyone else.WIS
What is your favorite aspect of HBD?Pubs
You got to love the depth of the game. I really donít know of any other way to get as close to managing a baseball franchise as HBD allows.WIS
What is your least favorite aspect of Hardball Dynasty? As it is still a relatively new game, if you could change three things about HBD, what would they be?Pubs
The message boards. Though they are necessary, some folks get way too intense with their opinions!
- 1. Iíd like to see the fielding stats improved upon. For example, if a player is lacking in range to get to a ball that an average player at that position should get, there should be a defensive stat for that which can be viewed in the boxscores.
2. I would also like to see a few more poor plays / good plays and great plays. A guy who is superior in range and can get to a ball which an average player may not get to should get some sort of defensive statistical acknowledgement for it.
3. The only other thing Iíd like to see is LIVE play.
If you were in one of WhatIfSports' games, which sport would you play? At which position? And, what would you be rated?Pubs
Baseball corner OF with a good batting eye, power, and an overall rating of 80.WIS
Thanks for your time Pubs. Hopefully our users are more informed on some Hardball Dynasty strategy now thanks to you.