WhatIfSports User Interview: MikeT23 From WhatIfSports.com image

User Interview: MikeT23

Q&A with MikeT23

We recently interviewed longtime user MikeT23. We discuss Hardball Dynasty in depth, including strategy, favorite moments and advice for new users.

MikeT23 Records
Game Record Championships
Hardball Dynasty7497-6273 (54.4%) 3
SimLeague Baseball7138-6675 (51.7%) 2

WIS

Who is MikeT23

MikeT23

Self-employed, married 48 year old. I run a small trucking company.

WIS

How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?

MikeT23

It's been so long ago but I believe I did a search for fantasy sports and ran across it.

WIS

Which of our games have you played? Which do you prefer?

MikeT23

Mostly SLB and HBD. I played about 20 seasons of HD and tried a season in SLH and GD.

WIS

Besides simulation sports websites, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

MikeT23

I play softball and video games, lift weights, walk my dogs and watch baseball/football (and, of course, drink beer while doing it).

WIS

Which five people, past or present sit at your dream roundtable discussion?

MikeT23
Barack Obama President Obama will protect MikeT23 from any crazy dictators.

President Obama, some crazy dictator (alive or dead, doesn't matter as long as he's crazy enough but unarmed), Babe Ruth, Don Mattingly and some eye candy. Political figures to learn something about their viewpoints and how they formed them. The baseball players for the stories and the hot actress or swimsuit model because who wants to hang out with a bunch of dudes in a dream? Better throw Derek Jeter in there somewhere because that's expected of me.

WIS

Did you play any sports growing up?

MikeT23

Pretty much all of them as a child but it became just football/baseball as I got older. In part because I sucked at the rest of them.

WIS

Who are your favorite all-time players?

MikeT23

Ruth, Mattingly and Horace Clarke. My first Little League team was the BP Yankees. Oddly enough, Clarke was the "best" player on the Yanks when I started following baseball.

WIS

Do you have any sports-related items on your bucket list that you have not yet done?

MikeT23

I'd have liked to have been a BL ballplayer but I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed. I'll take Game 7 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium now.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

MikeT23

Season 8 of Moonlight Graham in HBD. I thought I had a good team. Seems I didn't as I didnít break .500 until game 135-140. Made a nice little run and was 2 games out of the WC2 with 3 left against the guy in front of me. Swept him to finish the season, won my first playoff match-up, started to believe we were a team of destiny then got smoked. But it was a fun couple of weeks.

WIS

You are very active in the WIS forums. What is your approach to the forums?

MikeT23

To be brief and helpful while having fun. But I have a low patience level so sometimes it comes off as abrasive (sometimes it's intentional). Brevity has its drawbacks and people tend to forget it's the internet. Don't get so worked up.

WIS

In Hardball Dynasty, what is your strategy for allocating your budget?

MikeT23

20m in training and medical. 0 in ADV (that needs to be addressed). 20 in either College or High School and 0 in the other. International is a wild card. My interest in them is usually based on my team's condition/payroll. Prospect is 6m unless Iím in the IFA market. Coaching is usually 6m but can be 10m (based on my FI which is something else that should be addressed). Payroll is the leftovers.

WIS

How do you approach off-season events with players such as arbitration and free agency?

MikeT23

Again it depends on how my team and budget work. I arb pretty much everyone once. The 1-2m salary is worth it. Some guys price themselves out of a job in the 2nd arb. As for standard FA, I set a price for the players I target and usually drop out when that number is exceeded. It's easy to get caught up in the bidding and limit your franchise options in the future.

WIS

What is your basic strategy for setting your starting lineups and pitching rotation?

MikeT23

Line-up is pretty much like MLB. OBP in slots 1-2. Hopefully they have some speed but I don't lose sleep if they're turtle-like catchers. Power in 3-6 (best overall hitter at #3). Best hitters left in slot 7-9. I'm defensive-minded so there are times that those last 3 spots can't hit a lick. Unlike a lot of owners, I don't mind using the 50-60 stamina pitchers at SP. So I need 7-8 of them. For the most part, the 3 best will start all season while the rest will bounce between SP and LR. I use simmy's recs for PC and adjust as the season moves along.

WIS

What do you believe are the most important individual player ratings for performance?

MikeT23

One of the beauties of HBD is that the ratings work in conjunction so, for me, there isnít a ďmost importantĒ rating. That said, there are a couple of low ratings that kill a player. Poor splits, from pitchers or hitters, are almost a guarantee of failure as is poor control from a pitcher. But, even with that, a hitter with 40ish splits, high contact, speed, bunting and base running can be an effective player (if he can play some D). Not so much with pitchers with 40 splits and 28 control.

WIS

How do you approach in-season player events like the draft, international prospects and promotions/demotions?

MikeT23
Horace Clarke Horace Clarke is one of MikeT23's all-time favorite players.

I use a spreadsheet to list all the players in the draft. I weed out the ones I know I don't want (sometimes based on my 0 scouting) and order them from there using a formula I've developed. Then I tweak the rankings based on personal preference. If I'm in the IFA market, Iíll jump early as bidding can get ridiculous and thereís nothing worse than having 17m in prospects sitting there, mocking you, when the season ends. I seldom demote and I promote based on playing time and coaching. I want a hitter getting at least 400 PA at a level and pitchers getting 25-30 starts. When a player has to be on the 40 man, he needs to be in AAA. I avoid repeating any level except AAA if at all possible. I also do my promotions before rollover.

WIS

Do you have any favorite players from any of your HBD teams?

MikeT23

I brought Jamey Cambridge back in MG just so he could get his 400th homer. He got about 125 AB, mostly after roster expansion, and finished with exactly 400. I hoped that would get him in the HOF but it hasn't happened. Maybe you guys can just put him in for me.

WIS

How much time do you spend on your Hardball Dynasty teams? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?

MikeT23

About 10 minutes each cycle and maybe an hour on a Saturday or Sunday morning. That's for 4 teams, in season, after I've had them for a few seasons. I'm pretty hands-on with my minors. It's 2-3 times that during pre-season and after I first take on a new team. Once you get a team "molded in your image," maintaining it doesn't take long at all. I think, to be competitive long-term, you probably need 5-10 minutes a day per team during the season if you're going to actively manage your minors. If you're letting simmy run your minors, maybe a couple of minutes per day with the periodic "sit-down" time to make trades if necessary.

WIS

If you were to give one piece of advice to a new user, what would it be?

MikeT23

If you're not sure, donít do it. Ask someone, ask someone else and then, if you're sure, consider doing it. Bad decisions stick with you in HBD. Nothing in this game calls for a split-second decision. Be right. Sometimes the move you don't make is the best one.

WIS

What is your favorite aspect of Hardball Dynasty?

MikeT23

The complexity of it. As I mentioned earlier, the ratings work with one another so there are many, many ways to build a team. While I have a general idea on how I like to build a team, none are the same simply because 31 other people are doing the same thing. So you have to make adjustments based on the world. There is no template.

WIS

Least favorite?

MikeT23

$4 credit for 4th place. I think it encourages owners to mail it in down the stretch. $4 may not seem like much but, if someone thinks it is, they'll go for it. Beyond that, tanking works but kills a world. Anything that encourages losing hurts the game.

WIS

What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?

MikeT23

From the simple aspect, adding ST players from the Edit Roster screen. The current process is a pain in the butt.

From a much more difficult aspect, scouting has to be adjusted. For an experienced user, ADV is pointless. I think having ADV affect what we see as "current" might be the solution. Or maybe it affects projections for IFA/College/HS players before they're on a roster. As for IFA/College/HS, I outlined a plan on ticket 29476 about 4 years ago. Short version: You buy scouts for individual areas. That would stop the complaining of "I have 18m in scouting and I didn't see that guy" because, quite possibly, you didn't scout that area.

WIS

Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?

MikeT23

I commish two worlds, Cooperstown and Moonlight Graham, and, contrary to popular belief, I like and respect all the owners in them. Actually that goes for pretty much anyone in any of the worlds I'm in. I try to keep everything in perspective when a disagreement arises (and they do). It's a simulated baseball game on the internet. No need to get all worked up because we don't see eye to eye. On one individual basis, I hate deanod because he's making a mockery of MG. I think he's about to win his 34th consecutive World Series. The bright spots of his dominance are A) he's in the other league B) I'm not making a WS anytime soon so he's not beating me.

WIS

If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?

MikeT23

Well, since I'm 48 and slow, I'd have to be a quickly declining DH with the aforementioned low patience rating. I'd rake in LoA.

WIS

Thanks for your time and your contributions to WIS, MikeT23.


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