User Interview: Yabahos_05

Q&A with noted SimLeague Baseball user Yabahos

We recently contacted SimLeague Baseball beta-tester and veteran Yabahos to discuss the update, defense, pitching staffs, Cole Hamels, Archimedes, being a Yankees fan in Boston, the waiver wire and Rosie Ruzicka.

WIS

Who is Yabahos?

Yabahos

I'm an engineer from the Boston Area, married with two kids which doesn't leave a lot of time for other things. I'm a Yankees fan but learned a long time ago that its one of the subjects to be avoided in the heart of Red Sox nation. On the list of things not to talk to people about in New England - being a Yankees fan is probably ahead of discussing religion or politics.

WIS

Which SimLeagues or Dynasty games have each of you played?

Yabahos

I stick to SimLeague Baseball. I tried a pre-season hockey and football team, but I just didn't enjoy it. I think baseball lends itself better to this type of simulation.

WIS

Besides this site, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?

Yabahos

I don't have as much free time as I'd like (does anyone?) so most of my interests/hobbies have been eliminated. I use to have time to play sports (mostly hockey) and read a lot. I really enjoyed strat-o-matic baseball and computer games. Now like most parents, most of my free time is spent enjoying my children.

WIS

What are your favorite sports moments?

Yabahos

The Miracle on Ice, Bucky Dent's homer, Bird steals the ball and Darren McCarty pummeling Claude Lemieux. I was also at a hockey game where Mac sticked a guy in the penalty box and got away with it (which is something I will never forget). And I saw a game where Rosie Ruzicka went end to end at for the Bruins - Bruins fans will remember the goal.

WIS

Why do you feel sports are so big in our culture?

Yabahos

I can't speak for women, but for married men, it's a way to get some alone time with the friends. Most guys don't say - Honey I'm going out to drink. Its usually - I'm going to watch the game. Either that or it could be the inherent nature of people to interact with others, compete and to succeed. Rooting for your favorite team is a way to be a part of something and share a common bond with hundreds of other people. Just ask Red Sox fans everywhere.

WIS

What is your favorite WIS moment?

Yabahos

I guess it would have to be winning my first championship, which just happened to be in schwarze's tournament two years ago. It was a clone team using Cobb and Reulbach.

WIS

Which are your favorite teams of all-time?

Yabahos

I'm partial to the late 1920s and early 1930s and to Philly A's and Cardinals teams from this era.

WIS

Who are your favorite players in today's game?

Yabahos

Ryan Howard, Derek Jeter, Cole Hamels - because he's been on my fantasy team for four years in a keeper league - and Mariano Rivera because the guy is/was a machine. It looks like he's losing it this year though.

WIS

Build your all-time baseball dream team(s):

Yabahos

Cobb, Ruth, Speaker, Cochrane, Sisler, Hornsby, Jeter, Boggs for the position players. I'll take Walter Johnson, Mathewson, Koufax, Alexander and Dazzy Vance for SP with Rivera, Eck, Gossage and Rollie Fingers.

WIS

What is the top sports related thing you want to do in life that you have not yet done?

Yabahos

I'd like to get to a championship game for baseball, football and hockey. It'll probably never happen.

WIS

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

Yabahos

Limiting it to five is kind of tough, I mean could you go wrong with Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu? Or how about Aristotle, Galileo, Descartes, Einstein and Hawkings? Or Da Vinci, Edison, Newton, Archimedes, Su Sung. But lets go with Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Jesus Christ (just to see what all the fuss is about), Leonardo Da Vinci, Ben Franklin, etc. If you guys aren't going to allow me a translator then I guess I'll have to drop old Ben for someone that can speak both 15th century Italian and 1st century Aramaic.

WIS

If you could be commissioner of any league, which sport would it be and what would you do to change the game?

Yabahos

The NHL - roll back the fighting rules. I think it leads to more stick work.

WIS

You were instrumental in helping to test the latest SimLeague Baseball update. In the latest release, what is your general strategy for building teams? Do you have one yet?

Yabahos

I've only tried three teams since the update and I'm three games over 0.500 after 190 games so take this for what's it worth. With the scaling back of the defense, I've widened my search criteria for players to include B and in some cases C range players. The reduction in the defensive impact on pitching staffs means you can get away with this. My one exception is thirdbase because that position appears to be getting more chances than in real life.

WIS

What are your general thoughts and opinions on the latest update? Which new feature is your favorite?

Yabahos

I think overall the update is a success and I know how much you guys put into it. I think I would have let the beta testing go on for a little while longer but I'm not paying the bills. I really like the leaders and the additional stats you guys are providing.

WIS

What one feature in SimLeague Baseball would you add (or remove)?

Yabahos

I've got a laundry list of things to add/change but first and foremost is bring back the individual advanced settings. I'd also like to see you guys add in leaders beyond the top 25. I'd like to see a merging between the Player Search and the Leaders link.

WIS

What is the most important thing to keep in mind while drafting?

Yabahos

It's a game and to be successful you need to understand how the game works.

WIS

Are there any players in specific that you like to put on your teams?

Yabahos

Since the update I've been trying out some guys that I've never used before. I've had mixed results with a number of guys so far but Gary Carter and Ron Cey seem to be doing pretty well in the leagues I am in.

WIS

How do you go about setting your lineups and hierarchies?

Yabahos

I usually take the recommendations and tweak them based upon what I am seeing in the league. It's important to check your hierarchies and settings regularly versus the box scores to make sure you are getting the results that you want. It may take a while but you will notice that patterns start to form over time.

WIS

Do you like to use the same type of rotation and pitching staff? Or, do you change it around? With that, how do you approach pitch counts and other pitching settings?

Yabahos

Before the update I usually worked with a three man rotation. I'd change it on occasion for themes or if I wanted to test something. Since the update, I've tried a few different strategies but really haven't found one that I like enough to stick with. At this point I'm going with the more is better approach to pitching until the growing pains from the update work themselves out.

WIS

How important is finding a good ballpark for your team? If it is important, how do you figure this out?

Yabahos

I think it's important but I've yet to be able to figure this one out. I tend to do better in leagues where I don't have control over the ballpark because of theme restrictions. It seems obvious that you should put doubles hitters in a park that favors doubles but I don't have much luck with this. Maybe I'm over thinking it.

WIS

Do you make any transactions during the season that set you apart from other teams?

Yabahos

Most leagues that I play in don't allow waiver wire or trades so I don't have an answer for this. In general I stay away from the waiver wire because of the hit you take to the salary cap.

WIS

Do you spend much time in the forums? Why or why not?

Yabahos

Lately I've been spending more time in the forums to answer questions regarding the beta testing and see what others are posting about the update. There's a ton of useful information in the forums and people should definitely check them out before drafting a team.

WIS

Who are the users you respect the most? Which users are the most fun to have in leagues?

Yabahos

There are a lot of classy guys (and not so classy guys) on the site. Just about anyone in the top 25 or anyone that competes in schwarze's tournament. Sford and schwarze have put together some really challenging themes. For shear enjoyment anyone that joins a Screw You Neighbor League is alright in my book. Hafert, juryman and BCBSMA always offer quality entertainment.

WIS

What would you tell new users to the site who want to get the most out of what WhatIfSports.com has to offer?

Yabahos

Read the forums and remember it's a game and not meant to imitate real life. Join themes. I've personally learned more about the SIM in leagues like the Big Dick's Identical Theme League and failure leagues than I did in any open league I played in.

WIS

If either of you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position and how much would you cost?

Yabahos

I'd play hockey, play defense and probably never get drafted at my price. People have been known to compare playing against me to playing against Kenny Linseman.

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