BrianCampos has dabbled in a few WhatIfSports.com games, but most recently he's focused his attention on chasing pennants in Hardball Dynasty. The three-sport champion was kind enough to participate in a User Interview session. He shares some valuable HBD knowledge and reveals a bit about the man behind the user name.
BrianCampos Hardball Dynasty Overall Records
|Seasons||Record||Playoff Record||Division Titles||Championships|
|70||5,691-5,649 (50.2%)||133-107 (55.4%)||17||4|
BrianCampos Gridiron Dynasty Overall Records
|Seasons||Record||Conf. Championships||Natl. Championships|
BrianCampos SimLeague Baseball Overall Records
|Seasons||Record||Playoff Record||Championships||TOC Championships|
|128||10,735-10,439 (50.7%)||134-159 (45.7)||1||1|
WIS: Who is BrianCampos?
BrianCampos: Brian Campos is a father, an educator, a geek.
WIS: How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?
BrianCampos: I found WIS about nine years ago and focused on SimLeague Baseball for a long time. Transitioning to HBD was pretty smooth from my experience in Sim Baseball.
WIS: Which of our games have you played? Which do you prefer?
BrianCampos: I have played HBD, Sim Baseball and Gridiron Dynasty. I have dabbled with the Hoops Dynasty and tried free teams of the other games. At this stage I only play HBD. Gridiron was fun and the community was enjoyable but I drifted away. Every now and then I get an itch for a sim league team but so far have not tried one in a bit.
WIS: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
BrianCampos: My work is pretty time consuming but outside of work I try to spend as much time with my wife and two kids. I enjoy gadgets and technology as well as geek culture. I read a lot. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is the TV show Survivor. I would love the opportunity to compete on that show. I also run a bit.
WIS: Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable discussion?
BrianCampos: Teddy Roosevelt, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Amelia Earhart and Thomas Edison.
WIS: Did you play any sports growing up?
BrianCampos: Baseball, cross country, a little soccer, tennis recreationally, volleyball and its enjoyable relative wallyball.
WIS: Who are your favorite all-time players?
BrianCampos: Cal Ripken, Jr. is an all-time favorite. He worked hard and played daily. Rafael Palmeiro is another one who I idolized. His downfall is one of the darkest times of my fandom. At this point he still maintains his innocence and part of me wants to believe him and his excuses.
WIS: Do you have any sports-related items on your bucket list that you have not yet done?
BrianCampos: I would love to attend a major league baseball all-star game. My wife and I talked about trying to get to every major league stadium and got to a few. Having kids put that on hold for a bit. We still try to get to a game or two a year. I think taking batting practice in a major league stadium would also be enjoyable. I would also like to run a marathon at some point. At this stage I have worked up to a half marathon.
WIS: What is your favorite WIS moment?
BrianCampos: I have been fairly successful in each of the sims I have tried. My first GD National Championship was probably my favorite. I was really into halftime game adjustments and they worked in that game. The GD world was also highly competitive at the time and making it to the NT game at a school that was not an elite (Boston College) was an accomplishment. My first HBD World Series was a major relief. I had been close for a while and my team's window was closing.
One of the more enjoyable rides was winning a Tournament of Champions. It was a while ago and I don't remember all the details but I do know my team was a theme league team and possibly a progressive league team. I thought I had no chance to win but I swept the first two series and rolled through the whole thing with a team of non-cookies.
WIS: Which was more rewarding and/or challenging: your first Gridiron Dynasty championship, your first Hardball Dynasty championship or your first SimLeague Baseball championship?
BrianCampos: I think I answered this last answer. They all meant quite a bit but the GD one was hardest. There was no room for error there.
WIS: Do you have any challenges balancing multiple Hardball Dynasty teams?
BrianCampos: Yes, with one team I knew every player in all levels of my minors and most of the players on other people's teams so I could make trades and plan my lineups better. With more teams there is less fiddling. I am dropping to two teams currently but may need to drop further to one to just manage my team better.
WIS: In Hardball Dynasty, what is your strategy for allocating your budget?
BrianCampos: I know a lot of people focus heavily on the international market and budget specifically for that. It has gotten to the point that a major league international player will cost over 20 million in bonus money. The risk involved in this is too much for me so I allocate most of my resources on the draft. The chances of getting that one stud are lessened but I tend to get more quality major league prospects than most with this strategy.
WIS: How do you approach off-season events with players such as arbitration and free agency?
BrianCampos: I am a non-player in free agency. I have never signed a player to a max contract and do not intend to. I develop my own players and trade for the ones to fill out my thinner positions. I try to sign my players worth keeping but am not shy about letting one go for picks if I have a replacement ready. My favorite part of free agency is the bargain bin shopping that can be done at the end of spring training. I always try to keep one or two roster spots open for this purpose. Good players are always available cheap. Not starters mind you, but solid role players.
WIS: What is your basic strategy for setting your starting lineups and pitching rotation?
BrianCampos: For lineups I look at past performance and ratings and put high OBP guys towards the top. Power is the most consistently producing rating so I also try to get as much of that as possible. For pitchers the VS. RHB and Pitch 1 ratings are the primary ratings I use to gauge success. So in setting my rotation I look at these along with stamina and durability. I will use starters who have a lower stamina provided my bullpen has the innings to cover it. In the pen I am reluctant to use players with a stamina below 20. When they make minimum I am fine with them but once their salaries increase I struggle paying more than the minimum for guys who cannot even pitch 50 innings a season.
WIS: What do you believe are the most important individual player ratings for performance?
BrianCampos: For pitchers, VS. RHB. For batters, power.
WIS: How do you approach in-season player events like the draft, international prospects and promotions/demotions?
BrianCampos: I rarely promote or demote players during the season. Demotion penalties discourage this for me and I look at players and coaches at the start of the season and determine the appropriate level then. I stay out of the international market. Draft preparation is a several day process. I start by ranking my positional guys and then rank the pitchers. After both groups are ranked I combine the lists and determine how the two groups fit together. The whole process takes a few hours and a lot of focus. I do it manually and do not use Excel. I feel I get a better feel for the players.
WIS: Do you have any favorite players from any of your HBD teams?
BrianCampos: Marvin Aurilia from Ruth is my favorite player. I got lucky having him on my team when the league started. The guy was dominant. I also have a least favorite player, Esteban Franco. He was the first overall pick in season one of Ruth. He had great projections and approached them in the majors, however I found that whenever it was crunch time he stunk. He was 204-125 in the regular season 8-10 when it came to the postseason. His WHIP and ERA also took a dip.
I would also be remiss if I failed to mention Agent 0- Valerio James. He was legendary.
WIS: How much time do you spend on your Hardball Dynasty teams? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?
BrianCampos: I have never measured this but I know I need to put in more time if I need to truly compete.
WIS: If you were to give one piece of advice to a new user, what would it be?
BrianCampos: Finish one season with one team before taking on a second team. Don't judge players on their Overall rating. Avoid trading until you feel you understand player ratings.
WIS: What is your favorite aspect of Hardball Dynasty?
BrianCampos: I enjoy player evaluation. Finding those players who are respectable and overlooked and using them. I also enjoy the draft.
WIS: Least favorite?
BrianCampos: I hate the international market.
WIS: What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?
BrianCampos: I would like to see the draft spread over a few days so that player rankings can be tweaked based on what you get. I have had a number of drafts where I am so off balance based on not getting the right mix early on and the late rounds I tend to draft all pitchers.
WIS: Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?
BrianCampos: There are too many to list. Schedule1 is the owner who I have the most back and forth with routinely. I learned a bit from him. Pretty much the entire LEG league as well, vdaino, dhomard, willqx4, bbqjason, to name a few. Dsmba, jakurus, metsny, seble, mmustain, robot and bxtxcx are some from Ruth who I talked with often.
WIS: If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?
BrianCampos: I would be a slap hitting speedy CF who covers lots of ground and has a great glove.
WIS: Thanks to BrianCampos for your time and all of your contributions to WhatIfSports.com and Hardball Dynasty.