Hardball Dynasty and Gridiron Dynasty team owner jb01 recently added to his resume with the launch of the Killebrew Tribune, a blog dedicated to his Hardball Dynasty world. Jb01 fields questions about his two World Series titles and the formation of his new blog.
jb01 Hardball Dynasty Overall Records
|Seasons||Record||Playoff Record||Division Titles||Championships|
|19||1,670-1,408 (54.3%)||47-42 (52.8%)||9||2|
jb01 Hardball Dynasty Franchise Records (Active Teams)
|World||Franchise||Seasons||Record||Division Titles||WS Champs|
|Killebrew||Kansas City Blue Sox||18||1,606-1,310 (55.1%)||9||2|
|WIB||Madison Mad Men||0||0-0||0||0|
jb01 Gridiron Dynasty Overall Records
|Game||Seasons||Record||Conf. Champs||Ntl. Champs|
|Gridiron Dynasty||64||669-239 (73.7%)||18||1|
WIS: Who is jb01?
jb01: I am a 40-something senior leader in a large organization that takes me all over the world. Currently, I am in the US with my wife and five children.
WIS: How did you find out about WhatIfSports.com?
jb01: After watching another disappointing season from a Cincinnati sports team, I decided to conduct a search for an online sports sim game.
WIS: Which of our games have you played? Which do you prefer?
jb01: HBD and GD. My favorite has just changed, as I really enjoy the new GD.
WIS: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
jb01: Watching sports, working out, and fixing things my kids break.
WIS: Which five people, past or present, sit at your dream roundtable discussion?
jb01: Jon Stewart, George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, and Trey Radel. Jon leads the discussion on whatever….
WIS: Did you play any sports growing up?
jb01: Wrestling and some football.
WIS: Who are your favorite all-time players?
WIS: Do you have any sports-related items on your bucket list that you have not yet done?
jb01: Good seats at the Bengals' first Super Bowl victory, Good seats at the Reds' next World Series victory clinching game.
WIS: What is your favorite WIS moment?
jb01: Winning my second WIS HBD title: season 8 of world ARomano (now Killebrew), won over a 100 games with a four-man pitching rotation and swept through the playoffs. My first championship was in my second season, so I wasn't sure if I was just lucky. After my second title, I knew that I understood the game.
WIS: What is the Killebrew Tribune? What prompted you to create a blog?
jb01: The Killebrew Tribune is the official blog of World Killebrew. Our HBD world needed a blog, and I thought it would be an interesting project. I enjoy writing, when I have time.
WIS: What kind of content can users look forward to from the Killebrew Tribune?
jb01: In addition to the normal HBD blog stuff, like power rankings and information about the world and its teams, it will have tips for beginners and discuss strategies as well. For fun, and to keep it active, we have a weekly poll.
WIS: What advice do you have for users interested in creating a blog for their world?
jb01: Ask questions. I used the forums as a starting point. Also, check out another world's blog, actually check out as many as you can, it's a good way of gathering ideas. It's fun to create something like this from scratch. The sites are free and the ideas are almost limitless.
WIS: Your Kansas City Blue Sox team in the Killebrew world has topped 100 wins in three consecutive seasons, including last year's 117-45 finish. What is on the horizon for the Blue Sox?
jb01: The wins are nice, but not winning it all is a disappointment. The pitching rotation will go through some changes, as I have two starters leaving for FA and two starters ready for promotion. I also want to make a couple minor tweaks to the offense and bullpen. It's a great team and a young team, the challenge is keeping it together and, as always, winning a World Series.
WIS: When you first took over the Blue Sox in Season 3, your ML squad won 70 games. In Season 4, you won 93 games and a World Series. What do you credit to the quick turnaround?
jb01: I had a plan. I actually had put together a whole binder of how I was going to turn it around and make the playoffs by season 5. The plan was a mix of free agent additions and bringing up youth. And like all good plans it had to be changed, as season 4 started off better than expected. I knew it wouldn't last though since my pitching was too weak, and that's when it happened: a veteran owner announced he was giving up on his season and his best pitcher, who would be arbitration eligible. So I went all in, which included the best prospect I had (also a pitcher), the trade was approved and the rest is history. That pitcher would go on to be the second player ever elected into the world's hall of fame (John Melton).
WIS: Your first season with the Tampa Bay Manatees in the Eckersley world ended the franchise's run of four consecutive playoff berths. What caused the drop-off? What plans are in the works to build for another playoff run?
jb01: This was a team I took over after the team was abandoned just before the Amateur draft. The payroll was set and all the relief pitching was smoked (basically done for the season) so I had to dig into FA for a new relief staff. I had zero in advanced scouting so trading would prove too risky. Instead, my goal was to stop the bleeding and prepare the team for next season. Unfortunately the original owner had spent most of his International FA money on a top flight player. I say unfortunately, because one of his last acts as owner was releasing the player, scooped up by a more than grateful owner I'm sure. In the end, we won 64 games, without conducting a single trade. So I was pleased. Now I'm off to try a team in WIB.
WIS: What is your strategy for allocating your budget?
jb01: I assess my team and what I want to do for the season, while keeping in mind what my long term goals are. By "assess my team," I mean I evaluate the team's performance last season and how it could improve, then I evaluate my FAs and arbitration eligible players (who should I keep).
WIS: What do you believe are the most important individual player ratings for performance?
jb01: For players in general, it's health. For pitchers and hitters, it's the splits. For fielding, it's range (except for catchers, which are more complicated).
WIS: Do you have any favorite players from any of your HBD teams?
jb01: Yes, aside from the before mentioned John Melton, Moose Jody (I only had him a couple of seasons, but he was a walks machine), and Jung Chang (a key clog in the lineup for both WS titles).
WIS: How much time do you spend on your Hardball Dynasty teams? How much do you think is necessary to be competitive?
jb01: It varies, mostly due to real life. If I'm at a conference and away from the family, I could spend hours on my team. However, normally I spend no more than 10 minutes a day during the season. In order to be competitive it's more a matter of when, as opposed to how much. Early season events deserve more time and thought, and the end of each season deserves some time preparing for the future. As issues develop, time will be needed to fix them.
WIS: If you were to give one piece of advice to a new user, what would it be?
jb01: Don't pick up a second team, or sport, until you've finished your second season. Resist the urge to burn out.
WIS: What is your favorite aspect of Hardball Dynasty?
jb01: The statistics and records kept. I like to look back and see the development of the players and their achievements when compared to the rest of the world and even real life.
WIS: Least favorite?
jb01: Calling team owners (like me) a "user." They don't even call me a "user" at work, at least not to my face.
WIS: What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?
jb01: Easier trace of past seasons' statistics.
WIS: Who are the users you respect and/or enjoy the most?
jb01: mcbethbr, man is he tough to beat; ARomano, his interview on WIS was one of my first interview reads; plague, I was failing badly till I started site mailing him questions about GD, he was a tremendous help.
WIS: If you were in one of our games, what sport would you play, at what position, and what would you be rated?
jb01: A GD placekicker seems the most realistic. Even so, I would be nothing more than a DIII Sim signing.
WIS: Thanks to jb01 for sharing with the Hardball Dynasty and WhatIfSports.com community.