Sunday, September 7, 2008

zovakozi1 Interview

zovakozi1 is owner of the extremely successful Montgomery Maulers franchise in World Alexander. The Maulers were Alexander's first World Series winner. They have 6 playoff appearances in Alexander's first 8 seasons, and have never won less than 87 games. This year, they are 11 games up in the AL South and are battling two other teams for the one seed in the AL.

Q: How do you feel about your team's performance so far this year?

Pretty good. I expected somewhere around .600 ball but never expected to have a 10 game lead in the South.

Q: Who has underachieved and overachieved for you?

Yogi Lemon and Karim Martin have lead my team but I wouldn't call them overachievers. However, Alex Rivera and Felipe Johnson have been very disappointing. Maybe they will step it up in the playoffs.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a plan to fix those weaknesses?

I'd say offense is my strength and SP would be my weakness. No plans to improve but if I'm offered a solid ace pitcher I wouldn't turn it down.

Q: How does the long-term future of the Maulers look?

Again offensively I'm looking good. All players 32+ have a guy in the minors to replace them. SP is tough. I have a few decent guys but no #1's. I'm still trying to land some young arms.

Q: Who do you pick to get the one seed in the AL, and why?

That's tough. With Buffalo, Pawtucket, and me so close and I'm sure all of us are resting players just in case we don't get the first round bye. I'd say I'm at a disadvantage because I end the season playing my division (and all of them are .500+). So I'll pick Buffalo.

Q: Who do you pick to win it all this year, and why?

Well since the NL has won 7 straight WS I'll go with Indianapolis. I really like Rochester but til they beat Indy in the playoffs Indy will win it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

psanders84 Interview

Today we sit down with psanders84, one of the original owners in Alexander and longtime manager of the Colorado Springs Field Mice. The Field Mice have been one of Alexander's top teams since the world began, having won at least 89 games in each of the world's first 8 seasons, and having made 7 playoff appearances and one World Series appearance. This year, the Field Mice are 58-52, two games behind the Honolulu Tsunami in the NL West and a game ahead of the Vancouver City Slickers for the last wild card spot in the AL. Key to the Field Mice's success has been the continued dominance of 4-time All Star Placido Pena and the continued success of young RF Jorge Park.

Q: How do you feel about the season so far? Has your team exceeded your expectations or disappointed you?

I think we've made decent strides on the mound, with a solid starting rotation of Placido Pena, Carlos Franco, and Earl Webster. But on offense, we've been awful. I've never seen so many solo home runs and men left on base. With barely 30 games left, I don't have anyone with more than 72 RBIs or 73 runs.

Q: Who on your team has disappointed you, and who do you feel has been overperforming?

There's a long line of disappointments. Will Rolison muffed another shot at closer, but he's done decently well as a setup man. Pitcher Michael Connelly took a big step back this year. SS/CF Davey Murray and DH Mariano Mercado are having sophomore slumps, and CF Luke Lincoln lost his starting job because he can't hit the ball. At all.

For overperformers, Bingo Peterson has been a shock. He was happily enjoying his fifth year in AAA, a career minor leaguer earning a paycheck, until he got called up to the big club to cover for Mercado's injury. In about 150 ABs, he crushed 8 homers and hit .290. Not bad at all.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses? Do you plan on making any moves to eliminate those weaknesses?

Offense is my biggest weakness, but I don't think I have the horses in the minors to make any more moves. So I'll try to compensate with pitching and defense. Expect to see slick-fielding Aaron Toombs and Luke Lincoln at SS and CF for much of the year, despite their batting averages. And we'll try going to a four-man rotation when possible.

Q: How do you see the rest of the season shaking out? Do you think the Field Mice will hold on to make the playoffs after missing them for the first time last season?

I think we'll squeeze in, either as the No. 4 seed or as the No. 6 if we lose the division. Either way, I'd like to think we'll be a tough out in the first round.

Q: How does the long-term future of the Field Mice organization look? Is your future bright, or are you in a win-now-at-all-costs mentality? Do you have a specific plan? If so, what is it?

I have a lot of young guys in the lineup, but very expensive pitching. Pena's agent is demanding a four-year contract, but he's 36, so he's likely headed to free agency. I'm also losing the contracts of long-reliever Henry Anderson and minor league bust Roger Saipe, so I should have some cash to reload.

Q: Who do you pick to win it all in season 9? Why?

Buffalo. That team is built to win the postseason.

Monday, September 1, 2008

joshcarolina Interview

joshcarolina is an Alexander original and longtime owner of the New York BREAK YOUR BACKERS. After missing the playoffs in season 1, the BREAK YOUR BACKERS made the playoffs 6 straight years, but lost every single series. New York's fortunes have taken a turn for the worse recently, as they finished under .500 for the first time in season 8 and look to be headed there again this year. It's easy to see why: after 6 years of paying high-priced veterans to get them to the playoffs, it's rebuilding time in New York.

Q: How do you feel about your team's performance this season so far?

Though I hate to jinx them, their bats are finally starting to pick up and that has been the downfall of the last 2 seasons. I made some moves to get younger and more powerful last year with the additions of Edwards Walters and Calvin Smart, who are young but have slightly improved stats this year. Also, I made a move to get Fred Thomas because I had the room in salary and needed a backup infielder with the aging Randy Murphy close to retiring, and he has ended up the starter. I hadn't planned on returning Bonk Alexander, but after no one wanted him in free agency before the season, I decided to go ahead and sign him since I had a huge hole in the outfield and wasn't being rewarded with that type A free agent draft pick. My record may not look great this year but I am only 4 games out of the last wild card spot and my bats are finally warming up and we are ready to make a run!

Q: Who on your team do you think is underachieving or overachieving?

Well, Dean Brown I have always considered an underachiever, based on his ratings compared to his stats, but he is still a solid option at SS. Lonnie Milton has been a bust for me so far in right field along with outfielder Curt McEnroe, which I have 9 million a year between the two. As for overachievers, Bob McKnight, once a powerhouse pitcher in the league, is still holding his own at the age of 38 and rated a 56; it was a great buy for 1.08 mil for the year. Randy Murphy has been quite a surprise too at 37 years of age, still batting close to .300 after he was given up on by St. Louis a couple seasons ago while being one of the world's best hitters in batting average. As for teams, I think Honolulu, with the transactions they have made in the past couple years, I thought they would be a lot better so they are the underachievers. And for team overachievers, I am going to go with the Helena Loggers. They have had quite a turnaround which has really shaken up the National League and made it a lot more level of a playing field in the NL.

Q: What are your team's biggest strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan on fixing those weaknesses?

Definitely my strength is pitching, but that is declining, one more starter and I would have a top 5 pitching squad for many years to come. My bullpen has paid a price for getting younger, but I think it will all work out and we will be back in the playoffs before too long (if not this season). As for weaknesses, it would be lack of offense, which I sacrificed to get younger 2 or 3 seasons ago after not being able to advance past round 1 of the playoffs. I have some good young guys, I believe, that have developed nicely and should have some big careers here in New York; I'm just waiting for them to blossom. My outfield is my biggest concern and lack of offense from there. I think with the right guys here we can be a very strong competitor again, but not as good as division rival Rochester. I am bringing up David Valenzuela from AAA soon, so he should help, but besides that, my minors are full of minor league career guys, so that is another weakness, that I have no trade bait. I finally had a decent draft, my first one ever, so I did get a couple pitchers that possibly could see the bigs, but I have had to move them up a little fast due to injuries.

Q: How does the future of the BREAK YOUR BACKERS look? Are you still in win-now-at-all-costs mode or is the future bright?

I like to keep my team always competitive so I am always in a win-now mode, I have hit a bump by getting younger but I see my team definitely getting better if anything. I will drop some salary in the outfield in the offseason so hopefully thats when I will make my move and grab the couple players I need. The minors don't look promising but I am young enough to improve that in free agency, draft, and the international market, so I think I will have it figured out by the time this team is time to retire!

Q: Who do you pick to win it all this year, and why?

That's a great question, I like Rochester's talent, but they have trouble against Indy, so I am going to go a different direction and say a team from the American League will win this year and the Buffalo Blue will bring it home for the AL. They have been solid in ML and AAA the past couple years so I would say they are deep enough but it wouldn't surprise me to see Pawtucket or Colorado Springs be there either!