Today the Yastrzemski World News sits down for a Q and A session with Vancouver Vampire Bats owner Bourbonmoon. A perennial contender for over 10 seasons, the V-Bats are a force to be dealt with in the NL West.
Q: Our readers are dying to know how is it that you came up with the franchise's name. Are you in fact from Transylvania?
A: I came up with the Vampire Bats franchise name very suddenly while I was sculpting a piece of soapstone to look like a tiger. I've always been drawn to alliteration and the "bats" reference seemed vaguely baseball related. Vancouver Vampire Bats had a nicer ring to it than the Vancouver Tigers.
Q: The V-Bats have enjoyed quite a bit of success under your stewardship, winning the division title nine out of the last eleven seasons. Do you think that this can continue for seasons to come?
A: I've had some good luck with trading and drafting over the seasons. No offense to my worthy divisional adversaries, but I've also been lucky NOT to be in one of the "Divisions of Death". I think I can keep fielding a competitive team, but how to win in the playoffs seems to elude me. The other teams in my division are going to give me a good run. My team isn't good enough to be over-confident.
Q: Which V-Bat player, past or present, have the fans in Vancouver been most fond of, and why?
A: Many of the Vancouver faithful still wear their John Robbins jerseys. In fact, thanks to a nice gift from the thoughtful Toronto GM, I have a John Robbins V-Bats jersey myself. Robbins was always the team leader on the field and he also really liked to party. I could tell you some crazy stories. That guy never slept!
Q: Which V-Bat player, past or present, the fans have the highest hopes for, only to have them dashed by poor performance?
A: The fans had some high hopes for Kordell Barry. He jumped from AA to the pros, winning the starting CF job in season 9, hitting leadoff. He had a great rookie season with 119 runs, 30 doubles, 10 triples, 26 homers, 23 steals and a .307 batting average. He missed the entire next season with a terrible neck injury and was a shadow of his former self when he tried to comeback in season 11. He's done with baseball now and he's still under 30. Sure had one great year though.
Q: Which NL team do you consider to be your biggest rival?
A: As far as rivals go, I haven't had a consistent divisional rival though I'm braced for a much tougher go of things in the future. I guess I consider Tampa to be a rival. When I first started HBD, gydk gave me a bit of advice and for that I always think of him like an Obi-Wan Kenobi sort of figure. Even though it was only a couple of questions a few years ago, I still feel like beating him in the playoffs is like Luke Skywalker showing his teacher that he's learned the force. He beat me in the playoffs in season 4, then I beat him in seasons 6 and 7, then he beat me in seasons 8 and 11. They're usually pretty good series. I hope to beat him again! We're both still seeking that elusive playoff glory.
Q: What prospect in your system do you have the highest hopes for?
A: I don't have a favorite prospect in my system right now. I really like Erick Redman (my rookie ML catcher) and a couple of big bats like Everett Robertson and Del Calvo. I have them both pencilled in at first base, so one of them might wind up on the block. I have reasonably high hopes for Logan Harper when he gets healthy, and also pitchers Greg Franklin, Ralph Rocker and Frank "the Laser" Lunsford (who suffered a major injury last season which has seriously tempered my expectations.)
Q What trade have you made that you have the most regrets over?
A: I don't have time to regret any trades. What purpose would that serve?
Q: What trade have you made that you feel has helped your team the most?
A: Trading for John Robbins in season 3 had a huge impact on the team. The two players I traded really didn't pan out. William Clontz had one good 24 home run season and Marc Latham pitched a total of 145 ML innings. Robbins was legendary.
There was also the Norm Priest for Vinny Cunnane trade in season 3. Priest had a 13 control despite having a projected overall rating of 90 or something. The terrible control meant that Priest has amounted to nothing (not even his parents are proud), while Cunnane won two Silver Slugger awards during 4 great seasons with the V-Bats.
Q: What free agent signing has been your best and worst?
A: Best free agent signing... Hopefully the giant bonus that I gave the Bandit this season. The bonus keeps him a bit cheaper for the next three seasons and he's a fan fave. Hopefully he gets his act together!
Worst free agent signing: The Shane of Command was an expensive bust. I got into a huge bidding war over Knoblauch and was paying him 65 million or something. He wasn't worth it. He was never as good as he was in his Crunch days.
Q: What players on your team (past/present) have had the best nicknames?
A: Best nicknames? All of my players have nicknames. I like "The Hawaiian Hammer" Bart Stewart and Curt "Papa Pigeon" Alexander. I always liked "The Bat" Derrick Butler who's now in New Orleans and of course "The Bandit".
Q: What player on your team has the best theme music?
A: The best theme music has to be the theme music from "Jeopardy" that plays whenever Jimmy Parker has a save situation. It keeps everyone on the edge of their seats, and the music plays straight through until he's either closed the game or blown the save.
Q: Do you feel that there is a media bias against your team in V.C? What do you do to get newsworthy attention?
A: There's no media bias. V.C. is V-Bat crazy in 2010!
We're stealing thunder from the Olympics! Coach Parker is a fountain of quotes every time he opens his mouth. The press can't get enough.
Q: In closing, please list the players who have played on your team that you feel are Hall of Fame worthy?
A: Hall of Fame worthy players? Definitely John Robbins and Ivan Romano. Justin Maurer would have if HBD started earlier in his career. Parker should get there once he's finished, and Schoendienst if he keeps going late into his 30's could be there as well. Yearwood and Stewart are outside chances, but I'm leaning towards no.
We at the Yastrzemski World News thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this for us. We wish you the best of luck!