In the first of series of manager interviews I had a chance to catch up with krs96 of the Huntington Hillbillies. He won the inaugural world series in Cobb World, and was runner up in season 2, and after a period of retooling the franchise, the Hillbillies appear to be about ready to compete for a playoff spot. Here is what original owner krs96 had to say about his franchise and other goings on around the league.
You had a pretty dominating team in season one, who was your favorite player from that team and why?
--Jose Barrios by far was favorite. He was young he could hit and he always seemed to rise up at the end of the game when we needed it.
Was it hard trading Jose Barrios to Fargo?
--Since he was my favorite yes it was hard to trade him to Fargo. However I knew I needed more then Barrios and Fargo gave me 3 young players to get the rebuild project started.
Your rebuilding project is reaching fruition, who do you think are are the key players for Huntington's future?
--Well they all will need to play a role somewhere, but here is who I look towards on the offense side and Pitching side. Pedro Chavez at age 22 and Craig Lake at age 20 are my 2 key players at the CF /SS position, I just haven't determined which one will move to CF full time. Quilvio Suarez at age 18 will be our future 1B, which is the reason I spent the 17 million to get him this season. Jung Lee at age 21 will probably be our C. On the pitching side I'm still looking for that number 1 dominate guy, but for now I'm looking at Bernie Lopez age 22. I'm still hoping Josias Lopez at age 22 will turn it around and he has showed some early signs this season. These kids are still in the minor leagues but could be big; Luis Gonzales age 20, & Jim Malone age 20
If you could pick one hitter and one pitcher from any team to add to your own, who would you choose, and why?
--Well the Pitcher I would look to is Eric Collins the Kid Mexico City drafted in the 3 spot last year he was my number 2 target in last year draft behind Craig Lake. As for the Hitter I have to look at Fargo in Wayne Wilson at 3B. I know there is alot of talent all across the league, but they are the 2 young kids I like the best.
What issue would you like to see most improved in the game of HBD?
--Thats a good question. One that I really haven't thought of before. I guess maybe a little more time in looking over the draft prospects and the ranking process of it. If the draft hits you at a bad time that 3 or 4 days sometimes can be tough to find some hidden gems and get them ranked in the order you would want them.
Marry, date, or dump: mrploppie, squidvicious, mhoffa?
--Squid and Mhoffa I respect them alot, but they're a dump just because they're a division rival, I can't have a relationship with them of any kind. Ploppie would have to marry then, and when he leaves us when God calls him home, I could get Wayne Wilson.
Which player on the Huntington Hillbillies is most likely to have troubles with the law?
List three players other than Dallas Kline and Philip Brown who should be first ballot Hall of Famers:
--Jose Barrios has to be 1 no need to post number for him to state my case. Followed by Orber Olivo of Helena. He has a career BA of 303 with 356 HR and 932 RBI, but the most impressive thing about him of the 932 RBI almost half 411 of them came with 2 outs thats clutch. For My Pitcher Vance Weaver of Sioux Falls. He is only 25 but already has a 60-26 record and a ERA of 3.22 with 5 to 10 years of great pitching still to come. I see him passing the 200 win mark maybe even pushing 300 with some great future seasons.
Who is Huntington's biggest rival?
--Louisville followed by Jackson but Louisville gets the nod since they posed the biggest threat in the early seasons when we were the team to beat.
Are there any trades or roster moves that you have made and truly regretted?
--Well the jury is still out but the one that I may regret is this season move trading Enrique Guardado to Atlanta for Bernard LaRocca, Jim Malone, & Paul Smith. If Malone idevelopes nto a 2 or 3 starter for us and Smith developes into a relief guy it will be a push but if either fizzle that will be the move I would regret the most.
What was your best move as a GM for the Hillbillies?
--Well it has to go back to season when I made the trades that brought in the guys to win the very first World Series. The one trade that sticks out the most is the Ray Moeller trade with Chicago. Ray Moeller wasnt the stud of our club, but he filled our weakness in LF. Then he had a 325 BA with 5 HR and 17 RBI with 17 runs scored in the post season of season 1 bringing us the World Series crown
Do the Hillbillies have a cheerleading squad? If so, what are they called?
--No we have no cheerleaders in Huntington, its a coal mining city. Even the Girls here and big and tough some even almost made our club as players. So all we have is a bunch of coal. Santa visits us every year come the end of November seeking some nice lumps of coal, for we all know the reason why.