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5 Questions with, er, myself

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports?
Got hooked up through the MLB website back in 2001. As an old Strat-O-Matic fan, it seemed natural to fool around with historical players, lineups, etc. I probably ran 5-6 teams in open leagues through MLB before I even figured out there was a WIS website(oops). I couldn't figure out where these mysterious forums were that people kept mentioning in the league chats. And I actually won 1 or 2 championships with those teams linked through MLB, and the reward was only 1 free team, not the 2 that WIS was offering. rls = initials. I'm guessing I added the 1 because 3-character usernames weren't allowed.

2) Offer a paragraph bio of yourself, possibly including things like work, family life, geography, other hobbies, quirky traits, bad habits, etc.
Thirty-something father of two girls. Moved from SoCal to Indiana 5 years ago for work. Currently teach at Butler University. Been learning to play Guitar Hero with my 8 year-old over the last couple weeks. Find myself strangely enjoying yardwork now after a childhood of forced labor in the yard. Miss the great Mexican food of California.

3) A sports-themed bio paragraph. Favorite team? Players? Did you play as a kid? Now? What and when? Best sports moment? Most heartbreaking moment? etc.
Grew up as a member of the Jr. Angels club(with sjstapleton) not far from Anaheim Stadium. The Angels became a family passion that we all still share(save for our nerdy older brother). Went to the Angels' first 3 playoff clinchers in '79, '82, and '86. Greatest heartbreak: y'know, 86 ALCS, Boston, Donnie Moore, Dave Henderson, 1 strike from the World Series. Longest and saddest Sunday afternoon of my life. Conversely, one highlight would be attending the 2002 World Series for the Game 2 barnburner. Played baseball and softball for as long as I could(age 5 to 30 or so), but fatherhood has slowed me down a little.

4) What about your franchise is most exciting going into Season 9? What is your team's biggest challenge? Anything else about your squad?
We like our current and future rotation, anchored by Charles Jones and Patrick Spencer. Two more horses are coming up in Hugh Palmer and Vasco Almonte. Our central challenge is that we're getting older and are too heavy on right-handed hitters. And the bully could be stronger.

5)What piece of strategy or advice can you offer about HBD?
Draft a couple defensive shortstops every season and populate your minor league teams with them. Your young pitchers will thank you for putting gloves behind them. Bring in closers only in save situations. Pay attention to the HBD Forums as other owners point out current trends in engine updates.

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Jose Almonte
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