Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meet the Twin Killers

Mike Bentel is one of those lucky guys, along with his brother, to be born on August 8th.  If fact, they were born one year, to the day, after lights went on at Wrigley Field.  If that doesn't make you feel old . . .

The Twin Killers began their 4th season in the CFCL in 2013.  As he mentioned below, each year has been a progression of improvement with 2012 being their high watermark so far - a sixth place finish.

In addition to running a fantasy baseball team, Mike is a highly successful college student who will be leaving for California in the next few weeks to take advantage of a scholarship offered by The University of California in their engineering program.  Actually Mike received two scholarship offers from California institutions of higher education.  We have received assurances, however, that even though he's pursuing an advanced degree, that won't jeopardize his involvement with the CFCL.

Upon graduating from UIC this spring, he and his family took in a White Sox game after the graduation ceremonies.  Mike was greeted with this on the Jumbotron:

When Mike joined the CFCL he provided us with his team profile.  And now he's provided us with answers to deep, probing questions.  It's time to meet the Twin Killers.

1) You joined the CFCL in 2010 with your brother Matt. What brought you to the CFCL?
I first became acclimated with the league when I was young, maybe ten years old, and Dad would get in the mail standings of his "fantasy league team". At this point, I had no idea what that was, I had only been following baseball for a year, maybe two. But, I enjoyed seeing how my Dad ranked against the other guys and their quirky team names. When I joined, I knew the league was looking to fill a spot since an owner was quitting. Dad and I had tossed around the idea before, but this seemed to be the perfect time to do it. It only seemed natural to get my more National League-inclined twin brother, who has been following the Cubs as long as I had the Sox and the American League.
2) You and Matt started as co-owners, but be honest – you’re the brains behind the outfit, right?
Though Matt and I are co-owners, I am both GM and coach at the moment. I scout all the players, make decisions on who to draft, and during the year I set up the beleaguered line-up and unfortunate pitching staff. Though Matt has helped in the past in a couple of scouting situations and draft-day situations, the Killers look to see him take a more substantial role as I move out West to California.
3) Isn’t he holding the Killers back from their true potential?
As much as I'd like to blame the Killers second-division finishes in their short-lived career on my brother, that blame unfortunately lies on me. However, the team every year has been getting better (or, well at least not worse), and we're looking forward to a first-division finish this year, and hopefully with a little more involvement from the brother, especially on scouting, I feel the Killers may have a shot at the top three.
4) What has it been like competing against your dad and cousin?
Though not everyone has the pleasure to compete against people they've known for a while, as well as having a vast knowledge of baseball, I fortunately do. It has been great, as well as making the transition into the league, especially being the youngest by a number of years, a little easier. I enjoy giving Dad a hard time any chance I get (though he has always finished better than me, so far), and when I get the chance to see Rich, it always makes for great conversation. I'm just waiting for the day I can brag that I beat both of them, and the rest of the league.
5) What has your experience in the league been like compared to what you anticipated?
To be honest, I am not sure exactly what I had anticipated before the league, but if I had to guess, I am sure I thought it was a bunch of nerdy white guys who enjoyed to sit around a table once a year and draft a team given fake salaries, real stats, and everything else that would go into being a real GM in baseball (save for a couple of stipulations, given the league). However, it turns out its just a bunch of baseball-nerdy white guys who enjoy to sit around a table once a year and draft a team, and I must say that I fit right in with them. Now, if only I can gain their experience quick enough to beat them...
6) The first two years you were in the league you finished ninth. Last year you moved up to 6th. Is this part of a traditional five year plan?
It's playing right into my plan, where I finish 3rd this year and first next year (the pattern isn't exactly there, but its close). In all seriousness, it was a little disheartening when the Killers finished 9th back-to-back seasons. If anything, especially early on, you'd like to see some improvement. But, I will say after every year I realize something else that helps better my team the following year. Finishing 6th was great, and if I recall correctly 5th was in reach, but I knew the team would really have to pull it together. Luckily, the plan (and, no not the 5-year plan) seems to be working. The team is in the thick of it, and given no major moves are made and no injuries, I think we will end up finishing higher than 6th, which will keep the steady improvement the Killers like to see.
7) How do define whether the Killers had a successful year?
The way I know the Killers has a successful year does not fall on any one metric, but if I had to choose the best one, it would be finishing better or the same place as the year before, obviously. But, taking a deeper look, I know I did well as an owner when I can look back on the team from draft day until the last day of the season and notice I didn't draft one of the worst players in the league (Lincecum '12), and directly opposite of that, make a good bid on an undervalued player that worked out (Pagan '11), that I made at least one good trade throughout the season (Harvey '12), and hopefully sprinkle in a good cheap pick-up during the season (Morse '11 for $0.05). That way I can tell the whole season wasn't a bust, there were positives and something to build on for next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment