Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet the Kenndoza Line

It was 2004, shortly after the CFCL's performance in the major motion picture "Trading the Gator".  We were in need of, hopefully, two teams to keep the league enrollment at twelve.  The Six Packs and Tenacious B were resigning and fortunately we added Teddy Scott (Teddy's Splendid Splinters) and this man - Kenn Ruby.

Kenn has taken the CFCL by storm.  In nine short years he has five money finishes including two, count 'em, two CFCL titles.  He has introduced us to his mascot DunnKenn, provided a worthy foil to the Candy Colored Clowns and even while doing all this from the luxury of Cincinnati, has added his son to his front office staff, allowing him (his son) to demand the acquisition of Xavier Paul.  That recommendation alone has Kenn thinking he won't be extending his son's contract when it comes up at the end of next year.

To learn more about Kenn and the Kenndoza Line beyond the questions below, you can click his Team Profile here.

Completing his first decade with the CFCL, it's time to meet The Kenndoza Line.

How did you come to join the CFCL?
It’s a long story. In February of 2003, I started dating Julie, who would ultimately become my wife. I was coming off back-to-back championships in the BURP League, another Chicago-based league, and although Julie had played fantasy football, she was incredulous I would do anything besides going home with her on the night before my 2003 draft. She had no idea how obsessed I was with this game. Later that summer, I saw a listing on the old RotoJunkie forums that there was going to be a fantasy baseball movie showing at the Chicago Cultural Center in a few days. I don’t know if I was reading those forums every day since then, but I could’ve very easily missed it. I dragged Julie to the movie, and for the first time in our relationship she finally understood the obsession that was a significant part of my life. I should’ve married her on the spot.
I also brought my brother with me that day. He writes for Chicago magazine, and I told him he should write up something about this movie. His response was another life-changer: “why don’t youwrite something up about the movie?” I pitched the idea to Chicago and became a paid writer for the first time in my life. I’ve been a freelance writer ever since, and while it doesn’t pay the bills, it’s a nice experience to have.
Wait, what was the original question? Oh yes, CFCL. Well, as part of my article, I talked to David Mahlan. I was getting a little tired of the BURP League (I won again in 2003) and was looking for a new challenge, so I dropped hints to the esteemed Mr. Mahlan that if he needed anyone in his league, I’d be eager to join (I liked what I saw in the movie), and after a very thorough entrance exam, y’all accepted me. That’s the third way my life changed. I’m now in my 10th year with the CFCL, which is the longest I’ve ever been in any baseball league.
How much pleasure do you take in winning your first CFCL title in your fourth year when it took the Clowns five years?
Heh. I’ve known Mike for more than 20 years, and it definitely gives me great pleasure to be back in touch with him now after some quiet years in there. I like to think of it as Michael Jordan and LeBron James. MJ did it in his seventh season. LeBron in his ninth. I like analogies in which I’m Michael Jordan.
You are one of a select few that have won multiple CFCL championships. Is that meaningful?
Flags fly forever. Both titles were meaningful, and very very close. The first one (2007) came down the 163rd game of the season, and that game went 14 innings, and it wasn’t over until well after midnight. Julie watched with me and was probably as excited as I was. The second one was in 2009 and I remember the next-to-last day of the season I got a shutout from Randy Wells (seven innings, three hits, one walk, 10 strikeouts) that put me over the top, but I had to hang on the last day. It came down to the last pitch of the regular season – my pitcher vs. his hitter (I don’t remember the players involved). If the hitter hit a home run, the DoorMatts would win the title. My pitcher got the out, and we tied, but I had the tiebreaker.
What other leagues are you in or have you been in?
The BURP League was run by my bowling teammate Dave Mundo (Coulter bowled on that team well). That was a fun league. In 2001, I thought I had no chance of winning, so I took a chance on some youngsters like Eric Gagne, Roy Oswalt, and Albert Pujols in the hopes of winning in 2002. I won the last three years I was in that league. I’ve also been in the Gheorghe Muresan basketball league for 20 years. The current GM of the Houston Rockets was in that league, as well as noted baseball writer Rob Neyer. I beat ‘em both.
You have sent a few e-mails over the past months that seem to indicate your six-year-old son has taken an active role in Player Acquisition for the Kenndoza Line. How involved is he in the decision-making process?
Too much, unfortunately (why couldn’t his favorite player be someone better than Xavier Paul?). Still, it’s great how much he’s picking up on things (sample quotes: “The Graging Bulls are always in first place!” “Who has Tony Cingrani? I assume it’s the Candy Colored Clowns.”). He’s learning a lot of names, and I’m sure someday soon I will set him up in a Yahoo! League he can run himself. What he doesn’t understand is just because he wants somebody on his team doesn’t mean his rightful owner will hand him over. Then again, I haven’t learned that yet either.
Even though during the season most of what we do is Internet based, do you feel there are any specific challenges you face living in Cincinnati?
Certainly the year I drafted by phone was a disaster, but I love coming in for the draft and I feel the drive up to Chicago is good for relaxing myself and getting into the mood for draft day. Since I come alone, I get a good night sleep. Just like in 2003.

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