FEATURED LOOK | Pablo & the Secret Weapons

The Pablo and the Secret Weapons Franchise has been a staple in the HumBabe Dynasty Fantasy Baseball League since conception. The first every League Champion (2019), has an All-Time League Record of 47 – 18, made the playoffs every season and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. HumBabe just wouldn’t be the same without this team and this General Manager.

The Interview

1 – What is your favorite part of The Hum Babe Dynasty Fantasy Baseball League?

“This league is set apart from anything else I’ve played because of how active and competitive it is. We’ve all been in leagues where half the teams have disappeared and become irrelevant by the second half. (I guess I should be used to that as a Mariners fan.) That’s not the case here – everyone is making moves, working out trades, talking trash on our chat, and generally trying to win – whether now or in the future.

That last thing is the second great part about this league – the dynasty aspect opens up a whole new level of strategy. It reminds me of other great strategic sports games like Out of the Park Baseball or Dynasty in the old NCAA Football games. You have to balance winning in the present with keeping a pipeline of younger talent to sustain that success. And just like in real life, you can focus on going for it this year or rebuilding, so everyone has an incentive to stay active.” – GM

2 – What’s the story behind your team name – Pablo & the Secret Weapons?

“For those who’ve lived under a rock and missed out on one of the greatest sports video games of all time, my team name is based on the legendary Pablo Sanchez from the classic Backyard Baseball series. The premise is that rather than playing an MLB game, you’re a bunch of neighborhood kids playing pickup baseball like The Sandlot. The game has some great characters, but no one outshines Pablo. His design, and nickname – “The Secret Weapon” – is all about telling you to not judge a book by its cover. He’s the smallest kid in the game and doesn’t look athletic at all. Until you get him on the field. He hits like Barry Bonds circa 2001, runs twice as fast as he should be able to, can play any position (including pitcher) at a high level, and has one of the best theme songs ever composed.

As a short guy myself (5’4” assuming I round up) who played baseball, I could definitely relate to Pablo. That attitude of not letting your outward appearance define your abilities was huge for me as a kid. For that reason, Pablo was my one of my baseball idols just as much as Junior, Edgar, Randy, A-Rod, and Buhner. I wanted to go with a tribute to Pablo for my team name because of that. Why “Pablo and the Secret Weapons” specifically? I just wanted it to sound like a band name. And because every member on the team should have that Secret Weapon mentality – no matter if people overlook you, prove them wrong until they can’t anymore.” – GM

3 – What do you think of your team currently? Contender? Rebuilding?

“I was able to have a great start to the Hum Babe Dynasty back in ’19, taking home the title in the inaugural season. Although I only have a few players left from that team, my approach is to keep that momentum rolling and contend for a title every year. A big part of that is always keeping on the lookout to stock up the minor leagues with the best talent available. So I’m generally in win-now mode but I definitely also keep a close eye on the farm system.” – GM

4 – What changes would you like to make to your team right now? Any players you want to trade for? Prospects you hope develop?

“I’m optimistic that the team, as is, is in a great position. The recent trade for Willy Adames shores up what was the one thin spot in the offense in our middle infield. I’d put the outfield up there with anyone in the league – we have the #1 and #8 outfielders in Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez. The pitching is where there needs to be some improvement, but I think it’s trending in the right direction.

As a Mariners fan and a manager, I’m really excited to have Julio Rodriguez in the big leagues. He’s got ridiculous talent and a great work ethic and love for the game – just the type who embodies this team. Just as an example, scouts projected his weakness would be below-average speed. As another somewhat well-known athlete would say, he took that personally. He worked all offseason getting faster and now is leading the league in stolen bases. The power hasn’t fully shown up yet, but when it does, we have a potential 40/40 guy.” – GM

5 – Of the other Hum Babe teams, who would you consider to be your rival?

“Got to go with the other team on the title banner – LeBronto. Our teams always come ready to play when we’re matched up. It’s basically a Big 12 football game with the scoring. Unfortunately, the matchup hasn’t gone my way the last few times. In last year’s playoffs, we scored the 2nd highest point total of any team that week but got knocked out anyway. I’m expecting to face just as tough a matchup this year, and that’s a great motivation to take every opportunity to build the best team possible.” – GM

6 – At the top of our Hum Babe Fantrax webpage is the Banner of League Champions, in what season/year do you predict your team logo will be added to it (AGAIN)?

“It’s really going to come down to pitching. My results so far have been good but not great because of it. I’ve only had two guys, Gilbert and Taillon, outperform, while almost everyone else has underperformed. In a league as deep as this, quality starting pitching is the hardest thing to find. Having a top-notch rotation will be the difference between a title run and a first-round exit.

I’m not worried and I think there’s a lot of upside. Morton and Valdez look to be heating up, Taillon was a nice addition in the draft, Rogers is 24 and got 16 points per game last year, and Logan Gilbert can keep this up. We also have Jack Flaherty coming off the IL soon and he was arguably the MVP of the 2019 championship team. If the pitching comes together, I’m calling another appearance on the banner in 2022. (You can all post this in the chat when Lebronto scores 800 points and knocks me out in the playoffs again.) Otherwise, I’ll be back at it to win in 2023.” – GM

7 – Anything else you’d like to share with the League and/or Media?

“Seattle Mariners – 2024 World Series Champions. You heard it here first. (Hopefully not followed by another 20+ year playoff drought.)” – GM

7 – If you could change anything about the HumBabe Dynasty League, what would it be?

“I think it’s great and I wouldn’t make any huge changes. My one criticism is I think pitching scoring is too dependent on strikeouts rather than preventing runs. For example, I have Trevor Rogers scoring 8.83 P/G with a 5.20 ERA while Marco Gonzales is at 8.78 P/G with a 3.08 ERA. Even through Rogers has given up 8 more runs than Marco (and has only 1 QS compared to Marco’s 4), he has 10 more K’s which makes all the difference.

I think we could have IP and ER be worth more and K’s less in future seasons. Off the top of my head, maybe 1 point for an IP, -1 for an ER, and 1 for a K? But of course, it’d have to checked that that change doesn’t throw off the balance between hitters and pitchers in general.” – GM


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