Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Interview with Seattle Sluggers Manager Eddie Chang

Elizabeth Vicary says: Let's start with your week one match. It looked to me like the Seattle team had a huge simultaneous freak-out. Is that a fair assessment, and if so, why did it happen? And what are you going to do to chill them out this week?

Eddie Chang says: Well, most of the Seattle players haven't played really played chess recently, so there was a bit of rust to work out. We are mostly recreational chess players, with a few exceptions, so it’s hard to make many tournaments. Plus, with the way the USCL is laid out, there aren't going to be any real blowouts in ratings, excluding Tennessee, and we had a couple over the past 2 seasons in which everything swung our way. As for remedies, last year we were contemplating giving Slava meth so he would move faster, maybe pot would be good for the other players.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Are you still bitter about last year? I think I remember you would have made the playoffs if Michael Lee hadn't lost some slow torturous game? Against Barredo maybe? Do you think the team itself might be traumatized?

Eddie Chang says: Last year's problems cannot be pinned on one person. There was a major meltdown by the whole team, kind of like the Mets of last year. We could have easily clinched a playoff birth anytime during the last 3 weeks, and we just blew it.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Let me ask the question in a better way. If Clint Ballard were doing this interview, who would he blame?

Eddie Chang says: Clint would probably blame Greg Shahade. I don't know what he would accuse Greg of, but it would probably be Greg.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Excellent! Is Clint still involved with the Sluggers?

Eddie Chang says: Clint was instrumental in starting the Sluggers, but after the 1st season life got in the way, so he isn't able to dedicate the time into it that he did. You should have seen the statistical analysis he did. It was crazy. I guess that’s what you get for being a math major from Caltech.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Okay, new topic I think: Nakamura!

Eddie Chang says: the Seattle Slugger's Superman

Elizabeth Vicary says: How did he come to play for Seattle? Did you contact him? Did he contact you? Did you have a fierce bidding war with San Fransisco to get him?

Eddie Chang says: There was no bid with San Fransisco, since Naka lives about 2 hours away from us. When I heard he was moving to Vancouver BC, I contacted him and talked about maybe joining the Sluggers. During this offseason, I was hearing rumors about how other teams were improving, so I wanted to add a more flexibility to the lineup, and be able to play Serper on Board 2. So, it was a choice between Nakamura and Akobian.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Akobian? Doesn’t he live in LA? You were going to pay Akobian to drive from LA?

Eddie Chang says: I have a ton of airline miles, like I think I have 400,000 in unused miles right now.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Oh my goodness, that’s hilarious. Was he willing?

Eddie Chang says: Yeah he was, but Naka just made more sense.

Elizabeth Vicary says: How much will Naka play and when does he start?

Eddie Chang says: Well, I'm not sure how much Naka will play right now, at least 2 games during the regular season, and the playoffs. As for his debut, why give other people more time to prepare against him. It will be a surprise.

Elizabeth Vicary: So is he playing against Tennessee? What’s your line up and how do you expect to do?

Eddie Chang says: It’s Greg Serper/Slava Mikailuk/John Readey/Michael Lee. How we do depends on when Ehlvest is going to be playing….I’d guess 3-1 Seattle: Draw on 1, and 2, Wins on 3 and 4. (update: on seeing the line-ups, Chang changed his prediction to 4-0)

Elizabeth Vicary says: So do you have lineups picked out for different opponents, like do you have a team you would play against a top heavy team, or a line up you would play against a balanced team? Or does it depend more on who is available?

Eddie Chang says: Availability is an issue of course, but I mostly know who I want to play against who. A top heavy lineup would be Nakamura/Serper/Readey/Andy May. As for balanced lineup, we could run the Tangborn/Mikhailuk/Milat/Readey lineup like we did last year. I basically try to assign a value to each matchup, i.e. Chances of winning/drawing/losing to each board, and I try to figure out what setup would give us the most edge. If I can find 3 good boards in which I have a good advantage and then throw a board in assuming a loss there, I would.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Preparation. It's clear that you are very into these matches. Do your team members prepare as seriously as you do? Do you go out after the games? Hang out together?

Eddie Chang says: I know Serper prepares, as evidenced by his game against Friedel last year when he played 1 e4. I think most of the other players follow Marcel's Toilet Prep.

Elizabeth Vicary says: What’s that?

Eddie Chang says: You didn't read about it in the Seattle Blog last year? Basically he just has books next to the toilet and picks an opening randomly out of it and then plays it. http://seattlesluggers.blogspot.com/2007/09/tolilet-reading.html

Elizabeth Vicary says: Marcel Martinez? Marcel Duchamp?

Eddie Chang says: Marcel Milat.

Elizabeth Vicary says: oh

Eddie Chang says: Preparing together is hard for scheduling. We all have jobs. Finding time to get together is hard. We all stick around and watch the rest of the each others games, and sometimes get together to play, study or whatever, but for the most part, we all have lives to get back to. They have kids to get back to. Hmm. I wonder which other team has players with kids. We should have their kids play each other. USCL4Kids.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Tell me a little about Serper.

Eddie Chang says: I think the best comment I've ever heard Serper make was when he was commenting about one of Slava's games that he lost. Serper said, "You’re a better player then him. Why didn't you just develop your pieces and mate him?"

Elizabeth Vicary says: That’s the best thing you've ever heard him say? I have to confess I’m not terribly impressed yet.

Eddie Chang says: It was the way he said it.
He's a rock on the board, won't lose very many games, except as black to Friedel. Comes up with some miraculous defenses in positions that I would despise.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Okay, last but most serious question. What has to happen for Seattle to make the playoffs?

Eddie Chang says: Looking at the rosters of the Western Division, I think we have a great shot to make the playoffs. I would be really disappointed if we didn't. We have a strong lineup and an easier schedule than both San Fransisco and Dallas. As long as we don't make any stupid mistakes, I can't really see any reason we won't make the playoffs. Excluding Tenn, it’s a 6 team race to make 4 playoffs spots. Those are great odds for us.

Elizabeth Vicary says: Your upcoming schedule is:
Miami Sharks
Tennessee Tempo
New Jersey Knockouts
Chicago Blaze
Dallas Destiny
New York Knights
San Francisco Mechanics
Arizona Scorpions
Tennessee Tempo
Arizona Scorpions

You lost to the Sharks. Who will you beat of the above list? Let's say you need 4/9 to qualify? Fair?

Eddie Chang says: Yeah, fair. But we will be at least 7-3. I think we will beat Arizona, Tennessee, San Fran, New York, Dallas, Chicago, and New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

You will never beat San Francisco. They are unbeatable!!

Anonymous said...

Seattle sucks, you will not make playoffs in 2008 and you will not beat any teams besides Tennessee.

Anonymous said...

With so many miles, fly in Finegold.

Chris said...

4-0 prediction and you tied Tennessee 2-2? Not quite Shabalovesque but pretty darn close!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

[b]Acheter Sialic[/b]
[url=http://blogalized.com/forum/showthread.php?t=535]medicament cialis[/url] - ACHAT CIALIS ONLINE
[b]achat tadalafil[/b]
[b]ONLINE Acheter Tadalafil 20mg[/b]
[url=http://pb.pl.ua/forum/index.php?showtopic=194&pid=871&mode=threaded&start=]cialis suisse[/url] - achat cialis enligne
[b]Acheter Tadalafil 20mg[/b]
[b]achat tadalafil[/b]
[url=http://obiteljski-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=59153&view=next&sid=29b5e66eaf72bb89665f7075759f445c]ACHAT CIALIS GENERIQUE ENLIGNE[/url] - ACHAT CIALIS GENERIQUE
[b]cialis belgique[/b]
[url=http://hotupload.net/showthread.php?p=10817]Achat Tadalafil 20mg[/url] - ONLINE Tadalafil 20mg Acheter
[url=http://www.d2club-macau.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87&start=20]ONLINE Tadalafil 20mg Acheter[/url] - acheter du cialis
[b]acheter tadalafil[/b]

Anonymous said...

[b]ACHAT CIALIS EUR 1.15 PAR COMPRIME cialis generique[/b]
[url=http://blogalized.com/forum/showthread.php?t=535]ACHAT CIALIS EN PARIS[/url] - ACHAT CIALIS BON MARCHE
[b]Tadalafil 20mg Achat[/b]
[b]achat tadalafil[/b]
[url=http://pb.pl.ua/forum/index.php?showtopic=194&pid=871&mode=threaded&start=]commande cialis[/url] - commander du cialis
[url=http://obiteljski-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=59153&view=next&sid=29b5e66eaf72bb89665f7075759f445c]Achat Tadalafil 20mg[/url] - ACHAT CIALIS GENERIQUE ENLIGNE
[b]cialis 10m[/b]
[url=http://hotupload.net/showthread.php?p=10817]CIALIS ACHAT EN LIGNE[/url] - Cialic Acheter
[b]cialis Acheter[/b]
[url=http://www.d2club-macau.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=87&start=20]Achat Cialic[/url] - Acheter Cialic
[b]cialis suisse[/b]