Subject: 20 questions with J-Law Contracting's Brandon Black
This weeks 20 questions, is with no
other than Brandon Black from J-Law contracting. Brandon answered all the questions nicely and wasnt scared to tackle a couple
tough questions. My hats off to him. So far we have had two real good interviews from you guys and hope to get many more.
Enough of me. Enjoy.
Ray DeWorth: Q: How long have you been playing softball in NKY?
Brandon Black: A: I
have played softball for 5 years
RD: Q: What other teams have you played for in the past?
BB: A: My first year
I played w/ Springdale Cleaners for about 1/2 the year until I tore my hamstring. I've played w/the pack ever since then.
Q: Its no secret that of all the teams out there, that J-Law has the most upside. You guys are all relatively young and are
loaded with talent. The Base Bandits and Reds are in their prime but they are aging and the
Nasty Boys are rebuilding.
This leaves a window of opportunity that in my mind says that in as short as a couple of years you guys should be the cream
of the crop. Would you find this assumtion to be true?
BB: A: That is an accurate assumtion. I think it really helps
to have a few older experienced guys that have played for a while and know what it takes to win help out the younger guys.
The only problem would be if we had younger guys that didn't want to listen to these veterans and try to figure it out on
their own. I can assure you our young guys aren't like that though.
RD: Q: I want to give you guys credit. With all
the moving around with players year in , year out, you guys have practically remained intact. Sure there have been a couple
of comings and goings for you guys but your core has remained the same. How do you keep this longgevity?
BB: A: We
are trying to be like the "Big Red Machine" and keep the core of our guys around and win some championships. LOL. Really,
we know that not only is it important to have good players but, to have good players that get along together and gel. I'm
going to bust my ass out there for someone I like. Not someone I don't really care for.
RD: Q: Brandon with the expectations
as high as they were going into 2002, I think it is safe to say that Team Pack definitley under achieved in 2002. You guys
went from playing a 33-32 game with KY Chiro to barely being able to field a team in August in some tournaments. What happened?
BB: A: We definetly under achieved last year. We played well early in the year and kind of faded through the latter
part of the year. We had some guys who just for one reason or another didn't want to play or had other obligations which I
can certainly understand. That is why you keep 14-15 guys on your roster. People have lives and families outside of softball.
RD: Q: On the flipside of the negative aspect of my last question. You guys were 3-0 the last I heard in the Bash
and had won your bracket. With the turmoil and 2002 put behind you, it seems you guys are back, and in my opinion will not
go away in 2003. What is the key factor of this turn around?
BB: A: We'll the season is only one weekend old but,
I think with our pickups (Murph, Rutherford, Dunn, Klutte) we got some good gloves and some really solid sticks. These are
guys who have played in and won some big tournaments. These guys are a key to us getting it turned around this year. Another
is Jeff Bowman coaching us. I for one would go to war for JB and so would every other guy on this team. He definetly has the
respect that a manager needs from his team. He know when to say something and how to say it to get the best out of us.
Q: This is a touchy question. I remember in 2001 when you guys were a "D" team. There was a cockiness and a swagger to that
team. You were somewhat disliked by other teams for the mere fact that you played "D" but played in the majors divisions on
league nights and beat these teams. It had seemed to me that Team Pack thrived off that. There was a definite chip on your
guys shoulders and it only seemed to get bigger for you guys with the addition of Bill Chard in 2002. But it seemed when Bill
took over the cockiness that once was Team Pack had disappeared. Bill is a highly respected member of the softball communnity
and demands respect. But did he knock that chip off your shoulder? This is by no means a jab at Bill. The game of softball
would not be the same in NKY without him, but some teams are better left alone. Was there any tinkering with the way you guys
liked to play per say in 2002?
BB: A: Last year was much different then 2001. We didn't really have that cockiness
last season. I don't know if it was because of Bill or just that was our 1st season playing "C". Probably a little of both.
Our cockiness is back to an extent. We aren't going to go out and run our mouths to other teams before a game. But you will
definetly hear us getting on someone who weighs 110lbs, uses a power grip, and lights up the catcher every at bat with a pop
up. We try to have fun while we are playing. No one wants to feel like softball is a second job, that's for sure.
Q: Brandon, on to other topics now. If there was one thing you could change about softball today what would it be?
A: Paying to get into the parks. Like these parks are making enough off players in beer and food sales. (Sorry Donnie and
RD: Q: Without using
any of your team mates. Name the players that come in your mind that would fit in the positions listed below. This would be
Brandon Blacks all star team.
BB: A: 1B Ronnie Peters
2B Chad Dant, Jimmy Ray
SS Ryan Helms
3B Bub Penick
2 OUTFIELDERS Mike Cook
AH Benny Fields
RD: Q: This is a fill in the blank question. The
biggest misconception about Brandon Black is _____________?
BB: A: I'm cocky. I watched Berardi's play this weekend
and I'm not even sniffing the amount of cockiness I saw on that field. LOL
RD: Q: After being at the bash all weekend,
it scares me to think that this could be the direction our game is heading. It seemed all that I seen was home runs. Defense
and clutch hitting is becoming more of an extinct aspect of the game. I think the difference is the equiptment that teams
play with now. The bats are so loaded that it just isnt a big deal too see a 330 foot home run any more. In your opinion does
this hurt the game?
BB: A: I think the player's these days work out more. That along with better bats is my opinion
why softball has become a homerun hitters game. I enjoy watching the guys who will tell you where they are going to hit it.
Not the one's that just get up there and try to kill squirrel's every at bat. That just doesn't seem fun to me.
Q: What is your opinion on the Miken Ultra 2? Like it or hate it?
BB: A: ? Love it. It's a great bat to use for padding
some homerun stats. I just hate seeing people use it and hit the middle. I think the Synergy has the same type of sound although
I haven't used one. When the ball come off the bat it feels like you have just hit a perfect drive on the golf course. You
really can't feel the impact.
RD: Q: As far as rivalries go. Who would you say is J-Law's biggest rival and why?
A: I would say our biggest rivalry is probably the BaseBandit's. They had our number last season but hopefully things will
be a little different this year.
RD: Q: Of all of the parks that you have played at. Which one do you consider
the best and the worst and why?
BB: A: Best park- Athens Fields in Lexington. Those fields dry up really quick after
a big rain and it's fun trying to hit the barn in right center on field one.
Worst park- Riverstar. nuff said..
Q: Brandon, if you had to describe J-Law by using one word. What would it be?
BB: A: Friendship. We are all pretty
close friends. Even the new guys we have played against and formed friendships with the last couple of years. It was hard
to get to know these Rick's AC guys last year because they were usually home by noon on Saturday's and we were still playing..
Just kidding guys... LOL
RD: Q: With Bill gone, who is now the coach of J-Law?
BB: A: Jeff Bowman has taken
over the reins of our team. He likes to be called "Coach" so if anyone sees him out at the park you can certainly call him
RD: Q: Now this is from Rumorville. This is strictly a rumor. I usually do not like to bring these types rumors
into these questions, but this one does make me wonder. It has been rumored that Larry Moore was committed to the Base Bandits.
But the rumor is that he hasnt really shown his face with them yet. Is there any truth that Larry Moore might be a member
of J-Law Contracting? If this rumor is false, I am sorry for adding to the tabloids. If it is false, then this is your opportunity
to squash the rumor.
BB: A: Elmo's with the basebandits,although he will be limited to playing this year with his
How hard is it to fend off all these super majors teams and such from trying to get Kevin Hall. This
guy is a flat out freak of nature and is always on somebody's wishlist. To me its a guy remaining faithful to the team he
plays for, which is almost obsolete today. But do you guys worry you may lose him to say a Perkins or EMR?
BB: A: Kevin
knows he can play with us as long as he wants to. Kevin's a great player and if we were to lose him it would be to someone
that could throw some money his way. I don't think Kevin would go play with some team just because of their name. He has too
many friends on this team to want to go to a team with a bunch of guys he doesn't even know.
RD: Q: Is it true that
you had a MLB team looking at you out of high school. Did you play in the minor leagues for anyone and if so who was it? I
thought I have heard this mentioned about you before.
BB: A: I did get scouted pretty hard out of high school by a
few teams. I think I priced myself out of the draft though. I was told by my coach that teams were talking about taking me
around rounds 3-5. So, when a couple of them called me and asked me what it would take for me to sign. I told them they had
to match my full ride to Kentucky and give me a bonus around $100,000. I guess that was to much for them so they decided to
pass and see how I did at UK. I finally was drafted 3 yrs later out of Pensacola Junior College by the NY Mets. I decided
to take the money and run instead of going to Alabama. I only have one regret. Alabama was the #1 seed the next two years(which
would have been my junior and senior years) in the college world series. I would have loved playing in Omaha but, who can
predict the future??
RD: Q: Alright now down to the most serious question of the interview. Is it true that you guys
are going to wear pink this year? If this is true then I have to say that swagger is back. Not only now do teams dislike you
cause they cant beat ya, but now they have to say they got beat by a bunch of guys in pink. I gotta say I like it.
A: I hear it is on order for us to get our team sweet-n-low uniforms in a month or so. Pink, baby blue and grey or white.
How sweet is that going to be!!
Thats how its supposed to be done fellas. Now I need somebody else to email me
at RayDeWorth@aol.com to get the ball rolling for next week.