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Welcome to the second issue of Dawgs Take by Tidiggity Dawg! We have a great issue in store for you this week with an article on what it takes to be great. Also, we were lucky enough to have a few words with Kip Wesley. Then well finish it off with a little junk mail. I hope you enjoy it!

What Does It Take To Be #1?

Two is not a winner and three no one remembers…  These are a few lines from the hit song #1,  by Nelly.  This can apply to sports, professions, life, and even the WBL! Lets take some time to answer this question as it applies to the WBL. What, exactly, does it take to be an elite player in the WBL? Is it determination? Intelligence? Integrity? Love for the league? Experience? Friendship? Or is it a combination of all these things? Well, lets find out, shall we?

Determination is a key trait among the WBL elite. You will never be great at something unless you WANT to do it. If anyone wants to succeed in anything they do, they need to be determined.  The WBL can be a lot of work, and if your not determined, you will never get anything done.

How will you ever be great at anything, let alone the WBL, if you are not determined? The author of the song #1,  Nelly, grew up a young, poor kid that had nothing. He worked hard though, and continued to try to make it as a rapper. And lo and behold, one day he finally got that record deal, and eventually went on to be number one. Tupac Shakur grew up with nothing as well, and after much hard work he ended up a legend. In life, Bill Gates was a nerdy, geek who no one really liked. He was determined, made Windows©, and now he can have his choice of any woman in the world and is among the most successful people ever. In sports, Tiger Woods takes hours upon hours of his time in order to get better than anyone else. The reason he is the best is because he works the hardest. In the WBL, Jason Rhiner used to be thought of as a weak player. No one thought he was good enough. Look at him now. Hes almost perfect. The amount of work it takes to become great is intense, another reason why you need to be determined.

It takes a ton of work in order to become great here in the WBL. Therefore, since there is so much work, it is very important that you have the determination. Without it, you will never want to do any of the updates or necessary work that you need to in order to become one of the greats. And even if you dont want to do the updates, if you have drive and determination, this will carry you and it will force you to do the updates. No player can become great without determination, well, unless they cheat… Lets take a look at how much work the WBL is.

It takes a good amount of time in order to do all of your updates (and do them well…). In order to get a perfect five out of five on an article, you would have to take at least a half hour of your time, most of the times more, to do it. Interviews are roughly the same, so thats about a hour and a half for both. Add in a half hour for trashes and biographical updates, and you are going to have to put in roughly two hours a week for a perfect sixteen out of sixteen.  Most people (including me) dont even spend that much time on their homework!  And if you are on Weekly you will have to put in even more time. Corey Whitney, who just received a twenty, informed me that he spent days on his article. So as you can see, it is a great deal of work. You can have all the determination in the world, however, but if you dont know how to write and you arent too bright, it will be hard to be successful.

Can you cut it in this league if you arent bright? Yea, you can. Is it easier if you are smart? Yea, it is. Intelligence gives you the ability to write better articles in a quicker amount of time, which makes it easier to get good in the quickest amount of time possible, and to become a WBL great.

If youre smart, you can write some real quality articles. This is because you have probably learned a lot about writing, and smart kids tend to listen to what their teachers say and incorporate it into their daily lives. I know personally that I have a pretty easy time writing quality stuff. I get pretty good grades-I have an A- average-and I have had to deal with some really rigorous English courses which subsequently taught me to write. In the WBL I have received some great grades. I was actually one of the first people to receive a 6 on their article (boy did that open up a can of worms…). If youre smart, you not only write better articles, but you are also able to write them in less time as well.

A smart guy can write pretty good articles, pretty quickly. This results from the fact that bright people tend to be able to type fairly well. If you have to do papers for school and stuff, then youre used to typing. Also, most students are required to take typing classes, and as always, the smarter kids tend to excel at it. Intelligent people also tend to do anything academic related-I think typing articles is academic related-faster than the average person. However, there are many people who are young, not very bright, or both who excel in this league as well, thus proving that you dont HAVE to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Do you have to be smart? No. You could still become a great player as long as you work your tail off. Take Ken Griff for instance (Im not saying hes dumb, but cmon, he is like 12…), he has become one of the greatest in the league. He doesnt always have the best grammar, but he makes up for it with time and effort. The graders can see how much effort he puts into his updates, and subsequently he gets good grades and his player is now one of the best in the WBL. Not only do most of the great players have intelligence, but they have integrity too.

Integrity is needed to get into the MLB baseball hall of fame, and I believe it is a big part of whether youre a good player or not in the WBL. If you arent an honest person, people will always think of you as a bad person. Its hard to be great when no one in the league likes you and thinks youre a bad person. Because, after all, being great is not only your personal accomplishments, but how others see you as well.

Integrity makes a great player. All of the great players in the MLB Hall of Fame are there for their personal accomplishments on the baseball field, but they are also there because they had uprightness. In the WBL, you must be a good person off the field for me to consider you great. You could average ninety homeruns and two hundred RBI, but if you treat other people like crap and bounced around to the best team in the league, then I dont consider you great. I think the great ones try to build the bad teams up, rather than running to a great and stealing a championship. The same holds true for managers. If you are a lying, shady manager, I do not consider you a great player. In my mind, lying is just like cheating, and if youre a cheater, then you are not great. You could be as great as you want, but if no wants perceives you as great, are you really great?

The way other people view you has a large affect on whether you are great or not. Whether you like it or not, if no one thinks of you as great, and you are the only one who thinks that, then you are just a man talking to himself. Think about Pete Rose of the MLB. He lacked some serious integrity. He broke one of the cardinal rules of baseball-which is to bet on baseball-and on top of all that he lied about it. Sure, the fans want him to be in the hall because they dont know any better, but if you ask the players, they do not want him there. Those players dont think hes great because he bet on baseball, regardless of how many hits he had. If you like the league, however, you most likely will try to play the game with integrity.

One trait that seems to be common among all of the WBL greats is a love for this league. Reason being, most people dont want to succeed at something that they dont like. People who dont like the league dont stay in it for long enough to be considered great. Also, most people say that if you love something, you will be better at it because you are more interested. Both of these hold true in the WBL.

If you dont like the league, than your not going to be here long enough to do anything substantial. Most guys that come into the league and decide that they do not like it will be inactive almost as soon as they join. There are tons of inactive guys on the free agent list, and none of them are great (you could make an argument for Seneca Wallace, but hes far from one of the best pitchers, and his production should drop off as talent increases).  Now, if you like the league, you will be active, and therefore you will have an opportunity to be great if you show some of the other traits of a stellar player. Also, if you like the league, then you will be good at it, because as we all the more you like something the more interested you are in it, and the more you want to succeed at it.

Ever notice how your parents and loved ones always advise that you do something you love when you grow up because you will be very good at it? Well, it is the same way here in the WBL. If you love it-as most do-then you will succeed. This is because when you like to do something, you are more motivated to do it better than if you were forced to do it. Think of it this way: If you actually liked to clean your room, dont you think it would be clean more often than when you have your mom/dad yelling at you to clean it? Obviously, it would. Humans are conditioned to become great at the things they love, and in the WBL it is no different. Along with a love for the league comes a love for the people inside the league and a natural bonding between members. This too, leads to a great player.

Friendship is a very important part of the WBL. If you on a team with a lot of your friends, then you are motivated to become better so your team becomes better. Also, as I said before, one of the traits of a good player is a guy willing to play on a bad team and help rebuild. If you have friends on a bad team, sometimes you are more willing to do this than if you did not have friends there.

In the WBL, you play on a team. You have 16 (or more) guys that can rely on you at any given moment. Most of the time, you form friendships with your teammates. These friendships are what help give the good players a boost to the echelon of an elite player. You see, when you are friends with someone on your team, you want to do whatever you can to help your friend and the team win. You may feel some peer pressure from your friend as well, because if you dont do updates, then you can essentially let the team down. Both of these things sort of make you feel obligated to do the updates. For example, say you are Tidiggity Dawg of the St. Louis Stallions. You see that you are one of the only great players on the team, and if you arent getting better, than its going to be hard for the team to get better. Subsequently, you do a greater amount of updates, which are better quality, and you eventually reach greatness (ok, ok, so he isnt great YET, but he will be soon!). Not only do you feel obligated to your team, but you are also more willing to play on a bad team-a trait of a great player-if you have some of your friends on it.

The great ones are willing to lead the weak teams to the playoffs, and if you have some buddies on that weak team, it makes it a lot easier to do so.  Having friends there sort of makes up for the losing. It also gives you a reason to stay there other than to resurrect a franchise. Then, if you have friends on that team and you win it all, it must be a feeling of total bliss. Its not like winning it all on Great Britain, or Montreal, I think when you win it like this you have actually earned it. And, if you didnt have friends on that weak team, most of the time you wouldnt consider going there, but the friends sealed the deal and motivated you to win a world series with a poor team-one of the trademarks of a true champion. There is one more thing that makes great players great: experience.

Experience seems to come naturally with greatness, but I think it is a factor in becoming great as well. When youve been in the league for a while, you know what the graders want and what must be done (or not done) in order to get a good grade. You know all the tricks of the trade.  Also, as you gain experience and youve been in the league awhile, people start to respect you, another sign of a true champion.

If youve been in the league awhile, you start to realize what it takes to get a good grade. Great players know that to get a good grade from Torlone, you need to have about ten questions with fairly long answers. Most know that in order to get a good grade on a trash, you should keep it clean and use statistics. For biographical updates, you should write long, interesting stuff. They know that the article graders are among the easiest in the league. All of these tidbits of information are acquired through experience, and give you a distinct advantage as well as help you become a stud player. Also, with experience comes the respect of your peers.

You will never gain any respect as a player unless youve been around for a while. This is because part of being great involves longevity. You can be one of the fastest growing players in the league, destined for greatness, and if you quit and dont show the longevity, then you will amount to nothing. Also, people naturally respect people who have been in the league a long time. This is because they have something called seniority. In life, the longer you have been somewhere, the better you become at it, and people think more highly of you as well. Its no different here in the WBL. However, is it just experience that makes a player great and respected, or is it more a combination of everything that makes a player truly spectacular?

It takes a combination of all the above points in order to become the best. You must be determined. Without this you will never do any of the updates. You must be intelligent. No matter how determined you are, if you dont know how to type or write well, and then it will be difficult to do your updates well. A player is nothing without integrity. This is the number one thing that I look for. If you are a bad person off the field, then you might as well be a bad player. Another thing is you must like the league. If you dont like something, then its hard to keep with it. Also, if you like something, then it is much easier to do it well, because as we all know you do something you love better than something you dont. Friendships are also important, because it will be hard to love the league if you dont have any friends. Finally, experience plays a large role. You learn the tips and tricks, and without experience, no one will ever consider you great, and if they dont consider you great, than you are not.

In conclusion, we have gone through all of the various aspects of a championship caliber player, and after going through them all, Ive come to one conclusion: It takes a lot of work to be great! Its not just about doing a lot of updates, or being active, but there are many more things that go into it. That being said, anyone can be great. It JUST takes determination, intelligence, integrity, a love for the league, friendships, and experience. Thats all…

A Few Words with…
                                                Kip Wesley!

Dawgs Take: Hello Kip and welcome to the show!
Kip: Glad to be here.

Dawgs Take: What are some realistic expectations for your team this year?
Kip: I am optimistic about the team, but realistically I dont know how well we will finish. I thought that we were going to have a great year to tell you the truth, but then we got Seneca stolen from us and Vargas reneged on his contract. It has just been really tough for us. I think ten games above or below five hundred is a realistic goal for us. I guess it all depends on how all of the young talent pans out. If guys like Corey Whitney and Woodrow James can play to their true potential there is much we can do.

Dawgs Take: What is it going to take to make St. Louis a true contender?
Kip: We need more veteran leadership. We just need a guy whos been around the league to motivate these young guys to unite and work hard. Right now it seems like there is a lack of team unity and everyone is out for themselves, then sometimes someone within will unite the organization for a day or so and then it will be back to the way it was before a few days later.

Dawgs Take: Who do you believe are the key players and who will be returning next season?
Kip: We have about five main guys: Whitney, Tidiggity, Imagonna, Zito, and Wiggins. I would like to think of Prior as one of our key men, but I just dont think he wants to be here. I want to keep all of these guys here for the future and they are the building blocks of this team. They will be what leads us to a future championship. I think that these guys, and a few veterans will be all it takes to take this team to the Promised Land. I also like Robert Crombie. He could be a future stud out there in centerfield.

Dawgs Take: What MLB team would you compare the Stallions to?
Kip: I think you could compare us to the Oakland Athletics. You could say that Zito is kind of like Eric Chavez. Wiggins is like Erubiel Durazo. Then you figure I am like Jeremaine Dye. You know the veteran leadership in the outfield. I think the real comparison comes from our pitching staff. You figure Digg is just like Zito. Then you have Imagonna who would be Mulder. Prior is comparable to Hudson. Then you got the young gun, Corey Whitney, who is a lot like Rich Harden.

Dawgs Take: What has been the biggest lesson youve learned from your six years of WBL experience?
Kip: I know it sounds cliché, but keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. **** **** and I are close friends in the league and I dont really talk to him as much as I talk to **** **** because I need to make sure I can compete with the big dogs. Also, I have learned that an enemy of one of my enemies is my friend. You can never have too much support in this league and it helps when you have some reinforcements, even if they are not truly your friends or even if you dont like them.  (NOTE: The true names were not used in order to protect the innocent, or something…).

Dawgs Take: What type of production do you expect to see out of your player?
Kip: I dont want to sound too cocky, but lets face it, I am basically an all star by default. I expect to put up some very good numbers this year. I would say that I would be second in the team in both average and homeruns. Zito will lead the team in homeruns, and my boy Heqqy will lead all of us in average. Overall, I think I will have a solid season, and I expect it to be one of my better ones.

Dawgs Take: Who is the best player in the WBL?
Kip: I think A NX is the best in the league. I like his style. He is a quiet superstar. He never complains or brags. He just does his thang  better than anyone else in the league. That, in my mind, is what makes a true superstar. A NXs numbers arent too shabby either. I mean he was the MVP last year. Also, I like how he is a champion. I always think more highly of guys that won it all.

Dawgs Take: Who is the best GM in the league (excluding yourself, of course)?
Kip: Well, none of the expansion teams have had a real chance to prove themselves as great managers, so I guess I can rule them out. And of course I cant pick for myself. So, I will have to say Marc Southworth. He is a very smart man, and even though sometimes he doesnt have the most talent in the world, he still manages to put solid squads together year in and year out. Anyone can win with an all-star team, but it takes a true manager to win with a lot of average guys.

Dawgs Take: Have you ever wished you played a sport other than baseball for your profession?
Kip: I really would like to have played tennis as my profession, but I like how in baseball who you are really is reflected in what you do. Like, you get nervous that you may let your friends or teammates down when you are trying to win a game. This is part of you as a person, but you are showing it out there on the baseball diamond. I love it. I also love the many friends I have here in the WBL, and I dont think I would trade it for the world.

Dawgs Take: Who is the most feared pitcher in the WBL?
Kip: I would have to say Tidiggity Dawg. Players are not afraid of what he can do now, but they are afraid of what he can be. They know that in the year 2011 he will be able to go like four straight starts without a run. There are even rumors of guys who are afraid that one day Tidiggity will become so good that you will not be able to hit off of him. I am just glad that I dont have to face him, well, except in batting practice (chuckles).

Dawgs Take: Thats it for this edition, thanks for your time Kip!
Kip: No problem, I was glad to do it.

Junk Mail

Dear Dawgs Take,
First off, love the article, and I hope they keep you on WBL Weekly. It would be a real shame if they didnt. Also, I wanted to ask you a question about your team, the St. Louis Stallions. How far do you think you guys will go this year and why?

I think that we will improve on our last season, which was about ten games under .500. This season, I think you could realistically expect a record of above .500. I dont think that we will be able to make the playoffs this year. Now that the league has expanded, there is a lot more competition and still only two playoff berths. With Santo Domingo and Montreal playing like they are the juggernauts of the league, it makes our playoff hopes pretty slim. I can guarantee that we will be a top four team in the league, and if we were in the Eastern Hemisphere division, then I definitely think that we would be in the playoffs. But, unfortunately, this is not the case, and we will have to do the best we can in the Wild West.

Dear Dawgs Take,
I read your last issue and your fantasy advice came in very handy in my WBL draft. The cheat sheet was great. Thanks. I have a fantasy question for you. I took A NX first overall in my fantasy draft and I have been ragged on by some of my buddies who say I should have taken Jeremy Shirley first. Do you think A NX was a good pick?

I think that A NX is a great pick first overall. Jeremy Shirley would have been a good pick as well. Both are MVP/Cy Young winners and both will carry your fantasy squad squarely on their shoulders if you need them too. Shirley is a great pitcher who will get you a ton of strikeouts as well as a ton of wins. Not to mention the great ERA. But, A NX is a prolific homerun hitter who is a run producing machine. So yea, you couldnt go wrong with either pick. Your friends are probably just jealous of you because you had such a great draft because of my cheat sheet, thats all…

Dear Dawgs Take,
I have heard rumors of a videogame being made which would be with WBL players. I have seen a few screenshots and it looks really cool. What do you know about this videogame and do you have any idea what it will be like?

Yes, I have indeed heard of this new videogame. Plans to make this game have been in the works for a while now, and all Sega Sports needed was the endorsement from Jeremy Shirley so they could use all of the player names and such. It seems that Joe Slugga did not want his name in the game because he felt he was so good, so in the video game he will be known as 1B #22. The title of the game will be WBL Live! I have seen some demos of the game and let me tell you, the graphics are simply jaw dropping. You can see every detail so clear. You will see Kip Wesleys dashing young face, Jason Rhiners ripped guns, and even the scar on Cleveland Dawgs face! The game will also include a cool feature called The Crib™ which lets you buy cool items for your pimped out house. Items that are available to buy include everything from a coffee table to your own personal stripping pole for the boom-boom room! WBL fans will fall in love with this game, and I know I cant wait to play it!

Well, thats it for this issue. Stay tuned for next weeks article (maybe).

©2004 Dawg