Chrys Bourgeois interviews Vinnie Verminus (TEN GM)

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Chrys Bourgeois interviews Vinnie Verminus (TEN GM)

Postby JTigerclaw » August 16th, 2014, 5:13 pm

Chrys Bourgeois interview with Moonshiners GM Vinnie Verminus - Biloxi, MS 8/15/14

((Interview takes place at the Combine Challenge in Biloxi, MS. Bourgeois makes it a point to meet with Verminus immediately upon arriving in Biloxi, which is early Friday morning. He arranges to meet with him at Vinnie's choice of location [restaurant, hotel, Crawford Park]. While a few of his questions are pointed, Bourgeois's demeanor remains polite and respectful... for the most part. Both men remain cordial and respectful throughout.

Note: This interview took place before the Aragon Fisher trade to Biloxi.))

CB: *extends a paw for a handshake* Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, Mr. Verminus.
VV: *shakes hand firmly, he has a warm smile* Thank you, Mr. Bourgeois. Always a pleasure to sit down and break bread with someone. You should try the ribs here, fantastic.

CB: Thank you, I'll be doing that! For now, let's get down to business. You're a new GM. You just inherited the FBA Champions. And you immediately unload your starting center, defensive pillar, All-Star and fan favorite. Why?
VV: May I call ya Chrys? By all means call me Vinnie, Mr. Verminus is my father. *chuckles*
CB: Absolutely, Vinnie.
VV: Well Chrys, I love this team, I wanted nothing more than to keep this team together, the problem was I has so little budget to work with, I had to make a drastic change if I wanted to be able to have a team, period.

CB: Why Teronura though? Did you assess all available options before arriving at this decision? Or was unloading him your first choice?
VV: *sighs and looks down* There are two reasons behind what many are calling a damn crazy and ignorant move. Now, I'm going to be the first to say that I'm very new to this and I am bound to make mistakes. I tried, I can't think of a team I didn't reach out to for another trade. Heck I had four players going into Free Agency and I couldn't afford to pick up a single one of them. Almost one third of my players gone and not enough budget. Without sounding demeaning to my fellow GMs, they could have had any of the Moonshiners, if it meant 1.) That player kept their employment. and 2.) I could afford to keep as much of the team together as I could. Now, I don't know if you are a fisherman, but I do from time to time, and I tell you what, I've had more bites in the desert than I had trying to trade anyone but Paul Teronura. The sad thing was, once I did the trade, everyone saw that I was serious and other deals are now in the works.

CB: What about Griff Rasputin? Huckens Storrs? Jeff Random? All of these players had pretty bulky contracts that some would consider overpriced based on talent and contribution. Surely it would be possible to trade ONE of these players before Paul, possibly for the same player you got for him?
VV: If I may, Griff is a fine player in his own right, and yes I will not lie, he was the first I tried to trade, Random was the second. Storrs... well, there's something about that kid that I wanna see more of. I think you need to keep your eye on him.

CB: Now, Paul Teronura made the All-Star Game this year. He was the starting center, in fact. And out of all the players on the Eastern All-Star team, only Nina Lime and your own Jamie Velasquez made less money that season than PT. By my calculations, that makes him one of the game's most affordable stars. Did you take this into account in making your decision?
VV: What I took into account was it was the only offer I had on the table. I felt I was up against a wall going in, damned if I did and double damned if I didn't. Now, with that said, due to the fact that I'm likely not going to be able to get these fine players from free agency, I had to resign myself to the fact that while we were last year's champions, sometimes you gotta rebuild from the bottom up.

CB: Paul was also runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year vote this year. How do you plan on replacing his defensive talents?
VV: Now Chrys, that would be telling. *he chuckles nervously* There is still talent on this team, and there is unsung talent out there. I'm not one for big glitz, I prefer an underdog with something to prove.

CB: What is your response to the reports that all of your players are upset with this trade? Is team cohesion or backlash a concern now?
VV: I won't lie that I've not made the best of impressions, it's one of the reasons I wanted the team there when we broke ground on Alliance Arena. I also do my best to keep them informed of potential trades. My first priority is to do my best to keep them all employed, but I may still have to use my Amnesty Option, still.

CB: I shared a brief text conversation recently with both Jamie Velasquez and Aragon Fisher. They are both really, REALLY bummed...
VV: Jamie is a fine lady and an amazing baller in her own respect. I know that Paul, to many, was the heart of the team and I.. *he seems choked up, something seemingly bothering him* I know I'm gonna miss him as well. Aragon Fisher, I might as well let you know may very well be traded to Biloxi. So, he's not been to thrilled on that end, I'm sure. But Paul and Aragon can bring a bit of Moonshiner Magic to those teams.

CB: I noticed you have also made offers to a plethora of cheap talent - Atticus Polyphemus, Taylor Chinquapin, Ray Rodin, Spencer Birch - yet you haven't budged on offering even a minimum contract to your current free agents, Monogoyak, Jung, Barker and Seymour. Is there a reason you are showing preference to unknown and unproven talent over the players who just helped your team win a championship?
VV: Like I said, I prefer an underdog. I'm trying to promote Jung, Barker, and Seymour. I see Urayak already has some offers on the table. I'm stuck in the position of rebuilding, I might as well rebuild from the bottom up, something my old man taught me when I was operating some of his urban renewal projects.

CB: What is it you see in these players, Polyphemus and the newly acquired McKie especially, that maybe others do not see?
VV: Moxie. I see moxie. I see talent that hasn't had a chance to shine yet. I see hidden gems that have been looked over.

CB: Did you initiate trade conversations, or did the Wildcards?
VV: To be honest, I don't rightly remember. I was in a flurry trying to make any deal that I could that by the time I was signing the papers, I forgot if I called them or they called me. It's the honest to God truth of the matter. Might as well say I did, I'll take the bullet if I have to, but I honestly and truly don't remember.

CB: Are you happy with the return for the trade, or were you aiming higher originally? Any future draft picks or cap space discussed?
VV: I'm more than happy. Paul can be.. *he pauses* Do you pay attention to the news much? Did you see the recent ruling in Tennessee? I did. Our damn Senate... listen I try not to let my personal politics influence my business dealings. I really don't, and you have to trust me on that. When I saw that the great state of Tennessee upheld the ban on same sex marriages, I saw red. My dad is gay. I've seen how the politics have affected him. *he tears up a bit* Paul deserves to have his relationships treated equally. You know, if this state wants to make Mr. Teronura a poster child for Tennessee Excellence then they had better not decide at the same time to treat him like a damn second class citizen. That man has done so much for this team! *he pauses* Sorry for being so emotional. To be honest, when I saw the news, and I knew that Paul wouldn't have the same rights and recognitions, I acted hastily. It was the item that pushed me over the edge in deciding to trade him. I was already up against the wall, I needed to make a trade, I didn't want to let Paul go, and when I read that I thought about how I needed to respect that man as an equal, and as much as I know he loves Tennessee, and Tennessee loves him, my home state failed him. Before I knew it I was signing papers, thinking that at least his relationships will be seen as equal in Nevada. I know they aren't allowing marriages there, yet. They are working on it, and they honor out of state ones. Let me be clear this also does not mean I will refuse to hire LGBT players. I acted rashly, in a fit of anger. To Tennessee fans, I ask you to ask yourselves.. if you really loved what Paul did for this state, isn't it better he's somewhere where he can be respected as an equal? *Vinnie pauses and holds his temples* I'm very sorry for the outburst, it's been gnawing at me for some time. I tried to do what I could, I'm new to this, maybe I low balled, but I needed to have cap space, and damn it, I did what I had to do on a business and on a moral level.

CB: Very interesting, indeed. Do you plan to use your amnesty clause this year to clear more space? If so, have you decided on how?
VV: I most likely am, and it is looking to be Mr. Random. I ask my fellow GMs now not to think of this as a rejection, but an opportunity to get him for themselves. I want that man employed in this business.

CB: Let's talk Draft now. You have the 20th and 44th pick in this year's draft as of this moment. Are those picks staying put? Do you intend to move up or obtain additional picks?
VV: I think I'm going to stick with my 2 for now. I also think they are staying put, I have a few people in mind.

CB: What type of player or players are you hoping to draft? What are you looking for in a rookie, and do you expect for them to contribute a lot in their first year?
VV: Moxie. As for contribute? Hell yes, they can plan to contribute. You work for me you WORK for me.

CB: Did you see anything you liked from the candidates at your Moonshiners camp last weekend that maybe you'd like to share? Any players catch your eye?
VV: A few players caught my eye for good and for bad. I'm going to be kind and not name names.

CB: What is the team identity you are trying to build? Is this a rebuilding project with eyes on future sustainability?
VV: It is a rebuilding right now, out of necessity. I want other teams to know that I have a team of players without quit in them, it'll be rough on them. I'm looking for a team of survivors, not hunters.

CB: Are you worried that this series of unpopular decisions will jeopardize your job or your reputation?
VV: Yes and No. You have to let some of that slide off your back, but of course I know I'm the new guy coming in and mixing up a Championship winning team, that HAS to look bad on me. But I ask you what, would folks be this upset if I did this and we had been out Round 1? This is business.

CB: Is there a desire on your part to start from scratch because you would rather succeed with a roster you yourself built than a ready-made roster of proven champions?
VV: My intention stepping in was nothing short of just keeping the team as it was. That was not an option, so restructuring had to be done.

CB: Have you spoken with Paul since the trade? Did you have to inform him personally? How is he taking all this?
VV: I've been trying to let this settle in, but I tell you what, I, personally will finance his wedding whenever that happens. Tennessee owes him that at the very least. I don't rightly think he's too happy, but this was a business decision first, it was the moral dilemma I was faced with that merely catalyzed it.

CB: Any other key players on the chopping block? Are Velasquez or Finals MVP Fisher next?
VV: For now Velasquez isn't on my radar for trades however, at the Combine Challenge I will be meeting with other GMs so who knows? I am in talks with Macon of the Voodoo for Mr. Fisher. He's a good man, Macon, and I think Fisher will do swimmingly there.

CB: Did Las Vegas send you a "Thank You" card?
VV: This isn't about Thank You cards, just treat that man well, he deserves it and more.

CB: Well said... If there was one thing you could say to Moonshiners fans to give them hope for the future with you in command, one unifying message, what would it be?
VV: Great things are afoot in our state. We are entering a new era. We have a new stadium under construction, we have shown that we can be Champions. We've been seen as the rowdy crew, and probably not been taken so seriously. Now all eyes are on us, it's time we step up our game. Change hurts, but we'll get through this. Stand behind your new team, show them what Tennessee is about. Honesty, Integrity and gumption.

CB: Anything else you'd like to add?
VV: Again, I'm new to this, I inherited a Champion team and almost no budget. I'm going to make mistakes, so I have to trust my brain and follow my heart in doing not only what's financially best, but also what is right.

CB: *stands and extends paw with a smile* Thank you sir, for your time. And good luck in future endeavors.
VV: Oh we're not done, you barely touched your ribs. *he laughs and shakes Chrys' hand*
Player of:

Mikaylah Marley, Wendy Brown, Vera La Tiérra, Rodger Umaechi, Sarah Lancaster, Ryan Malone, Kasa Yalenchka, Christopher Zwischenberger, Aisha Melbourne (adopted), Chrys Bourgeois (reporter)

Other characters: Not enough space to list em all :P

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