Mafia owner/player Taite Kleine had a good thing going with the Express over the last two seasons, but walked away to establish his own franchise. In this Q&A Kleine talks about what motivated him to do it, and more.
Q: What motivated you to leave the Express and start your own franchise?
A: The fact that I wasn't the best player on the team and I wanted to lead a team to the WWCD Cup.
Q: The big reason you went to the Express was to win your first championship by forming a "big 3." You got one, but were only there for 2 seasons. Did you know all along it we be a short term thing? Just get a plate and get out...?
A: No, I definitely was planning on staying there long term originally. I loved playing for the team, I just didn't want to be a role player anymore.
Q: How do you feel about facing the Express now in your franchise's debut?
A: I feel good about it, they won't have Brad (Williamson). I'm not trying to call them out or anything, but Kyle (Godinho) isn't the best hitter and I don't know about Shawn (Godinho). They could struggle offensively. Plus, with the bigger bats and the pitching moved back a little I think that Colby (Gaston) and I can at least get a couple of hits off of Kyle, and I think he'll walk some too. But right now we aren't that strong of a pitcher, so you could see us walk in runs as well. It's gonna be a god game.
Q: You're going to be the starting pitcher though, and in the past before you were on the Express you've pitched and done well. Are you not confident in yourself now?
A: I'm not that concerned, I just know I'm going to walks some runs in. I'm just not as consistent as I'd like to be.
Q: What was your infatuation with Colby Gaston? Why did you work so hard to pull off that trade with the Storm to get him?
A: Because I know how good he could be and he was the Storm's best player in my opinion. I also wanted to get him so Kyle Koopman (Storm owner) couldn't have him.
Q: You'll have to carve out success in the American Conference, which we all know is much more difficult than the National. What was your initial reaction when you found out the Mafia would be in the American?
A: It was bitter sweet. The American is obviously better, so if we do good people at least won't be able to say it was because we were in the weaker conference.