[Author’s Note: The following is my own opinion, based on hundreds of interactions with multiple General Managers throughout the league and common sense.]
It is my belief that former Mahoning Valley GM Kyle [last name redacted, we’ll go with cheater] and former Calgary GM Todd [last name redacted] were not who they said they were. I believe both GMs were fake accounts created by Charlotte Knights GM Matt [last name redacted], to help him make great trades to rebuild two franchises. I think all 3 teams were run by one boy-cheat, and if I had to guess I would say Kyle Cheater is the real cheaters name, while “Matt” and “Todd” were chosen to be the fake teams. Once Kyle was fired, he just decided to stay on as Matt.
To be clear, Matthew [last name redacted] does exist as a student and baseball player at NYU, and I don’t doubt his dad’s (middle) name is in fact Todd. How Kyle came to choose these two people as his fake GMs is beyond me. Maybe they are family friends, or even relatives across the country, but I do not believe the 3 GMs were different people, but rather one person acting as 3.
My theory is that Kyle used his “Matt” account to speak to GMs, see which players they liked the most and which players they maybe undervalued. When I first came back to the league, I found it strange how every time I would discuss a trade with Kyle, Matt would suddenly want to discuss trades as well, although we’d never come close to any kind of agreement. It always struck me as a fishing expedition rather than a real inquiry. I assumed then that Matt and Kyle were simply sharing information, but as time has gone on more and more evidence has emerged that they were in fact the same person.
By using “Matt” to learn which prospects teams liked, Kyle was able to craft nearly perfect offers to teams to help him land the league’s deepest and most talented pitching staff in one off-season. Teams would also be willing to discuss trade discussions between Kyle and themselves with “Matt” giving Mahoning Valley an even bigger advantage.
Before I go any further, you may be wondering why we don’t just check the IP addresses to be sure; simple: someone has. While all 3 were still in the league, Matt, Kyle and Todd would often log in to statslab with 8-10 different IP addresses each, while other teams had 2 or 3 IPs at most. That alone doesn’t mean they were the same person, but when paired with all of the evidence it’s definitely more than a coincidence. He could have used proxy servers, VPN’d into other computers, or simply exported with “Todd” in one class, “Matt” in another class and “Kyle” in a third class; college campuses are huge and have endless possibilities to change IP addresses.
After failing to trade Byron Buxton for almost two full seasons, and with his center field defense in a free fall, the 3 headed cheat had to find a way to get value for Buxton. Strangely enough, THAT VERY OFFSEASON, “Matt” was able to recruit his “dad” Todd to join and take over Calgary, who just happened to have the best player in the league at the time in 2B Harold Castro. Despite having a son who was almost overly patient in his trades and having very little OOTP experience, “Todd” inexplicably traded Harold Castro to “Kyle” and MAHONING VALLEY 12 hours after joining for… drum roll please… Byron FUCKING Buxton. Jacskon Reetz, Oswaldo Arcia and Nick Kingham were all packaged with Buxton, and while all are CBL caliber players, they weren’t major trade assets, certainly not anywhere close to the value Castro possessed. “Matt” would say he “knew his dad was happy with the value” which was strange since we all knew the value was horrible. Why didn’t Matt tell his dad he was making a terrible deal? I think it’s because “Matt” and “Todd” were created to allow Kyle to build his team up as fast as possible. By making Calgary MATT’s dad instead of Kyle’s, he could send Castro to MV without anyone raising questions. We all just assumed Todd was a dipshit, not that Kyle was cheating.
However, the most damning evidence in my opinion has come via the Slack chat over the last few months. There have been a handful of times where someone has criticized something Kyle did in the past and Matt has not only jumped in to defend Kyle, but he also somehow knows every intimate detail the other party is talking about. For example, a few weeks ago Tim mentioned we would need to find a GM or two for a few empty teams once we switched to OOTP18. He jokingly mentioned we should “bring Kyle back” and within 5 minutes “Matt” said something like “Kyle quit OOTP forever, I talked to him a few days ago.” On it’s own, that means nothing. It’s at least possible Kyle and Matt kept in touch somehow, maybe through another OOTP league, and as pompous assholes they definitely had plenty in common (because they were the same person). But that wasn’t the only time “Matt” has jumped to Kyle’s defense.
After last night’s sim, Dancouver was complaining about something silly per usual, but he wasn’t making a big deal about it he was just venting his own frustrations. He felt that some GMs would draft his created players (CAPs) with the main goal of making Dan overpay to get his own CAP back. Dan did not mention anyone specifically, he just said a GM in the past used to always draft his CAP and offer him in a trade to dan 5 minutes later. Instantly, “Matt” somehow knew Dan was talking about Kyle AND he knew the exact CAP Dan was referring to in Victor Champagne. “Matt” of course defended Kyle’s trade antics.
There are lesser instances as well that point to a clear effort to cheat and deceive the league, such as Charlotte’s trading activity since “Kyle” and “Todd” left the league. Without the benefit of multiple voices and scouting directors, the great trader Matt has become basically an export and nothing GM. There’s nothing wrong with simply exporting, but for someone to change their personality so drastically right after their other crutches were eliminated from the league paints a pretty clear picture.
I am well aware there is not enough evidence to determine 100% that Matt has cheated, and some may think this is a stretch. I do not. I think there are far too many coincidences and excuses for their to be any other explanation, and it explains the multitude of perfect trades Kyle made to build MV into a contender in one off-season. Personally, I think Matt should simply resign, as his interest has lowered each season and anyone that cheats in a free OOTP league probably shouldn’t spend so much time around people. Maybe his plan all along has been to quit after this season, but maybe not. In the event he chooses to stay, I felt the league deserved to know what I’ve expected for a long time.