05/19/06 6:04 PM ET
Tracy talks fielding with fans
Third baseman answers questions online
By / MLB.com
Chad Tracy: Thanks for joining us today. I look forward to answering your questions.
rereit: Which position do you prefer to play, third base or right field?
Tracy: I definitely like to play third base over right field. Third base is where I put in all my work in the Minor Leagues. I've played infield pretty much my whole life, so it comes a little bit more natural than the outfield.
Timothy_Reddington: Two years ago at third base you had some fielding problems but this year you have only one error, a remarkable turnaround. What did you do differently this offseason that can explain the better numbers?
Tracy: I played outfield most of Spring Training so I lost my arm slot in the infield. I also had a problem with looking at the runner as he was coming down the line, causing my ball to tail up the line. This year I am just catching the ball and picking up the first baseman without looking at the runner. I think that has a lot to do with the better numbers.
Foye_Minton: Do you keep in contact with any of your college teammates?
Tracy: What's up Foye? Are you still living in Baltimore? Yes, I do talk to a lot of you guys.
greenandcjaxfan: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Tracy: I was a big Braves fan growing up. I really liked watching Terry Pendleton and Mark Lemke. Those two guys played the game hard every night.
krodversion2: How do you prepare yourself before each game?
Tracy: I ride the bike for 20 minutes to get loose right when I get to the clubhouse. Then I go hit with our hitting coach, if I don't lift. We stretch as a team and then I take 15 minutes of ground balls. I hit in the second group and then shag for a group. After the third group I go inside and eat and then we have our team meeting on the pitcher starting that night. It varies a little bit, but that's basically my routine.
Chuck_Shaw: Is there a third baseman you use as a mentor or example?
Tracy: I had a chance to watch Matt Williams a lot and work with him. He was one of the best third baseman and try to model myself as much as I can after him.
Base_Ball_3: Can you describe the impact of Eric Byrnes to this team?
Tracy: Eric has brought a lot of energy to the team. He is also a great player that plays the game hard every night.
Ellen_Thomas: Where were you born and raised?
Tracy: I was born in Charlotte, N.C. I grew up in a little community called Oakdale. I started playing baseball when I was four.
iceyo: How much do you do in the offseason to get ready for the upcoming year?
Tracy: I take the first month off to let my body rest. I gradually work back into the routine. I start with three days a week of weights and conditioning and gradually move to five days a week, with weights, conditioning, hitting, and ground balls.
Catherine_Barrett: Have you ever tried switch-hitting?
Tracy: I messed around a little bit in Little League but did not stick with it. I wish sometimes, when I facing a tough leftie, that I had.
Peter_Berger: Do you think Luis Gonzalez will be back in 2007?
Tracy: I hope Gonzo is back in 2007. He is an important part of our team and a leader in the clubhouse.
miller26fan: What advice would you give for Little Leaguers who want to become a Major League third baseman?
Tracy: Concentrate on your feet more than any other thing. You catch the ball by getting your feet in a good position to get the right hop. Everything else will take care of itself.
miller26fan: Hey Chad, what is your favorite ballpark to play in while on the road?
Tracy: I like Colorado because it has a great clubhouse, a great city and reminds me a lot of Charlotte. And the ball carries very well there.
Tracy: I have to run and get ready for the game. Thanks for allowing me to chat with you today. I hope to see you all soon at the ballpark.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.