Brewers players Casey McGehee and LaTroy Hawkins and manager Ron Roenicke joined fans for an online chat live from "Brewers On Deck" on Sunday.
ncjboy24: What is your favorite pitch to hit?
McGehee: I must say that nothing is better than hitting a pitch off of a guy with a great fastball!
ncjboy24: What job do you think you would have if you weren't a pro baseball player?
McGehee: You might think I am saying this as a joke, but I would love to be a weatherman.
sennej: Casey, I can't remember you missing any time because of the knee last year. Is the knee injury behind you or do you still have to attend to it?
McGehee: I was fortunate that I was able to play the whole season last year without missing any games. I had a minor procedure at the end of the season and hopefully that was my last one. I'm just excited to get going into the season knowing that I am healthy and ready to go.
bacton22: Casey, what's it like to play with such talent as Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder?
McGehee: It makes my job a whole heck of a lot easier. Some guys like myself can just sneak in and fly under the radar and just do our jobs which is great. They are great to play with on a daily basis and we are lucky to have them here in Milwaukee.
rybraunfan: Casey, when you were a kid, who was your inspiration that kept you going all the way to the MLB?
McGehee: My dad grew up in Baltimore and was a huge Cal Ripken Jr. fan and that was passed down to me. He went out and played hard every day. Tony Gwynn was another guy, growing up in Southern California. Watching his hitting was something that really helped me.
wsqb12: Casey, what have been your main focuses this offseason? Do you see your role changing at all from last year?
McGehee: My biggest thing is that I am healthy, so I can get myself in better shape and get some of my quickness back. I don't spend too much time thinking about my role, I just want to work hard and help my team win games.
BrewCrewGRL27: Casey, what do you think your at-bat song will be this season?
McGehee: I really don't know. I'm caught between changing it up and keeping it, I find a tough time changing from "Simple Man" because it really does relax me at the plate.
bacton22: LaTroy, what exercises and drills do you do for speed?
Hawkins: The key for young kids and pitching is not the speed, but at an early age, players should work on control. Work on control, get out there and long toss and build from there.
korn01us: LaTroy, what do you think your primary role will be this year with the team?
Hawkins: Our main goal is to win. Whatever way I fit into that and whatever way Ron sees me fit into the system, I will be ready. I want to get completely healthy and then contribute in any way possible to make the team better.
jocks4rocks: How about you Mr. Hawkins -- How is the shoulder feeling?
Hawkins: I'm hoping to be ready by Opening Day. I have been rehabbing and working on getting stronger everyday. I feel better and hopefully this spring will be a big turning point because I'm ready to contribute to the team.
basebal777: LaTroy -- When a Minor Leaguer comes up, how do you treat them in the clubhouse and in the lockers?
Hawkins: I've always been the guy to take the new guy under his wing and show him the ropes. I just want to reinforce the thinking that players need to keep it simple and not over think things just because they are in the big leagues. I have always wanted to make my teammates comfortable in the clubhouse.
grgcdv: Latroy, who did you idolize as a kid?
Hawkins: Leon Durham was one of my favorites. Lloyd McClendon, Wallace Johnson, guys I knew who grew up in Gary, Ind., were all players that I looked up to.
six286: LaTroy, what team in the NL Central do you see as the main threat?
Hawkins: I really don't pay much attention to what other teams do, but I think we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win. You can't count any team out in this division. We are going to have to come out and play hard and focus on winning games. We have to hit, we have to pitch and we have to field. We have to put ourselves in a good situation to win games and compete in the division.
grgcdv: LaTroy -- what was your first game like in the Majors?
Hawkins: I pitched with the Twins against the Orioles. I gave up eight runs and it was not a very good memory. I faced Cal Ripken Jr.
grgcdv: LaTroy, who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl?
Hawkins: That is a set up question! I have no interest in any team, I just want to see a really good game.
sennej: LaTroy, how would you compare pitching in Miller Park to pitching in Minute Maid Park?
Hawkins: It's a great place to pitch. I am a firm believer that every stadium should have a dome because pitchers want to control the elements. It's great to have a dome in Milwaukee. You never have to worry about anything, just like pitching in Houston at Minute Maid Park.
lezgomets7: Ron, what do you see as the major difference as being a secondary coach to being the main manager?
Roenicke: Being a coach, your connection is actually a little better. As a manager, you still try to make that time, but you are also dealing with the media and front office and other things. Watching Mike Scioscia, I picked up on a lot from him. The nice thing is when I used to butt heads with Scioscia and he would always win, now it's my turn to win!
dreamif: Ron, do you think the Brewers have a shot at the playoffs this year?
Roenicke: There are some very good teams in the NL Central this year. It is a very tough division. Anytime you start picking specific teams to beat, you go in and start getting beat by everybody. You can't focus on too many teams. You have to focus on the game you are playing that day.
mlbyankssh: Ron -- Which manager do you respect the most in the MLB?
Roenicke: Mike Scioscia is someone I have always looked up to and is a mentor to me. Someone who has influenced me the most is Del Crandall, who managed here in Milwaukee. I have learned more from him than anyone else.
8brauny8: Ron, how welcome have you felt in Milwaukee?
Roenicke: First of all, let me tell you about our interview process. When I walked out of my first interview with Doug Melvin and Dan O'Brien, I thought, what nice people.
And then, my second interview with Gord Ash and Mark Attanasio, I thought the same thing. So nice. Let me tell you, Milwaukee people are different and it's good. I'm really excited about you guys (Brewers fans). I'm not bagging on Los Angeles because I love it there, but it's different. There are great fans there, but what I hear and see from here so far, the fan support is great and you will help us out this season.
Jasko: Ron, how do you think the everyday lineup looks for next season?
Roenicke: The core group -- everybody knows where they will be, but the other positions will develop and come together throughout Spring Training. But there still is a lot to do as Spring Training goes on. We will always need to make adjustments here and there, but at this point we will develop an everyday line up as Spring Training goes on.
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