Sweeney chats live with Oakland fans
Outfielder kicks off A's Holiday Caravan by answering inquiries
Ryan Sweeney kicked off the 2008 A's Holiday Caravan Tour with a live chat Wednesday. Lots of fans logged on to ask Ryan about his offseason routine and his plans for '09.
ryansweeney: Hey guys, thanks for logging on. I'm ready, so let's get this chat going.
suprjo823: Hey, Ryan, thanks for doing this. How's your finger? How was the surgery?
ryansweeney: My finger is doing good. The surgery was successful. I've had about a month and a half of rehab, and it's about 100 percent. I'm pretty much doing normal workouts now.
bgsuCUBSfan58519: You led all regulars in batting average last year and defended all OF positions well last year, so what are your personal as well as team goals this year?
ryansweeney: Team goals, first and foremost, is to win the division. The Angels are a tough team, but with the offseason moves we're making, I think we'll be able to contend.
ryansweeney: Personally, I try to improve in every aspect in my game. Maybe steal a few more bases. And, mainly, stay injury free. I would love to play 162 games this year.
oakgirl15: Hi Ryan! What's a typical day like for you during the offseason?
ryansweeney: Actually. we're having a blizzard right now here in Iowa, so I'm not doing too much today. Maybe take the dog for a walk. But typically, I wake up, eat breakfast and work out with my trainer at the gym for about an hour and a half. Then I come home for lunch, then go out again for a second workout of hitting, throwing and other baseball activities.
ryansweeney: Then I come home and play NCAA 3 with my brother and cousin.
stinabelle: You are a very talented player, and you have a huge fan base in my third grade class in San Jose. They want to know how you got to be such a great player. Any tips?
ryansweeney: Pretty much just hard work. I've been playing baseball since I was 2 years old. That's all I ever have wanted to do. Just have fun and do things the right way.
tiffany15: How do you feel about the acquisition of Matt Holliday?
ryansweeney: I think his numbers speak for himself. From what I hear, he's a great guy and great addition to the team. I look forward to playing alongside him in the outfield.
bgsuCUBSfan58519: What's it like to live with teammate Daric Barton?
ryansweeney: Let's just say it's an adventure every day. It's great to live with a teammate and really get to know him. We bonded pretty quickly. It's almost like family, like a brother. We do everything together.
asfan7540: What has been your favorite moment with the A's so far?
ryansweeney: First and foremost, just knowing that the A's wanted me when they traded for me. But other than that, probably just being the opening day center fielder for the A's. Not many people get to experience that.
stephw15: Hi Ryan. Since you're in a blizzard, I bet you're ready to come here to Arizona for Spring Training. Any special things you want to work on while you're here (other than stealing more bases)?
ryansweeney: Definitely looking forward to coming out to the warm weather. I'm looking forward to working on driving the ball more and trying to keep my same consistent approach to the plate. Not try to change anything. And hopefully, work on my routes and taking charge as the everyday center fielder.
meghann46: Growing up we all have our idols, on and off the field. I am an Athletics fan, but Andy Pettitte is someone I idolize and have since I was a little girl. Who do you look up to?
ryansweeney: I always thought I was going to be a pitcher, so I was big Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux fans. And when I wasn't pitching, I was playing center field and Kenny Lofton was who I looked up to.
katrina14: Awww!! You have a dog? What breed?
ryansweeney: A female boxer named Maddie. She hates the cold! Ha Ha!
ryanch33: What's up Ryan? Where do you prefer to hit in the order?
ryansweeney: I kind of see myself as a two-hole guy. I put the ball in play a lot and move runners along. I see Chavez, Holliday and Cust being the guys in the middle who drive in runs.
alih2oman: Hey Ryan, do you have any gameday superstitions?
ryansweeney: To be honest, I'm not very superstitious. But if I'm going well, me and Daric may go out to the same place for dinner again, but that's about it.
nashuahosers: Is there any reason why you tape up your wrists so much? It's your "look!"
ryansweeney: I've always taped my right wrist because you had TFC tear in 2005, and then I tape the other one because the other one's taped.
alih2oman: Do you ever wish you would have played ball in college, or did you always want to go straight to the Majors?
ryansweeney: I knew I wanted to play professional baseball, but my first goal was getting a full scholarship to college. If I would have been drafted lower, I probably wouldn't have gone to college.
asfan7540: Ryan, what are your plans for the rest of the offseason?
ryansweeney: Just work out and then me and my family are planning to go to Jamaica later this month.
meghann46: As a female, I know we can make for some pretty rowdy fans. ... Have you had any encounters with crazy fans yet? If not ... just wait. Soon it will happen. Not me of course! lol
ryansweeney: Probably the craziest fans I've encountered so far were last year in Toronto. There was this group of college-age kids in the outfield who were really giving it to me, and we were going back and forth for a while. Then later in the game, I hit an upper-deck home run above them and then I tipped my cap to them when I ran back out on the field.
meghann46: I live in Rhode Island, so I don't get out to many ballparks. Just here on the East Coast, and I always go to see the Athletics play in Fenway. What is your favorite ballpark to visit?
ryansweeney: It was definitely was a cool experience to play in Yankee Stadium this year, but probably my favorite ballparks are Anaheim Stadium and Seattle, too.
rly723: What is the typical Ryan Sweeney meal plan for the day?
ryansweeney: For breakfast, I'll have a glass of orange juice, take my vitamins and then have a bowl of cereal and an oatmeal bar. Before a game, we stop at this burrito place for lunch, then have some chicken in the clubhouse before the game. After the game, it's whatever the postgame spread is.
ryanch33: Who is the toughest pitcher you faced that you have taken yard, whether it was Spring Training or the regular season.
ryansweeney: The toughest pitcher I've hit a home run off is probably A.J. Burnett. The toughest pitcher I've faced period might be Andy Petitte as a left-hander.
adoreoak: Excited for the Holiday Caravan?
ryansweeney: Yeah. I'm excited to come out and looking forward to doing all the events, seeing the fans and hanging out with Travis.
ryansweeney: Well, I guess time has run out. Thanks for all the great questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get to all of them. Travis and I will be at the Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton this Saturday from 4-6 p.m.. Hope to see you there. Check out oaklandathletics.com for all the info.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.