Diamondbacks third baseman Chad Tracy answered fans' questions during an online chat Friday. He talked about his new contract, how he prepares for each game and his fielding success at third base.
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.