07/06/2004 12:46 PM ET
Hafner chats with fans online
All-Star Final Vote candidate Travis Hafner spent some time chatting with fans during a live online chat on indians.com.
|Travis Hafner is up against Lew Ford, Hideki Matsui, Frank Thomas and Paul Konerko. (Mark Duncan/AP)
lofton007: How did you get the nickname "Pronk"?
Travis Hafner: It was last Spring Training. Bill Selby kind of came up with it. Some called me "donkey," some called me "project" and it got shortened up to "Pronk."
Base_Ball_2: What do you do on your off time during the season?
Hafner: I like to work out. I do a lot of running. Lift weights. I like to relax and go hunting in North Dakota. I also like to play video games and watch TV.
lofton007: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
Hafner: I liked watching Cal Ripken and Jim Thome the last six or seven years.
Base_Ball_2: How does it feel to have a chance to be included in the All-Star Game?
Hafner: It's an honor just to be up for the final spot. It's nice to get some recognition. I'm flattered just to be considered for it.
mlb_com_member: Travis, who is the toughest pitcher you have faced and why?
Hafner: Hmmm. I guess not one pitcher stands out. Pitchers like Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez stand out. Guys who can locate the ball and have great stuff, guys like that.
bulatribefan: Do you have any specific goals for this season?
Hafner: I guess my main goal for now is to win the Central Division. All of my goals are team-oriented. I really want the team to win the division this year.
kschimm13: You have been in the zone this year at the plate. What do you do before games to get ready for the game?
Hafner: Well, usually, we'll take batting practice every day. I'll watch video of the starting pitcher for about 20 minutes. I like to hit off a tee and run before the games to make sure I'm loose and focused for the game.
Base_Ball: What player or players do you think give the best advice and know the most about the game?
Hafner: I think guys like Matt Lawton and Omar (Vizquel). They have been in the game a long time and have experienced just about everything. As a young player having a chance to speak with them, you can really learn a lot from them.
gomarod: What do you think the chances are of the Indians in the postseason?
Hafner: I definitely feel we have the starting pitching to compete in our division and our bullpen is solid. And our offense has improved from last year. We've been scoring a lot of runs. With those three things I think we definitely have a chance to win our division.
tooshort4: Travis, I play Little League, going into Junior Pony, I'm kinda afraid of the pitcher because the ball is fast. Do you have any tips so I'm not afraid of batting?
Hafner: I would say if you have a chance to hit off a pitching machine and get more and more repetition you'll feel more comfortable at the plate.
cfcisback: Hello Travis, as you are vying for an All-Star spot and the Indians were supposed to be in a rebuilding year this year, you guys exceeded expectations. You find yourself only five games back, which isn't much. How does it feel to be doing better than the media expected?
Hafner: I think our expectations were high coming into this year. We expected to improve a lot. Everyone is more comfortable. We're not happy to be five games out. Our goal is to win the Central.
Hafner: I'd like to thank all of the Tribe fans for their support and hope to see everyone out at the Jake.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.