Myers comfortable in starting role
Right-hander talks about switch during online chat
Phillies pitcher Brett Myers participated in a live Web chat Friday afternoon and answered fans' questions regarding his switch from starter to closer in 2007 and back to starter again this year, the final pitch of the '07 season, tattoos, the Phillies' goals for '08, and more.
Brett Myers: What's up, guys? I'm taking a break from shooting commercials to take your questions. I'm excited to be here, so let's get started.
mcelser: Other than Citizens Bank Park, what is your favorite ballpark to pitch in?
Myers: I'd say Wrigley Field because that was the site of my Major League debut.
mcelser: What player did you look up to most growing up as a kid?
Myers: Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens.
jerseylady: This is very exciting ... getting to chat with you and of course, knowing the 2008 season is at hand. You're my favorite Phillies player and thanks for a great season. My first question is: do you have a nickname?
Myers: Actually, I don't have a nickname. Maybe the fans could come up with something creative for me.
mets__low: Besides you or Cole Hamels, what pitcher has the most potential to be a difference maker for the Phillies this year?
Myers: I can't really say one guy over another. To me, I think everybody has their different pitching styles, but we all feed off of each other.
mets__low: What player or coach has been the most influential to your success since you've been with the Phillies? And why?
Myers: Rod Nichols, who is our Triple-A pitching coach right now. As a young kid going into Class A, he basically kept me in check and taught me about things about the game that I didn't know. He was a great influence and still is.
jerseylady: How many tattoos do you have? Care to share where they are?
Myers: I have my kids' names on my left arm, along with my last name. It's kind of like a half sleeve. I have one on my wrist that is a tribal baseball, and I have my ring finger tattooed with my wife's initials.
dukerdogs: When you're on the road, who do you most often hang out with?
Myers: We are all a pretty close group and do a lot of things together as a team.
Thanatos: Did you enjoy the feeling of closing games?
Myers: I loved it and would love to do it again someday in Philadelphia. But, at the same time, I'm excited to be back in the rotation. Like the 1993 Phillies said -- "Whatever it takes."
Thanatos: Which new Phillies acquisition do you look forward to getting to know?
Myers: I just met Brad Lidge this morning and he seems like a great guy. I think we have some stuff in common on the pitching side of things.
hobokendan: Brett, will your first few regular-season starts be strange or uncomfortable since you got used to the closer's role?
Myers: No. I was a starter for such a long time that I feel comfortable making the switch back. And that's really what Spring Training is for anyway, to prepare us for the season.
Thanatos: If you could play any other position, which position would you like to play?
Myers: Anywhere. I just love playing. But in high school, I played first base, right field and some third base.
franklin: Brett, would you rank the final pitch of the 2007 regular season as one of the best moments in your career?
Myers: Up to this point, it is the highlight of my baseball career. But I hope it doesn't stay that way, because we have bigger goals.
slrmp97: How does it feel knowing when the Phils were looking for the best starting pitcher available this offseason, they decided you were it?
Myers: It's a great feeling that the organization has that kind of confidence in me. Hopefully, the fans feel the same way.
mcelser: If the Phillies ran into a problem again this season where they needed someone to close out games, would you take that role again this season?
Myers: I'm here to pitch and get the team to the playoffs. Whatever it takes is what I will give. Whether that is starting or closing, it doesn't matter to me.
Thanatos: When you become a free agent, will you be willing to take a hometown discount to remain with the Phillies or look to join another team?
Myers: I love this city and the fans, and I really would like to finish my career here. I've never known another organization and have no desire to go anywhere else.
utley512: What are your goals for the season, for yourself and for the team?
Myers: Personally, my goal is to win 20 games. For the team, obviously winning a World Series is our collective goal, and I think we have the guys to do it.
hobokendan: Can you describe what it was like as you took the mound to start the ninth on the last day of the season?
Myers: If it wasn't for the fans, I wouldn't have had as much adrenaline and emotion as I did. I could feel it in the air how much the fans wanted it and I wanted it just as bad or more than they did. It was awesome.
Thanatos: How do you prepare to start a game?
Myers: On my day to start, I am very quiet and don't talk to anybody. It's not something that's planned, it just happens. Most pitchers are quiet on the day they pitch.
Thanatos: Which team do you most look forward to beating this next season?
Myers: One-hundred percent and without a doubt, the New York Mets.
hobokendan: Did you get a chance to rock out with the band this offseason?
Myers: I haven't, but I still play the guitar a lot. I still like to shred.
Thanatos: How superstitious are you regarding baseball?
Myers: I'm not really that superstitious.
Thanatos: When you retire, what type of pitcher do you want fans to think of you as: power pitcher like Nolan Ryan, workhorse like Livan Hernandez, finesse pitcher like Tommy John, or control pitcher like Christy Matthewson?
Myers: It would be great if I could have a little bit of all of them in myself.
hobokendan: Brett, can you explain the significance of the sign that read "WORD" in the Phils bullpen last season?
Myers: It's funny that you noticed that. We called Jayson Werth that sometimes, and every time he got a hit and trotted out to right field, we would point at the sign. He was one of the team's hottest hitters when the sign was up.
dukerdogs: Who is the best golfer on the team?
Myers: Me, because I score the highest. Isn't it all about scoring the most points?
Myers: I only have time for a couple more.
Thanatos: Do you feel like you would ever play for the Mets, considering the rivalry between the Phils and Mets?
Myers: Never say never, but I seriously doubt it. As I stated earlier, I have a lot of love for this city and that would seem really weird. I wouldn't want to feel like a traitor!
Thanatos: Who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl?
Myers: Neither team. None of my teams -- the Packers, Eagles or Jaguars -- made it. But I will be watching along with everyone else on Feb. 3.
Myers: Thanks, guys! This was fun, but I have to get back to our commercial shoot. We should do this more often.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.