Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. ET
Phillies Pitcher Jamie Moyer
Wednesday, February 11, 2009; 12:00 PM
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer will be online Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. ET to take your questions about winning the World Series with his home-town team last season, his expectations for this year, how he's been able to continue to excel into his 40s and more.
Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.
Moyer, 46, first pitched in the majors in 1986. After 22 seasons, Moyer has 246 career wins, earning more of his victories in his 40s than he did in his 20s. Moyer, who grew up near and went to college in Philadelphia, went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA in 2008 for the World Series-champion Phillies.
In 2000, he and his wife Karen founded The Moyer Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides comfort and support to children enduring a time of profound physical, emotional or financial distress. With community support, the Foundation has raised more than $16 million to assist over 170 different non-profit organizations that serve the needs of children in severe distress, including creating Camp Erin -- the largest network of bereavement camps for children and teens in the U.S. and Canada.
Jamie Moyer: Good afternoon everybody, thanks for chatting online today.
Washington, D.C.: Jamie:
I was at Wrigley Field 23 years ago when you made your first Major League start. I went with a friend to see Steve Carlton pitch in what was assumed to be his last year, and most of us assumed some unknown rookie would stand no chance. But I joined in the standing ovation for you with the rest of the fans in the ballpark when you left the mound after having outpitched that Hall of Famer.
Two questions: How well do you remember your debut with the Cubs and your thoughts on pitching against Carlton, and second, at the time, how long were you hoping your MLB career to be?
Thanks Jamie -- and I know that fans of every team you played for were happy to see you get a World Series ring.
Jamie Moyer: Great question, thanks for asking. I remember that game vividly, I'll never forget it. Steve Carlton was my idol as a kid growing up in Philadelphia. It was a dream come true to pitch in Wrigley against Steve Carlton.
That day, ha, that particular day, if my career would have been over that day, I think I would have been pretty excited. But its' been an interesting ride throughout my career, which isn't over yet, but culminating last year, with Philadelphia, and to be able to go down Broad St. on a float was a great feather to put in my hat.
Oxford, Pa.: As a Philly native, how special was it for you to take part in the first championship for the city in over 20 years? Because Philly fans are notoriously rabid, and posses a great deal of sports I.Q., does winning feel any different in Philly?
Jamie Moyer: Winning always feels good, regardless of where it happens or where it takes place. I think it's extra special for me in Philadelphia because I know how long the fans have weathered the storm. They've been very passionate, and it was exciting to be able to win the final game of the World Series in Philadelphia, and to see the city and the fans embrace us the way they did was really special. And to see the excitement of my teammates, for them to recognize how special this was to the fans and the city, which I think is really special.
Bel Air, Md.: Although you've had a great career on the field, I'm more impressed by your work off the field. What type of activities does your Foundation support?
Jamie Moyer: If I don't answer your question completely, please feel free to logon to moyerfoundation.org. Our mission is to help children in distress, we have a passion for that, we're heavily involved with the children's hospital in Seattle. Our biggest endeavor is Camp Erin, our three bereavement camps for children. Our goal is to put one of those camps in every major league city. We think it's important to give back to those cities by helping children who are grieving for a loved one. This are free weekend camps for children age 6-17, we feel like no child should have to grieve alone -- no child should have to do that, but death affects everybody.
We were involved in a bereavement camp in Indiana when we lived there, and upon moving to Seattle, we wanted to continue our involvement -- we assumed there would be one there, but people didn't really know much about it. Unfortunately, through the loss of a friend, Erin Metcalf, a high school teenager who lost her battle to spine cancer, and the grace of her parents, we're letting her name live on through these camps.
Philadelphia: What do you think of Philly fans? True, we booed Santa Clause, yet people didn't realize what a scrawny replacement the Phillies found for Santa. And kiteman was his own disaster: it helps if you don't crash. Yet, we are behind you 100 percent and we wish our Phillies all the best.
Jamie Moyer: I really enjoy the passion that Phillies fans bring to the ball park. They greatly show their emotions, good or bad, and that's their prerogative. We feel on the field and on the bench our fan's passion. It's really uplifting and influential when our fans are supporting us in a positive way. You can not believe how that can help a team until you've been through it yourself.
Los Angeles: From a Phillies fan in Dodgerland: I am glad to hear Phillies all talking about repeating as World Champions. I believe attitude is critical, and a positive attitude keeps the team relaxes and focused and willing to fight not just to be the best each player can be but to do so in support of teammates. I've seen too many teams fall apart because of negative attitudes. Of course, I'm not there in the dugout and fields. How positive is the team and what is the team attitude?
Jamie Moyer: I feel like my attitude is very positive, toward my teammates and toward the game. I'm very impressed by my teammates' attitudes. As young as some of them are, I'm impressed by their work ethic, the way they approach their jobs, their responsibilities on and off the field. It's heartwarming to be on a team where everyone has the same goal, and that's winning. It's been that way since '06. I think the Phillies organization has done a great job of bringing good people to the club, and that Charlie Manuel has done a good job of keeping us going in the right direction. I can say nothing but positive things about my time in Philadelphia.
Washington, D.C.: How do you rate Nationals Park? While players on the Nationals tend to be very polite when answering this question, your candor would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
Jamie Moyer: I enjoyed the new ball park, from a pitcher's perspective, I like the bullpens, I like the mound -- that's important because it's my office, it's where I work. I think it's very fair, as far as the dimensions go, and from the field, it seems like a very positive place for fans to go and enjoy their baseball experience.
Fairfax, Va.: Hi Jamie, when you dug up the mound, did any of the other pitchers try to get it from you? Also, what have you done with it now?
Jamie Moyer: Nobody attempted to take it from me. I did it on a whim, it was not predetermined that I was going to take the rubber -- I thought it would just be a nice memento to have, and it's proudly displayed in my home.
Charm City: Jamie -
On behalf of all Oriole fans, congratulations on your World Series victory and all your other success...you were always a fan-favorite here and were always rooted for throughout your post-Baltimore career. You and Karen keep up the great work!!!
Jamie Moyer: Thank you for your kind words. Baltimore brings back many great memories. I was there last weekend to receive the Aspire Award from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. The Ripken family has been great for baseball, the city of Baltimore and it just brought back many warm, fuzzy feelings I have from playing in Baltimore.
Washington, D.C.: Jamie -
As a Red Sox fan, I'm STILL baffled as to why the Sox traded you for a reserve outfielder. But as a St. Joe's grad, I'm thrilled by your success and the fact you were able to win it all with your hometown team.
My question: What NL East teams do you think have helped themselves the most this offseason, and how do you think the Phillies stack up against them?
Jamie Moyer: I think, obviously, the Mets are going to be a contender in our division, Atlanta has restocked and has some youth. Miami made a great push last year, I see them as a contending team as well.
The Nationals are a team with a lot of youth, a lot of talented young players, and while they don't have a lot of proven players, they could sneak up on people this year. Look at what Miami did last year. Their pitching is going to be the thing to make 'em or break 'em, I think.
We're the reigning World Series champs, and we haven't really done anything to hurt ourselves, so we should be in the running. A lot of things have to happen for a team to be successful and make it ot the playoffs -- teams have to have their health and get a few breaks. But as of now, Feb. 11, the World Series is up for grabs.
Germantown, Md.: Jamie-
As a lifelong Phillies Phan, I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing the World Series Championship back to Philadelphia.
Since your new contract takes you to age 48, do you envision yourself possibly pitching until age 50?
And will we have another parade in town this year?
Jamie Moyer: That's a good question. Pitching at 46 is something I never could have imagined. I'm going to enjoy this season to its fullest and enjoy the season to the best of my ability. Would I like to pitch until I'm 50? My simple answer is that if I can get through 46 and 47 healthy and contributing to my team, don't think that I won't, but a lot of it is based on my health and my ability to contribute to my team.
Congrats on your World Series victory. I was as excited as anybody else in the city. I've been curious though, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, how exactly it is that the 70 mph slow and straight ball you've been throwing for the last few years is still so successful?
Jamie Moyer: First, it's not 70, it's 80 or 81. But I feel like I pitch below the speed limit. But for some hitters it's hard to adjust to that, because there aren't many pitchers like me in the game. If there were more of us kicking around, it might work against. me. But it's not like I can reach back and throw 90. I've pitched this way my whole career, and it's not like my velocity is going to increase, so I had to learn to utilize my abilities to contribute and be a major league pitcher.
As to how I did that -- I've had a lot of opportunities, I've had people around me who continued to give me a chance, I've worked hard, and I just don't give up until the hitters start to tell me I can't pitch at this level anymore. Until then, why give up? If I had given it up in 1991 like I was told to do, I wouldn't be walking up to home plate this spring accepting a World Series ring.
South Bend, Ind.: Do you think players who test positive for, admit to taking, or are substantially tied to performance-enhancing drugs should be admitted into the baseball Hall of Fame?
Jamie Moyer: That's a very interesting question. I don't agree with performance enhancing drugs. I've never used them. It's very unfortunate that people have used that path to better themselves. And its a shame for the people who haven't gone down that path, how it's affected them. I think the media has focused so much on the players who have used them, they've overlooked the players who haven't. And no one knows who has used or who hasn't, because the testing isn't public knowledge -- and I don't think it should be.
Do I think players who tested positive should be in the hall of fame? No, definitely not. This is a simple game of baseball, and players have found ways to do things the right way for many years, and in the long run, those players will always have the upper hand. I commend anyone who has chosen not to use them, and for those that have, I hope that it doesn't come back to haunt them. All for a simple game of baseball.
Essex, Md.: Has any public address flunky ever played Van Halen's "Jamie's Cryin'" after you've been knocked out of the box?
Jamie Moyer: I'm usually not cognizant of what's being played when I'm knocked out of the box. I'm sure it's happened. I'm usually so into what's going on, I don't hear what's going on in my surroundings, but I'm sure it's taking place. Those people can be very creative with their music selections.
Section 332 Season Ticker holder: First, Congratulations on the World Series win! Game 2 against the Dodgers was about the loudest event I have ever been at. Two questions if I can: Can you discuss your offseason workout routine, and will Bret Myers ever get three hits in one game again?
Jamie Moyer: Ha ha ha -- Oh my -- it's amazing what people will ask. I'm going to say yes, Bret will get three hits again in a game.
My offseason routine goes a lot of different directions -- it's a lot of strength and flexibility. My cardio work is done on a LaMond spinning bike, and I do a lot of long toss. During the season, my cardio is done in a HydroWorks 2000 in Philadelphia -- bigger than a hot tub, smaller than a pool -- it has an adjustable floor, with a treadmill on it. I put sneakers on and run on it, and it has a button where you can create water resistance. It's quite an expensive piece of equipment the Phillies put in, but it has its benefits.
Thank you for chatting online with me, I enjoyed the questions, and hopefully we'll see you all at the ball park this summer.
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