Gross comfortable in role, eager to start
Outfielder answers fans' questions during online chat
Brewers outfielder Gabe Gross made quite an impression with his new team, getting off to a 5-for-10 start in pinch-hit opportunities including three home runs. Gross chatted online with fans on Friday about is role on the team, the Brewers clubhouse and making the transition from Toronto to Milwaukee.
Gabe Gross: Hello everyone, thanks for joining me today. Let's get started.
Cody_Smith: What are the differences between playing in Milwaukee and playing in Toronto?
Gross: The biggest difference is that in Toronto, baseball was not the No. 1 sport, it was more of a hockey town. With Milwaukee, I really feel like the Brewers are No. 1.
braintrust: Hey Gabe, congratulations on your success here in Milwaukee, I want to know is there a reason for wearing No. 18?
Gross: It has been my number since high school. It has pretty much been my number in baseball and football. I wore No. 22 in college football because 18 was already taken.
Base_Ball_2: What are the differences you are noticing between the National League and the American League?
Gross: For me, there is a whole lot more to the game in the NL than there was in the AL. I think you have to have a deeper team to be successful in the NL because you will use more players through pinch-hitting and double switching.
Base_Ball_2: Who is the toughest pitcher you've faced?
Gross: Tim Hudson.
Base_Ball_2: How do you prepare for a game?
Gross: I just try to get my swing ready for each game. I like to get to know the pitchers and also if I am playing defense, I like to know the lineup of the other team.
packattack04: Gabe, what is it like being on a team that leads baseball in come-from-behind wins?
Gross: It just instills a great amount of confidence in that no matter what the score is, you have a chance to win just because we have done it so many times.
Base_Ball_3: Who is your best friend on the team?
Gross: I really don't have one best friend on the team. What I have enjoyed the most about being on this team is that all 25 guys get along and hang out with each other.
packattack04: I didn't know you played football at Auburn. What is your most memorable moment playing football at Auburn?
Gross: The first time I came into a game that really mattered was against Tennessee, but they went on to win the National Championship that year so obviously we didn't win, but the experience of getting into a big game was great.
Beth_Lloyd: Do you and the team joke around a lot?
Gross: We do joke around a lot, starting at the top with Ned Yost, we keep a loose clubhouse.
jake_josetti: Congratulations on a great start to the season. What was more exciting at the time, hitting your first pinch-hit home run for the Brewers or connecting on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Karsten Bailey to take a 17-point lead in the 1998 Iron Bowl?
Gross: Wow, you did some research. It is hard to differentiate because it is two totally different sports and the feelings are different. They were equally exciting for me.
turnbowismoney: Gabe, do you prefer pinch-hitting most of the time and see some limited playing time, or would you prefer a starting spot in the field?
Gross: I would definitely prefer a starting spot, there aren't many in the game that wouldn't prefer that, but pinch-hitting is my role right now and that is what I am trying to succeed at.
Base_Ball_3: What do you and the team like to do when you have the day off?
Gross: I like to play golf, fish and hang out with my wife.
briant486: Gabe, how do you like it here in Milwaukee and how did it feel to start your career off here with that big home run?
Gross: I really love it here in Milwaukee, it doesn't get any better than to start your career with a new team by hitting a big home run.
Base_Ball_2: Do you guys watch "SportsCenter," "Baseball Tonight" and other shows like that?
Gross: We watch "SportsCenter" and "Baseball Tonight" pretty often in the clubhouse. It is great to catch up on what is happening as well as catching up on friends on other teams.
Base_Ball_3: Was it easy to fit in with all your other teammates when you first started here?
Gross: Yes, that was the first impression that I had when getting here -- how easily everyone got along and how quickly I was welcomed to the team.
packattack04: What is your golf handicap?
Gross: Right now, not very good, but in the offseason I probably get it to a 10 or a 12.
scroggins69: Gabe, it is so great to see the Brewers winning. Does the team have any specific goals to achieve before the All-Star break other than win as many games as possible?
Gross: We don't really have a specific win total to achieve, but we just want to go out everyday and try and win every game.
Base_Ball_3: Do you listen to any type of music before you play, and if so what?
Gross: I like listening to music in the car on the way to the game, but nothing really before the game. I listen to a lot of Christian and Gospel music and some Country music as well.
turnbowismoney: I'm wondering, since you came to Milwaukee on a trade with Dave Bush, if you two have gotten to know each other better, or if it is the same when you were on the Blue Jays?
Gross: Dave and I have gotten a little closer since both coming over here along with Corey Koskie.
briant486: Gabe, how did it feel when you first got called up to the show? I got hurt when I was in Single-A, and that was the end for me, but all I did was dream about that conversation.
Gross: It is hard to describe the actual feelings, but however good you think it would feel to get that call, you are right.
Base_Ball_2: What do you think Bill Hall's chances are this year of being in the All-Star Game?
Gross: It is going to be hard because he doesn't have a specific position, but he definitely plays like an All-Star.
gameman88: Great job so far when you've been given some opportunities to play. Just wondering what your favorite outfield spot is, and your favorite spot in the batting order? Go Brew Crew.
Gross: My favorite outfield spot is in center. My favorite spot in the lineup is wherever they put me.
packattack04: How good does it feel to come back home, especially after a poor road trip, like the recent West Coast trip, and win five of six games?
Gross: It is always good to come back home after any long road trip. After coming off a bad road trip, we definitely needed to put together a string of wins.
Beth_Lloyd: Hey Gabe, what is the best place in town that you go, just enjoy the night life?
Gross: My favorite place to enjoy the night life is to stay home with my wife and have dinner at my house.
Base_Ball_3: Did you play any other position other than outfielder when you were younger?
Gross: I grew up playing shortstop. In high school I played every position except catcher and in college I played first base, third base and in the outfield. I also pitched one inning in college.
mandymartin: Are you familiar with the brat? If so, have you had one and do you like them?
Gross: I am familiar with the brat, I have had one and it was good.
Beth_Lloyd: Do you look up to anyone in the big leagues that is still playing?
Gross: Growing up in Alabama, the team I watched was the Braves and the guys I admired the most were Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, simply because they were great at what they did but they didn't have to tell everybody about it. They all had quiet confidence.
ulicefan: What has been the reaction from your teammates with your choice of Christian music as you enter the batter's box?
Gross: I really haven't noticed a reaction one way or another. Most of the guys know that I follow Jesus Christ and I don't think it is a big deal.
Base_Ball_2: What are your thoughts on Corey Hart?
Gross: Corey is a great hitter. He can put the ball out of the ballpark and to all fields and he will be in the big leagues for many years to come.
packattack04: Do you follow any other sports other than baseball, and if so, what are your favorite teams?
Gross: I follow football -- NFL and college. My favorite NFL team is the New Orleans Saints because my dad played for them for three years. In college, of course I love Auburn.
Beth_Lloyd: Who is your biggest idol going up?
Gross: My dad.
Base_Ball_2: Having played in both leagues, which ballpark would you say is the best to play in?
Gross: I am a huge fan of Fenway Park in Boston.
Beth_Lloyd: I am a college softball player and I was wondering if you had any advice on what you did to make yourself a better player, or even a better leader?
Gross: To be a better player, I worked, worked and worked some more on hitting, defense and everything in between. To be a better leader, I think you just need to make sure you practice what you preach.
Base_Ball_2: Who has the best fashion sense on the team, or the worst?
Gross: I definitely don't have the best fashion sense, I will go with Rickie Weeks as having the best.
peckx: Will you hit a home run for me tonight?
Gross: I will do the best I can.
briant486: I guess you are pretty excited about the addition of Drew Brees and Reggie Bush?
Gross: Ben Sheets and I are both very excited about those additions to the Saints. I really see them in the near future being a contender.
ulicefan: Do you think the Brewers and the city of Milwaukee are changing the negative thoughts that players seemed to have about playing here? If not, what needs to be done? (By the way, I think it's a great witness that you chose Christian music. God bless.)
Gross: As far of negative thoughts, I never really had any coming in. In fact, once I started talking to people about Milwaukee, all I heard was that it was a great baseball city and I really have found that to be true.
m00fis: How often do you go online?
Gross: Not very often.
johnnyboy2006: Hi Gabe, great job this season and good luck the rest of the way! If you weren't a professional baseball player,what would profession what you like to be in?
Gross: I don't really know for sure, but it would be something that wouldn't have me sitting behind a desk all day.
Beth_Lloyd: Do you think Miller Park is the best place to play? Because I've been to a couple parks, and I think coming to Miller Park is just the best experience.
Gross: I really enjoy Miller Park. My favorite thing about ballparks are their uniqueness and Miller Park has a lot of things that make it one-of-a-kind.
packattack04: Are there any other golfers on the Brewers?
Gross: It would probably be easier to name the guys who didn't play golf. I know that myself, Chris Capuano, Hall, Dana Eveland and J.J. Hardy, just to name a few, but pretty much everybody plays from time to time.
scroggins69: Who do you think is the Brewer's biggest rival? The obvious answer is the Cubs but I am curious if the team has a different answer.
Gross: I think anytime the fans feel passionately about a team that makes them a huge rival, which obviously the Cubs are. As far as the team is concerned, I think we look at the St. Louis Cardinals as the team we have to go through to win this division and so that makes them a big rival for us as well.
Gross: Thanks for joining me today. I have to get ready for the Twins tonight, see you all at Miller Park soon. Go Brewers.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.