Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel fielded fans' questions during a live Web chat on Tuesday. He talked about his favorite music, his new haircut, and how it feels to be named the 2008 Fans Vote Bobblehead winner.
Buckner22: You have the best pick-off move of all the staff. What is your approach to pick-offs and why do you feel you are so successful?
Beimel: I think that being left-handed, I've always figured that I have an advantage and it's something that I've always felt like there's no excuse for a left-hander not to have a good move. It's something you can work at. It's not like throwing 95 that's a God-given ability. It's something you can work at and get better at, so that's what I've tried to do.
rox08: What's the best part about playing for Joe Torre?
Beimel: The best part is the attitude that he brings to the field every day. He expects his players to play hard and do the little things that help the team win. He's obviously been there and done that and won throughout his managerial career, so having that kind of manager brings that attitude to the field every day is exciting for everybody.
joe_dodger: Joe, how do the rest of the relief pitchers manage to squeeze into that little shanty under the left field pavilion when Broxton must take up half of the room?
Beimel: Actually, not everybody goes in there and Broxton doesn't go in there at all. He sits outside and watches from a chair. I think there's only six seats in there, so it's on a first-come, first-served basis. If you don't get in there, you have to wait for someone to get up and they sneak in and steal their seat. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen Broxton in there.
luckydog7: who was your favorite player as a kid?
Beimel: My favorite player was Bill Madlock. I was at a game in Pittsburgh and he threw me a baseball so from that point on, he was always my favorite player.
bsblkline: First off, I just want to say that when you announced the lineup on a saturday game on fox it was hilarious, but I was wondering what the coolest part is about traveling on the road with the team?
Beimel: I guess just being able to go to a bunch of different cities that I'd probably never got to if I wasn't playing baseball. Being able to see the little things that each city is known for and getting to experience that.
notownts: What kind of music do you like?
Beimel: Pretty much listen to everything. When I say everything, I mean everything except techno or death metal, but my first love is punk rock. I grew up listening to punk rock, so I'd have to say out of everything, that's probably my favorite.
dodgermetz: Hi Joe, I've been a dodger fan since 1955, the days of Brooklyn, and I was wondering what your favorite memory in a baseball uniform is. What do you see your role as a dodger will be in the future?
Beimel: My favorite memory was in '06 when we hit the four home runs in a row to tie the game and ended up winning it on Nomar's walkoff. That was pretty exciting and I went home from that game and had a lot of adrenaline. I didn't know what to do with myself after that. I guess my role, I see it as it is now. Coming in in the later innings, getting left-handers out and hopefully continuing that.
Stellar55: Hi Joe... what do you like best about coming out of the bullpen?
Beimel: I think the best part is just being out there, getting loose and when the manager comes out, you realize that your'e in the game, that adrenaline rush that you get as you come jogging into the field. There's really no other feeling like that, you know? Being able to come in that night, help your team and do the job is the best thing you can ask for.
bluecrewrocks: Were you always a relief pitcher or were you a starter in the minors and converted to reliever.
Beimel: In the minors, I was a starter and reliever pretty much every year until 2000. That year, i started every game. My first two years in the bigs, I bounced back and forth from starter to reliever and in 2003, I became a full-time reliever.
bullpen97: what are some items you keep in your locker? anything interesting?
Beimel: I've got some pictures in there from magazines hanging up with little quotes that I like. I have a Chaz Michael Michaels bobble head from Blades of Glory and I have a broken cooler that's supposed to hold soda but it doesn't turn on anymore.
9000: How does it feel to be selected by the fans for the bobblehead promotion?
Beimel: It feels outstanding. It's just one of those things that as a player, you don't really ever expect but it's very flattering. It's just something I never thought would happen. I think I told somebody this, that it was one of my guarantees in life like death and taxes. The third one for me was that I'd never have a bobblehead, so I guess you never say never.
boblw: Are you a Steelers or Eagels fan?
Beimel: I am a die-hard Steelers fans. That's the only team that I'll watch. I don't watch much football unless it's the Steelers.
dodgers157: Have you had any at-bats in the majors?
Beimel: Actually, I've hit .300 before in big leagues. LOL. In 2002, I went 3-for-10. But when i was a starter, I was a pretty decent hitter but since then... In 2003, I got called in from the bullpen to pinch-hit in Atlanta, so that was a pretty good memory for me. But, I struck out, so that wasn't so good.
bnkrboy: What's your song when you come out of the bullpen and why?
Beimel: I don't have one. It's Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes, but they've only played it twice. I want God's Gonna Cut You Down by Johnny Cash, but they won't play that for me.
dgr_dugout: Beimel, if you had the opportunity, would you like to be a closer or do you prefer your role now?
Beimel: If the situation presented itself where I had to close, obviously I would want to do it. Anything I can do to help the team win. But I feel I'm pretty good at what I do now, so I don't have a problem staying there.
goblucru: I hear its a Dodger tradition to haze the new guys. Have you ever pulled any crazy pranks on rookies?
Beimel: I don't do much of that. I leave that up to Sweeney and some of the older guys who have a good time doing that. It's something I've never really gotten into.
hanoverf: Are you more flattered by or terrified of TroyfromWV?
Beimel: I'm definitely not terrified of him. He's just a good guy. He's actually done a lot for me with his videos that he's made. It's very flattering to have somebody think that much of you to take time out of their day to make YouTube videos of you, so I'm defintely flattered by him.
die4blue: Are you a hunter?
Beimel: Not anymore. I used to hunt when I was younger and once I started playing baseball a lot, I kind of got out of it. I haven't done it for a while, but it might be something I'll do when I retire. As for right now, I'm not a hunter.
dodgers157: Why do you wear number 97?
Beimel: I wear 97 because my son was born in 1997 and I figured that whatever team I went to, I wouldn't have a problem getting it!
9000: You mentioned right now you like punk rock, can you tell us a few of your favorite bands?
Beimel: My favorite punk rock bans are Screeching Weasel, the Bouncing Souls, No FX
joe_dodger: Joe, what does your tattoo "Only God know why" mean?
Beimel: I guess it is what it is. Only God knows why certain things happen and you can't really explain it, but usually it's for the best.
russ55mvp_2: who on the team do you spend the most time with?
Beimel: Probably Russ. He's been a good friend and he's actually my next-door neighbor, so we hang out quite bit.
9000: Did you and the rest of the pitching staff welcome Clayton Kershaw to the majors with any pranks or jokes?
Beimel: I didn't, personally, but Jason Schmidt actually hung his jersey up in Clayton's locker and for some reason, he wasn't paying attention and he put it on. So when they went out for the anthem, Clayton had Schmitty's jersey on and Schmitty had Clayton's jersey on. It was pretty hilarious.
bnkrboy: Who's the toughest batter you've faced? What was your approach?
Beimel: I'm really not sure about the toughest batter. Probably the best hitter was Barry Bonds, but my approach with him was just to stay aggressive and throw strikes and not get into counts where I felt he had the advantage. I'd just try to pump him with strikes and stay ahead.
bluefan08: Are you a Lakers fan?
Beimel: No. I'm not really a basketball fan at all. I used to be a Michael Jordan fan so when he played, I watched basketball but right now I don't really have an interest in it. And, there was no basketball team in Pittsburgh, so I never really got into it.
Stephyboo: what's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Beimel: My favorite ice cream flavor is actually vanilla, which is kind of boring, but I'm lactose intolerant so I don't eat much ice cream.
star55: Do you have any rituals? before the game or before warming up etc?
Beimel: I try to keep the same routine every day. I do the same things at the same time. Like, I'll come in after BP and take a shower, get my uniform on and put my contacts in during the middle of the third inning every day. I stretch in the middle of the fourth inning every day I do some mind exercises and go over throwing to certain hitters in my head. Then, in the middle of the fifth, I stretch. Keep repeating the same things every day. When I was successful one day, I try to do the same thing the next day and the next day.
dodgers157: Do you like Los, Angeles? The atmosphere of the city?
Beimel: Yeah, I love it here. My first two years here I lived in Pasadena and I liked it there, but this past year I moved out by the beach and I love it out here. It's definitely the best place I've ever lived.
star55: You are my favorite player, your pitching is just incredible, would you prefer to be used more often rather than to only get a single player out?
Beimel: Yes and no. I definitely like to come into the game once in a while and start a clean inning, but at the same time, my job is when things are getting a little hairy out there for whatever pitcher is out there, it's my job to get him out of it. That means sometimes I have to come in with bases loaded or with guys on and get a left-hander out and that's it for the day, but either way is fine with me. As long as I'm doing my job and helping the team out.
bfdodfan: How many bobble heads are you going to get personally?
Beimel: Hopefully quite a few, because I've got a lot of family that's been on me about it and asking me to get it for them. However many they'll give me, I'll take 'em.
ericmonson: Do any of you guys read the blogs? Or would admit to it if you did?
Beimel: Not really. It's not that I don't hear about them. My friends will let me know if they see something on a blog or on DodgerBlues. They're big fans of that. I think those guys are hilarious, so if there's anything funny, by best friend Benj will let me know what they're saying.
RMARTIN55: How do you like your new haircut?
Beimel: I really like my new haircut. It always feel good to go a little trim. I'm more excited about my sideburns, though.
bnkrboy: Being a lefty, ever get any advice from Koufax?
Beimel: I've talked to him in Spring Training and said hi and things like that, but I haven't really talked to him much about pitching.
cbg3: Do you choose to eat a strict diet during the season? What's conditioning like during the season?
Beimel: I don't have a strict diet. I lose a lot of weight during the season, so I eat whatever I can. It doesn't matter if it's healthy or not. Conditioning-wise, I don't like to run, so I do what the strength and conditioning guy suggests and I'll lift once in a while. But, I don't work out much during the season because my workouts are on the mound.
brooklyn23: have you thought about growing out your chops like Troy?
Beimel: They're already there! I already did.
kayy911: Do you like playing as yourself in video games?
Beimel: I don't play baseball games in video games. I have a few times just to see what it's like, and it's definitely cool to see yourself or how they people who make the games perceive you. In all the games I've seen, I don't have a sinker and that's my main pitch, so that's kind of funny.
Beimel: Thanks to all of you guys for all the questions. I really enjoyed it. Hope to see you all at the park soon.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.