Jacobs talks to fans during online chat

Jacobs talks to fans during online chat

Mike Jacobs: Thank you for joining me today. I look forward to answering your questions. Let's get started.

canes2299: Hi, Mike. Welcome to KC. What do you think is going to be the hardest challenge this season for you, a new league or a lot of guys at first base playing behind you?

Jacobs: Probably the new league will be a challenge. Pitching is a little bit different in the American League but what it is all about is challenges and I look forward to it.

Thanatos: What is your offseason workout like?

Jacobs: My offseason workout is working out at a place called Fitness Quest 10. My whole workout is designed just to get me ready to play baseball. Things that are specifically designed to make me a better ballplayer.

cjhksu: Hi, Mike. Welcome to the the Royals! How much did you get to work with Kevin Seitzer down at Trey's ranch, and what adjustments on your swing are you making coming into the year?

Jacobs: Yes, I did get a chance to work with him. I'm extremely excited to continue to work with him this season. What we worked on is swing path to shorten my swing a little bit, which will hopefully result in making me more consistent.

Thanatos: Have you had a chance to talk to much of the Royals team? Which player was the first to contact you after you were traded?

Jacobs: I didn't talk to many of the guys until I got to FanFest. Everyone was awesome. I first met Billy Butler, but I look forward to the start of the season as will all of the guys on the team.

dennyfan: Hi, Mike. Welcome to the Royals! Thanks for coming to FanFest. While you were there meeting your new teammates, did you get a good feel for what kind of chemistry this team has?

Jacobs: Yes, I think we are going to have really good chemistry. Any time you have a really good team like we had in Florida, it builds community in the clubhouse. It seems like all of the guys get along really well.

edwagner: Mike, considering you will get closer to 600 at-bats this year. What are some of your goals for '09?

Jacobs: The first goal is to be able to get those 600 at-bats. My belief always is that if you stay healthy and you can get those plate appearances that you mention, the numbers tend to take care of themselves. I always try not to think of the numbers that I'm going to put up, just get out there every day.

kcking2: Have you ever played with any of the guys on the team before? And from the little time you've had here, what's the feel of the clubhouse like?

Jacobs: I played with Miguel Olivo in Florida, Double-A with Brian Bannister and through the Minor Leagues I've played with several of the other guys as well.

siege616: Hey Mike. What was your favorite team growing up, and who did you emulate the most?

Jacobs: My favorite team growing up was the Braves because of Chipper Jones. He was the guy that I wanted to be like and I still look up to him today.

kcdan33: Your power numbers in 2008 were very impressive and will bring a lot to a Royals squad lacking in that area, but what have you worked on in the offseason to bump up your average and consistency?

Jacobs: Besides getting myself physically ready and working with Seitzer, I want to try to be a little more patient this year rather than try to do too much at the plate.

Thanatos: Which ballpark has been your favorite to play in?

Jacobs: Shea Stadium, because I got my first at-bat there and hit a home run at my first at-bat. They have great fans there in New York as well. I've loved playing there ever since [even though they boo me now].

reddog68: The Royals have never had a player hit 40 homers in a season. Is that one of your goals?

Jacobs: If it happens, then it would be awesome. I think if you start setting too many personal goals, then you get away from the little things. If it happens, it happens. My goal is just to try to win games.

dennyfan: If I remember right, you've never played at Kauffman Stadium. Right? Have you received any advice for playing there? And, have you had a chance to check it out yet?

Jacobs: I've seen it online but haven't gotten any advice on how to play there. I'm definitely excited to go there with all the renovations that will be completed. Just looking forward to being there.

kcfan1512: You recently participated in this year's FanFest. What the coolest thing a fan had you sign?

Jacobs: A girl had a scrapbook that one of her girlfriends made for her. David DeJesus was one of the pictures in there and she had different outfits she could put on the players.

Slayor09: Mike, you may have only been here for FanFest, but what do you like most about Kansas City so far?

Jacobs: I've really only been to FanFest, but seeing all the fans there was awesome. Sometimes we didn't even have 5,000 fans at the ballpark when I was with the Marlins, so it is great to see all the fan support in Kansas City.

royalsnut2: What is the pitch hardest for you to recognize, and is it different from right-handed and left-handed pitchers?

Jacobs: It is probably from a left-hander that has a really really, really good slider. It is tough to pick up so definitely something I will continue to work on.

royalsha: What's was your favorite part about go to Trey's ranch? Was it getting in the extra work, or just relaxing and getting to know the guys?

Jacobs: The getting to know the guys part was pretty awesome. We did get a good workout in, but just hanging out with the guys was a great time.

kcking2: Mike, who is the best player that you have ever been in a lineup with and is Hanley Ramirez really the next big thing?

Jacobs: Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera are two of the best. Miguel could hit a baseball with his eyes closed.

royalsha: What team are you most looking forward to facing in the AL?

Jacobs: Everybody in our division, so hopefully we can beat them, win our division and go to the playoffs.

pozzi70: Congratulations on your twin girls! Being that your family is in San Diego, how do you find time to be the family man?

Jacobs: It's tough. You have to take the wife out on a lot of dates. You try to be there as much as you can. Get your workouts early in the morning and spend the time you can with them the rest of the day. During the season, wake up early and stay up late.

reddog68: You have had some success with small-market teams in Florida. Do you get the same feeling here about young team on the rise?

Jacobs: I definitely think that we are another young team on the rise just like in Florida. Anytime you can get a group of guys that can grow up and play together at the beginning of their careers and stay together, you have a formula for success.

royalsnut2: Trey likes to use Olivo as DH occasionally. Could you still be the emergency catcher?

Jacobs: I definitely think I could if needed, but hopefully I don't have to do that. If the occasion arose, I could throw the gear back on though.

kcking2: In Florida, you had Hanley and Dan Uggla to take off some of the pressure. How do you feel about a lot of fans looking at you as THE man on this team?

Jacobs: I don't look at it like that. I think we have some good hitters in our lineup. With me coming over and Coco Crisp coming over, we have a good lineup. Hopefully we take some pressure off of the other guys on the team. I just have to play my game.

royalsha: What was your first thought when you found out you had been traded?

Jacobs: I was expecting it and when it finally happened, I knew the kind of team that the Royals had and that they were and up-and-coming team. I was extremely excited to be a part of the team and look forward to the season.

sayheykid3: There has been talk about you moving to DH with the abundance of first basemen on the roster. Are you the kind of guy who would perform better at the plate if you were also playing in the field?

Jacobs: I think that if you can hit, you can hit whether you are playing on the field or not. As a baseball player, you want to be in the lineup every day whether it is at first base or DH. You just want to play and I'll do whatever the team needs.

Thanatos: What was it like playing against the Braves for the first time?

Jacobs: It was awesome. I had a home run at my first at-bat against John Smoltz and we ended up winning, 2-1, in New York. It was great to be able to help my team win with a home run that day.

rodney1904: Have you tasted the KC BBQ?

Jacobs: Yes, I have. I went to Jack Stack and it was very, very good. My brother-in-law said the only way he'd come visit me this year, is to try the BBQ. Looking forward to trying a lot more in the future.

royalsnut2: Home runs are important, but what else do you hope to bring to the team in '09.

Jacobs: Some leadership abilities, just the way I go about my business I'm hoping will be an example to other players. I have some experience in the league now as my fourth full season and have worked hard to get where I am.

edwagner: I watched you get four hits with a hand fracture. Where did you get that type of courage and determination?

Jacobs: I've always believed that everyone has their nicks and bruises and bumps, but I've always felt that if there is any way that I can play that you should be out there helping your team win. You don't have very many years to play at this level. Unless my arm is cut off or my legs, I'm going to be out there. I couldn't see myself not playing even with a few minor injuries.

royalsnut2: Do you have a certain mentor you can call and talk to when things are tough?

Jacobs: Yes, I do. His name is Edgar Alfonso. He is a coach that I had in the Minors with the Mets. Any time things aren't going the way I'd like, he is the one to get my mind back on track. He is the first one I call.

royalsksu: Is Kansas City somewhere that you could see yourself building a long-term career?

Jacobs: Yes, obviously you are always looking to have some sort of security and stay somewhere for a long time. If I am fortunate enough to stay here, then that would be ideal. Hopefully I can do well enough that the Royals will want to keep me for a long time.

dennyfan: What's one of your top priorities down in Spring Training? Working to improve at the plate? Or focusing on your defense in the field?

Jacobs: I think you always want to become a complete player. At the same time, you want to continue to work on your weaknesses and your strengths since your strengths are what got you there. You always want to strive to be a better and more complete player every day.

rodney1904: What is your favorite baseball movie? I like The Rookie!

Jacobs: Mine would have to be The Natural. Robert Redford going out there and hitting all those home runs when no one else gave him the chance. I used to watch it over and over when I was a kid.

kcking2: Mike, do you have a favorite Royals legend, or any memories of the Royals prior to being traded here?

Jacobs: The biggest memory would be George Brett getting called back for the pine tar. Living in San Diego, the Braves games were what we watched all the time.

royalsha: Besides baseball, what is your other favorite sport?

Jacobs: Supercross would be my other favorite sport. That was something else I would do a lot as a kid. If I didn't play baseball then that is what I would be doing.

kcking2: You've played on some young teams that are up and coming in Florida and now here. How do you keep your attitude up when the team is down or down the stretch when you seemingly have nothing to play for? Hopefully we don't have that problem this year!

Jacobs: You have to realize that at any time you can turn around and get on a winning streak. You can wake up the next day as a new day and turn it around any time.

1what: What have you been doing to relax in the offseason?

Jacobs: Not too much relaxing in the offseason due to my twin daughters, they definitely keep me busy. Although you can't hear it, one of them is screaming right now in the background.

Jacobs: Thank you for all your great questions. I have time for a few more.

golferroo: What do you think of the Powder Blue uniforms? Do you want to bring back the pants to go with the jersey?

Jacobs: I think they are awesome. Something that is obviously a tradition with the Royals and part of the team. It will be something cool to wear during the season.

jessica24: Ketchup, mustard or relish?

Jacobs: I'm going to go with ketchup on that one.

Royals09: Mike, how did you like the fans here in KC a few weeks ago at Royals FanFest?

Jacobs: So far they have been awesome. They are really excited about the upcoming year and very excited about their baseball. I can't wait to start the season in Kansas City.

kcking2: What was it like the first time you saw someone wearing your jersey? Or the first time you played as yourself in a video game? I know you're almost done so thanks for taking time to do this.

Jacobs: Both of those two things were definitely great. Anytime anyone looks up to you to spend money on a jersey to support you is something special. The cool part about video games is when my nieces and nephews call to say they hit a home run with my player is pretty special

Jacobs: Thanks to everyone who sent in questions today. I appreciate the support and look forward to seeing everyone in Kansas City and having a great season. Have a great day!