Braves rookie pitcher Tommy Hanson participated in a live Web chat with fans on Wednesday. During the chat, he answered questions about what it's like making the jump to the Majors. tommy_hanson: Hi fans, Tommy Hanson here. Thank you for joining the chat. In an effort to get through as many questions as I can, I'll work quickly. Let's get started ... fretdoctor: Are the big leagues exactly how you thought they would be? And why?
tommy_hanson: Yeah, its been awesome. Everything about it has been a lot of fun. scout01: Who were some of your favorite players growing up? Do you try to model yourself after any of them now that you are in the Majors? tommy_hanson: I was an Angels fan when I was younger growing up in So Cal, but never tried to model myself after anybody. Sburt009: Who has been the most difficult batter you have faced thus far? tommy_hanson: For me I think it's been Todd Helton, it seemed like everything I threw up there he was all over it. Sburt009:I know a lot of players are superstitious. Do you have any pre-game rituals or have anything to get you pumped up before you go on the mound? tommy_hanson: Not really. I've never been that superstitious, but I have a routine that I follow pretty close. BILLYIAM: Tommy, we know you are a great pitcher, so aside from that ... what is it like in the club house? I hear that most players want to play for the Braves and Bobby Cox, what is it that makes Atlanta such a great place to play? tommy_hanson: Bobby is awesome, he really is. It's a lot easier playing for a manager that has your back at all times. Sburt009: The possibility of receiving the Rookie of the Year Award has to be on your mind. Do you try to push that out of your mind on the mound or do you embrace it and try to use it as a mental edge over the batters? tommy_hanson: I'm not worried about it -- just worried about winning right now. smcgrady: Does Kris Medlen have any habits that drive you nuts as a roommate? tommy_hanson: Kris is really high strung, so sometimes he can be a little too much, but he's one of my best friends. We have a lot of fun. dumble07: Did they make you do any rookie hazing? I have heard some funny stories about others. tommy_hanson: Haha. Yeah they had us dressed up as swimmers in NYC. Speedos, floaties -- it was actually not that bad. It was fun. Braves1995: How did it feel beating the Yanks and the Sox? tommy_hanson: It was awesome. Facing those two teams back-to-back was definitely a challenge, but beating both of them in the same week was great and gave me a lot of confidence. jrod1986: Are you recognized on the street yet as a baseball player? tommy_hanson: Sometimes, but not too often. I'm 6-6 with red hair, so I kind of stick out, anyway. pwhjort: Have you learned anything about how to pitch from the guys with the big club? It must be nice to be able to observe the likes of Hudson, Vazquez, Jurrjens, Lowe, Kawakami, etc ... every night. tommy_hanson: Yeah, our staff is unbelievable. It has helped me so much being able to watch those guys every night. jmb517: What's your favorite city that you have visited? tommy_hanson: Chicago and Boston have been my favorite so far. Just with all the history in those ballparks made it pretty special. Sburt009: You seemed to fare really well in Interleague Play. Did you approach American league batters any differently then those in the National League? tommy_hanson: Each team you approach differently depending on the hitters you face. Before the game, you have have a scouting report and talk about your game plan for each game. fretdoctor: How do you feel so far this season? Is the longer season bothering you? tommy_hanson: No, I still feel great. It definitely feels a little longer, but my body feels great. 6braves10: I was wondering if you ever sign autographs pregame? tommy_hanson: Yes, I do. BCoxnumber1: What is the best advice you have received since joining the Braves? tommy_hanson: Trust my stuff and be aggressive when I'm on the mound. tommy_hanson: Hey guys, gotta run. Thanks for joining the chat today and sorry for the delays. We'll do this again real soon. Go Braves!!!