Johnson chats with fans online
First baseman discusses rookie year, offseason
Dan Johnson sat down to chat online with fans about his rookie season in Oakland. Johnson talked about his most embarrassing moment, the attitude in the clubhouse and what he'd be doing now if he weren't first baseman for the A's.
Dan Johnson: Hey, this is Dan. Glad to be here. Let's go.
pbholland1: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Johnson: Growing up in Minnesota, I was a big Twins fan. My favorite guys were Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti, Brian Harper. But definitely Puckett was my favorite player.
elephantsinoakland: I understand you are skipping Winter League ball this year and are getting some snowboarding in. What is better, snowboarding at Mt. Shasta or the strike zone in the Mexican Winter League?
Johnson: That's pretty good info you got, except I didn't get in the snowboarding part. We went up to Mt. Shasta as part of the A's Winter Caravan with Robert Buan. We met a bunch of A's fans in Redding, Weed, and Lakeport. Never been up that way, but it was good to see there are A's fans everywhere. Got a lot of presents for the local Toys For Tots efforts, too.
mrscrosby: Dan, will you be attending this year's FanFest?
Johnson: Yeah, I'll be there.
aces4deuce: What is your favorite baseball movie?
Johnson: Probably "The Natural." "The Sandlot" was pretty cool. "Major League" was great.
Base_Ball: If the A's acquire a right-handed bat that plays right field, and Nick Swisher gets moved to first, will you be the designated hitter?
Johnson: If that's what the manager wants me to do, I'll do it.
pbholland1: Hey Dan, do you have any favorite music you listen to to get pumped up before games?
Johnson: I listen to everything from death metal to country. As a team, we listen to techno before the game starts. It's like a little dance club in there... people flashing the lights, going nuts. If anybody has a disco ball they want to contribute to the cause, we'll take that, too.
speedchaser9: If Frank Thomas is signed, and stays healthy, how do you think this will effect your production, the team's production, and the overall attitude in the clubhouse?
Johnson: Well, if he does come here we don't know what the lineup would look like. I don't know how it'll affect the team's production, but if he puts up his regular numbers he should help us win some ball games. I've never met Frank, but a guy with his experience would only add to what we already have.
Base_Ball_2: I saw that during the rookie hazing, you dressed up as a tube of mustard. Did that get any more mileage at halloween parties?
Johnson: Actually I left that outfit behind in the hotel room where we landed. I think someone in housekeeping kept it.
speedchaser9: What stadium, other than Oakland, is your favorite to play at?
Johnson: Texas. The ball travels well there. And going back home to play in the Metrodome is always fun for me. Went to a lot of games there growing up.
moneymanwilliam: What do you think about the Loaiza signing?
Johnson: It was actually kind of funny when I heard about it. Mid-season this year, Billy asked me who the toughest pitcher I'd faced so far. I told him Esteban Loaiza and he was kind of shocked. I just couldn't get comfortable facing him, kept me off balance. So it'll be good to not have to face him.
mrscrosby: Dan, who is your closest friend on team?
Johnson: I don't really have one closest friend, I hang out with just about everybody. That's part of what makes it so fun in our clubhouse.
EastBay_Fan: Who is your favorite MLB player to watch now?
Johnson: Tough one... but I'd probably have to say Rich Harden. When he's on, he's absolutely amazing. Unhittable.
The_Dude: Dan, last season you seemed to pull the ball a lot. Is this a part of your game or an adjustment that every rookie has to make? Thanks for taking my question and good luck next year!
Johnson: It is a big part of my game but that's the way it's always been for me. I've had so much success just reacting to the pitch on the inner half -- that's probably what you've been seeing.
assaultworm: How can you tell the difference between a curve and fastball at home plate?
Johnson: It all has to do with the spin of the ball out of the pitcher's hand and arm angle.
elephantsinoakland: Are you rooting for your college teammate Shane Komine to get to Oakland?
Johnson: Absolutely, I am rooting for him. He's such a hard worker, a real bulldog. A team guy. In college, he was so dominating. He's still in a lot of the NCAA record books from his career there. It'll be good to see him in the spring.
speedchaser9: Who is the best player you have played with, for, or interacted with?
Johnson: I never met the guy when he was here, but Jason Giambi seemed like a really great guy. We chatted at first base when the Yankees were here in September, and he just seemed really friendly and polite.
hoopscoach13: What guys on this year's River Cats team do you see being able to make contributions like you, Swish and Huston Street did this year? Any names we should watch?
Johnson: If he can get healthy again and pitch the way he did in the beginning of this season, John Rheinecker could get here and help us.
Billy_Sweilem: Who is the biggest joker in the clubhouse?
Johnson: Gotta be Bobby Kielty. The guy is an absolute riot.
aces4deuce: If you weren't with the A's what would you be doing with your life right now?
Johnson: I'd like to think I could be a pro golfer, but probably not. I'm 18 hours short of finishing my marketing degree at Nebraska, so maybe something in that field.
holdenboy: Do you ever wish your hair was as red as Bobby Kielty's?
Johnson: My hair IS as red as Kielty's!
eiser1311: Who was the best pitcher you faced while in Nebraska?
Johnson: Probably a guy named Justin Wayne out of Stanford. He was a first-rounder but I don't know where he is now.
hollowspec: What's your favorite beer?
bishopduke: What's the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on the field as a rookie?
Johnson: The game I hit my first home run at Safeco, I caught a line drive and started running off the field. Problem is, there were only two outs and EVERYBODY noticed.
Billy_Sweilem: I want a Dan Johnson bobblehead!
Johnson: So do I.
elephants: Dan, what is the number one prank your teammates played on you last year?
Johnson: Kielty and Keith Ginter. They went up to my hotel room before I got there and turned off all the lights. They put on masks and black outfits and acted like they were going mug me. Scary but funny.
stomperrockstheparty: Scott Hatteberg was one of my favorites because of his approach and personality. Have you learned from him/what will you miss now that he's no longer on the team?
stomperrockstheparty: Hatteberg was one of my favorites because of his approach and personality. Have you learned from him and what will you miss now that he's no longer on the team?
Johnson: He was one of my favorite players too. Our lockers were next to each other and I learned a lot from him. As a team, we will miss his presence and leadership.
Johnson: Thanks everybody, it was fun. We'll do it again sometime. See you at FanFest and enjoy your holidays.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.