Monday, Steven Brault held an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, answering users' questions on anything from baseball to video games to music.
Here are some highlights from the session:
Question: Not a question, just wanted to say thank you for being such an easy guy to root for and for everything you did for the team and the community this year. All of us fans can complain as much as we want, but getting through a season like that has to be even harder for everyone on the team and in the clubhouse. Enjoy your offseason and best of luck in 2020!
Brault: "It’s very tough. It’s not like we pretend everything is ok. We feel the weight of the city on our shoulders when we suck, and it’s hard. But this team and this community have been great to me and I will always be grateful no matter what."
What caused such a harsh collapse this [year?]
"Injuries, underperforming, and frustration."
The game in Denver ... What was better: Hitting a home run or tossing 69 straight fastballs?
"Hitting a homer. The fastballs were awesome too of course but hitting that dinger was the most incredible feeling. Haven’t done it in a long ass time."
What was with all the fastballs?
"Well my fastball has always been my best pitch. Even though it’s not super hard or incredibly high spin rate or anything, for some reason my deception makes it look really hard to the hitters. Been told that from hitters a bunch. So this time in the rotation I decided to just roll with it you know?"
Can you tell us anything about the chirps that were exchanged during the Cincinnati bench brawl?
"I mean at that point they’re not chirps. Once the fight is actually happening everyone is either yelling “f*** you” or “hey back it up!” Or things like that. There’s peacekeepers and brawlers."
I'll be rooting for you moving forward and hope you guys can make a run in the future. Any hopes of seeing IMHO podcast return?
"Thank you! And I’m hoping so. I’ve been missing doing it and I know Trevor has too. Problem is now he’s got like 47 kids so it’s hard to find time haha"
While I hate the homerun explosion, tell Bell I want to see the Pirates get a 40 HR guy for the first time in 40 years.
"I hope JB hits a thousand home runs. I would be surprised if he didn’t eventually hit 40 in a season."
You still on that Smash? Also have you played Untitled Goose Game yet?
"A little smash still. Right now I’m crushing borderlands 3 though. Haven’t played goose game yet but based on how much traction it’s getting I guess I’ll have to haha"
Do you guys [in] the clubhouse expect a lot of roster changes for next year or [mostly] the same group?
"You know it’s up in the air. Last year we were pretty certain that while we would add people, the overall team probably wouldn’t change so much. This year, since there’s gonna be a change in management, it is very uncertain. I think there will still be a lot of us here, at least I hope so. But who knows? Could end up being way different by the time April 1 comes around."
Do you hold your homerun over Joe Musgrove's head?
"Yes I absolutely do. He holds his triple over me though cause I don’t have one of those."
So how serious is the Pitcher/Outfielder proposal? Are you into giving that a shot, or would you rather spend your focus solely on pitching?
"I honestly don’t know how real it is. It’s not like I’m gonna take away from practicing my pitching to do outfield practice. I have a lot of shit to work on. But, maybe it’ll be something to add on at the end of some days or whatever. Who knows what they’ll actually decide to do."
As fans, we heard a lot about Searage’s pitch to contact philosophy. Do you think that was part of the team’s pitching struggles? Do you think a new coach with different philosophy will help guys that underperformed this season?
"A lot of pitching coaches preach pitching to contact. It’s more of a mentality than it is an actual game plan. When he’s saying that, he means that he wants us to attack the zone and be ok with people hitting the ball instead of trying to be too perfect or strike everyone out. A lot of times that leads to trouble.
It’s easy to look at the fact that some people are striking out a ton of people nowadays, but that doesn’t mean people are being told something different from their coach. I love Ray, and I think he’s great. I hope he’s back. But if he’s not, it’ll be interesting to see who takes over and what their philosophy would be."
You can read the full question-and-answer session right here.
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