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Ask Jason Bergmann

Feb 23, 2010, 1:33 AM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — A couple of years ago, back when I was working for a slightly different type of media outlet, I asked Jason Bergmann if he would be interested fielding questions from fans. The right-hander, never one to turn down an interview request, happily obliged and proceeded to answer a parade of questions that ran the spectrum.

This morning, I asked Bergmann again if he’d be interested in doing a similar thing for this new venture of mine, and again he nearly jumped out of his seat in saying yes. (Not that I expected any less of the guy.)

So here’s the deal: Anything you want to ask Jason about the Nats, life in the big leagues, life away from the ballpark, whatever, leave them here in the comments section. Or you can email them to me at zuckerman12@gmail.com, and then I’ll forward them to Bergmann. Please keep the questions clean and respectful, because if they’re not I’m just going to delete them anyways. (Oh, and for all you subscribers out there, don’t worry. This doesn’t count as your official question submission.)

I’ll pick out the best of the bunch, send them to Bergmann and then hopefully will repost the answers within the next few days.

  1. JayB - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    Ask Jason how this year's camp differs from each of his past 6 is it not? That covers Frank, Manny and Jim…..Reflecting back on past spring training camp from 2005-2006 to 2007-2009 to present day 2010 how does this roster stack up to the past years.

  2. Anonymous - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:56 AM

    I'm curious, at what point in his baseball life did Jason become a full time pitcher? What position did he play most as well as pitching? Did he have any chance at professional baseball at a position other than pitching?

  3. peric - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    What does Jason think the most important goal or milestone for this pitching staff should be this year?

  4. Anonymous - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:05 AM

    Jason, did you catch any of MTV's Jersey Shore? Bring back memories, maybe recognize a friend or two?

  5. peric - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    What did you and your wife like best about Syracuse? Least?

  6. Sean Hogan - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Jason's been in the Major Leagues for parts of 5 seasons. At that point, the mentality is often "at this point, you are what you are." What does Jason do to avoid becoming complacent?

  7. Positively Half St. - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    Jason-Over the last 5 years, you matured as we all do through our 20s, but you also got a dose of real life that many do during that time. You realized that the realization of goals or dreams does not always happen in an uninterrupted straight line.How have you learned to deal with the extra obstacles toward reaching your goals, and have you enjoyed the real successes you have had, even if they may not match the hopes for an uninterrupted MLB career?

  8. Nervous Nats Fan - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:53 AM

    How do you feel about your switch from starter to reliever? Are you more confident going into this season knowing your role? Also, I saw an interview last year where you suggested that you hate running. Do you have another activity that you like better to stay in shape?

  9. gus - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:56 AM

    Jason,How do you view the time period between the end of baseball season and start of ST? Is this primarily an extended vacation where your body recovers from the stress of season? Or do you identify an aspect of your baseball game to focus and improve upon through exercise, repetition or additional coaching? If the latter, what did you focus upon this past off-season? Finally, is the option of Winter Ball something which is encouraged or discouraged by the club and how do you view it? Gus

  10. greg - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:07 AM

    What's your favorite "non-baseball" part of being in training camp?

  11. Anonymous - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:19 AM

    Jason–1. It seems to me years ago, before the DH, pitchers were expected to be something more than truly anemic hitters. Many could hit quite well. Livo is a throwback in that respect. DH seems to have changed pitchers attitude toward hitting even in the NL. Seems to me that even a little bit of production from pitchers could help a guy win more games or stay in the game longer. Why can't pitchers hit? 2. Nats pitchers, in particulary, seem constitutionaly unable to bunt well. If you can't hit you gotta bunt! Who gives the Nats bunting instruction in Viera and how long do you practice it? Is there going to be an emphasis placed on improving the pitching staff's bunting this year?

  12. greg - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    sheesh. training camp? what the heck am i thinking? i've obviously been working too much. spring training.

  13. Anonymous - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:44 AM

    For Jason:1. In this era of players staying in shape year round, how long does spring training need to be if you were in charge of such things? Do teams need to be down south for parts of three months?2. What are your housing options in Viera? Does the team provide meal money, apartment/hotel allowance?

  14. Chuckles - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    Jason (via Mark):Being with an NL team, how often do Nationals pitchers take batting/bunting practice?

  15. Steven - Feb 23, 2010 at 5:02 AM

    What do you think of Jim Bowden as a sportscaster?

  16. Craig - Feb 23, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    What is your favorite pre-game meal?

  17. Avar - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    First of all, thank you for taking the questions. Players like you that go so far out of your way to cater to us nerdy bloggers means a lot to us. Kind of restores your faith in the game.In a season where you go back and forth from Syracuse to DC, what do you do for housing? Do you have to start from scratch trying to find a rental with each move? Do you keep a place in one city or do some of the players sometimes pass rental places between them? Do you move the furniture every time or rent something furnished? Along those lines, is it hard to know what you can afford when your salary goes back and forth from $400k to $65 or whatever it is in the minors? That would drive me crazy. Seems it would be hard to buy something when you don't know how much you'll make or where you'll live! Obviously, we’re rooting for you to stay on the 25 man all season and avoid this but I thought about it when you and several guys went back and forth so much last year.

  18. natsfan1a - Feb 23, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    To follow up on the question from Nervous Nats Fan, how has your routine (general workout and pregame preparation) changed with the transition from starter to reliever? How about during the game (e.g., observing opposing hitters in case you will be facing them later)? (Okay, that's two questions, but I got carried away. :-))—How do you feel about your switch from starter to reliever? Are you more confident going into this season knowing your role?

  19. natscan reduxit - Feb 23, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    Hi Mark and Jason… my question was spurred this morning by reading about the 'sad' and discouraging story of Jesus Flores' recovery. Jason, when a pitcher gets comfortable with one specific catcher, and then has to move arbitrarily to another, possibly unknown, one, how difficult is that move, both for the pitcher and for the catcher?

  20. VladiHondo - Feb 23, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    First, thanks for the effort you make meeting the fans – I have at least 2 autographed baseballs you signed at Nats Park.What is your pitch repertoire, and how would you rank your pitches? Is there a new pitch or grip you're working on this spring? If so, can you show us (maybe via pix)?

  21. John - Feb 23, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    April is the cruellest month for the Nationals. Since 2006,cumulatively, the team has gone 31-67 in April. Why? What can be done to be better prepared this year with the first nine games are against division opponents?

  22. NatsNut - Feb 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Thanks for doing this, Jason. I'd be happy if you stayed with the Nationals for your career. I actually have a question not about you. Do you still live in the house near Shawn Hill there in Viera? Still talk to him? How's he doing?

  23. Kathy T. - Feb 23, 2010 at 6:33 PM

    Jason, thanks so much!I know so much of a pitcher's success depends on how his arm feels. I've seen pitchers wrapping their arms between innings, etc and wondered how much do you have to baby your throwing arm? What techniques do you use to keep your arm ready and loose during a game?

  24. luckyute - Feb 23, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    How annoyed/pissed were you that you just missed a no-hitter against the Braves a couple of years ago?

  25. NatsGirl - Feb 23, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Jason: you're awesome for doing this–thanks!My question is, where do you see yourself in five years? Do you and Mrs. Bergmann have long-range goals/plans for your and her careers?

  26. Ross - Feb 23, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    Is it hard to stay positive when you bounce between AAA and the majors? What do you see as the key to you sticking with the Nats for a full season? Also, where do you like to go out in DC?

  27. NatsNut - Feb 24, 2010 at 3:12 AM

    Jason, I just thought of another question. During the offseason when a transaction is made, how do players hear about it? Do you get texts from the front office or do you hear about it like we do? Did you even see the Pudge Rodriguez signing coming and do you think the players reacted like we did (i.e. shock and awe)?

  28. nationals anthems - Feb 25, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    Hi Jason – Which overdone stupid sports cheer do you hate more, "Ber-GY, Ber-GY, Ber-GY!" or "Ja-son Berg-man (clap clap clapclapclap)"? And what is the funniest insult any heckler has ever said to you?

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