John Axford joined fans for an exclusive online chat at brewers.com. Here is a transcript of the chat:
John Axford: Let's kick start this chat!
Axford: I need a break from wrapping Christmas presents, my lower back is killing me!
pfelon: What was your most memorable game moment from this past season?
Axford: I would have to say Trevor Hoffman's 600th save. The day was great, the game was great and I got to pitch in the game. Seeing how 18 years of hard work for him pays off is great. It was a special moment for everyone.
gocrew13: What are your thoughts on Doug going out and bringing in 2 top pitchers in Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum?
Axford: I think it is fantastic. Doug and Gord wanted to go out and find two pitchers and they went out and found two great pitchers. I look forward to going out and pitching on the back end of their games.
hclark: What kind of expectations do you have going into this season with the recent additions of Greinke and Marcum?
Axford: Team wise, the expect ions are always high heading into Spring Training. With our recent additions, those expectations just got higher. I really believe that we can win the NL Central and make some noise in the postseason. Personally, I just hope to build off my rookie year last year and keep getting better.
tom_m: What things did you learn from watching Trevor?
Axford: I learned everything about being a closer. I couldn't ask for a better teacher, watching someone who closed for 18 years. I literally learned everything from him.
Wetz24: What kind of music do you listen before games? And what are you thinking as you go to the mound to pitch?
Axford: Sometimes I will listen to whatever is playing in the clubhouse, but if I have my iPod with me, I listen to hard rock or heavy metal, anything that picks me up.
Axford: As far as my thoughts, it is generally pretty blank when running to the mound. When I get to the mound, my main focus is getting three outs and throwing strikes.
lvbrewers: Do you ever get tired of talking about your mustache?
Axford: Not really at all, I can't be upset about it! I get asked mustache questions all the time! My wife says I love the mustache questions.
ahardybrew: What prompted you to do the Rollie Fingers type mustache?
Axford: See another one!
rfactor35: John, you've been very accessible via the social networking sites (which is very cool), and I'm sure the response at this point has all been incredibly positive. Are you going to keep it up once the season starts?
Axford: Yes. I will be keeping up with the Facebook and Twitter. I will definitely be keeping up with the fans throughout the season and dropping some random knowledge from John Axford. It is easy to do from my cell phone and I enjoy interacting with everyone.
stpaulus: John, what do you do to get ready in the offseason around this time?
Axford: I'm just doing my daily routine of working out and within the next couple of weeks I will start with my throwing routine to get ready for Spring Training. I pretty much took all of October off and once November hit, I started doing cardio workouts four days a week and now they are up to 5-6 days a week. The hours I am putting in are getting longer, especially when I start throwing soon.
ahardybrew: What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Axford: When I was growing up, we would always have a "snack evening" with my family and just hang out all night. When we all went to college, it became even more special with getting see my three sisters again. We always used to listen to the Alabama Christmas album! Now that I am married, my wife and I share Christmas Eve together and have a quiet night before all of our families get together for some fun on Christmas Day!
middlenam: Have you had a chance to talk with the new pitching coach and if so, do both of you have any initial ideas to become even better?
Axford: Yes, I have talked to Rick, but it was kind of a "get to know you" conversation to make sure the communication lines were open, which was nice. All the teaching will come during Spring Training.
coghlanjr: Where do you live in the offseason and have you been back to Milwaukee since the season ended?
Axford: I live in Southern Ontario in the offseason. It's great to be in Canada. I haven't been back to Milwaukee this offseason, but I will be back for Brewers On Deck on January 30! Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
BrewersAAForever: Hi John, I love the mustache. Is there any way you can get the rest of the pen to follow suit?
Axford: Some guys talked about it last year, but I think everyone will stick to their own things.
buckylucky: As a native of Canada, do you get involved with supporting other Wisconsin sports at all? As you know, most of us are pretty avid Packer and Badger fans in addition to Brewer fans.
Axford: Brewers fans are great and I can see how that carries over to the Packers and Badgers. I used to follow the Maple Leafs and the NHL when I was younger, but I have kind of fallen off that a bit. I do like to follow my alma mater, Notre Dame!
gocrew13: Who are your best friends on the team?
Axford: Obviously, I love all of my teammates, but the bullpen has a special bond because of our jobs and how we watch games. We have a good group in the bullpen!
ahardybrew: What advice would you give to a highschool students for improving his command?
Axford: Continue to work hard, work on your balance and stay focused. As a pitcher, focus is one of the most important things you have to work with.
Bucks4ever: What style of mustache do you think you will go with on opening day?
Axford: Probably going with the same style I had at the end of 2010. The "Classic English."
Axford: Thanks for the chat! I have to jet because my new Nikes came and I have to try them out around the house.
Axford: Don't forget to find me on Twitter (@JohnAxford59) and at facebook.com/johnaxford
Axford: Enjoy the Holiday's everyone and I'm looking forward to a great 2011! Go Brewers!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.