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Ford chats with fans online
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06/29/2004  4:41 PM ET
Ford chats with fans online
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Lew Ford has a strong fan following in Minnesota. (Jim Mone/AP)
Minnesota outfielder Lew Ford chatted with fans online before the Twins took on the White Sox Tuesday. Ford answered questions ranging from secret handshakes to the Barbie bag.

Lew Ford:Hi everyone!

Base_Ball: Hey Lew, cool to have you here, I'm just wondering how you have exploded into such a great season this year? Will you retain your spot in the lineup when Shannon Stewart returns from his injury? Thanks, Nick.

Ford: This year is going great. I've just gotten a chance to play and I hope to stay in the lineup the rest of the season.

snoopnstvy: Hi Lew, my name is Stevie. What do you do for fun besides baseball and who is your best friend on the team? Go Twins!

Ford: I like to surf the Internet and play with my kids. I like going to the new guys like Nick Punto. He's really funny and we get along good together.

mintkayvich16: Lew! Hi this is Laura. You're an amazing outfielder and a great batter. What were your first thoughts when the fans started chanting "Leeeeeeeeew, Leeeeeeeeew" at the Metrodome?

Ford: My first thoughts were all the fans were cheering for me. It was a great feeling. A lot of people have joked with me that I thought fans were saying 'boo' and I had it mixed up.

cydas: Hey Lew - It is Amy in New Britain! We miss you here! Players say that Double-A really gets you ready for the Majors, more so than Triple-A. What are the biggest differences you see between the three levels? Keep up the great work.

Ford: Hey Amy! Good to hear from you. Double-A has a lot of pitching prospects that have better stuff than Triple-A pitchers, but they lack the control and experience. The Majors have good stuff and control, and experience. They have everything.

mlb_com_member: Why do you go by your middle name instead of your first name?

Ford: I was named after my grandfather. He was "Big Lew" and I was "Little Lew" and it just always stuck with me.

22radkescuz: Hi Lew, I'm Betsy from Hudson, Wis. I was wondering who you room with on the road and what your favorite road city is to play in?

Ford: We don't have roommates in the Major Leagues on the road. I like playing in Arlington -- I love the area and I have a lot of family and friends there.

Base_Ball_2: I heard you still can't beat your cousin (in austin) in basketball. Is that true?

Ford: My cousin's getting old and I think his game has slipped a little. I like playing basketball in the offseason.

cy4santana: Hey Lew. I know the Metrodome has got to be one of the hardest places to field in, with the turf and the ceiling. How much different is fielding in the Dome from any other ballparks?

Ford: The Metrodome has a home-field advantage for us. It's not easy to come in and play on that surface without experience. But over time, you get used to playing on it and you grow to like it. The roof -- you'll probably lose a ball in it, but if you keep your eyes focused, you can usually pick it up in time to make a catch.

contractny: Lew, I have heard that Corey Koskie is the joker in the clubhouse, true? Has he played any jokes on you yet?

Ford: Last year, my locker was next to Koskie's ... every day after BP, I would come in and his clothes and shoes would be sitting in my locker, all sweaty. I'd have to move them out of there. But he never said anything to me about it.

mlb_com_member_2: Hey Lew, I'm Abbie from Shakopee, Minn., and I was wondering what team you liked when you were younger and who you like to play against now in the Major Leagues?

Ford: I grew up a Houston Astros fans ... I lived near Houston. I like playing against the Yankees because they're always at the top of the league. They have great players. I like to face guys I grew up watching and idolizing as a kid, like Randy Johnson or Curt Schilling.

Base_Ball_2: Hey Lew. This is Kevin from Sioux Falls! What has been your best moment this year as a Twin?

Ford: The best moment was when I was called up to the Major Leagues.

mndawgs: Is there a reason you wear No. 20?

Ford: No, that's just the number they gave me when I was called up last year.

Base_Ball_4: Hey Lew! This is Stacy in Owatonna, Minn. I was wondering if you're happier in the Twins organization than you were in the Red Sox organization? We're all glad you're here and keep up the amazing work! You deserve a spot on the 2004 All Star Team!

Ford: Yeah, I'm happier in the Twins organization. They gave me a chance to play in the Major Leagues.

mintkayvich16: Hi Leeeeeeeeeeeeeew! From what I've read about you, it would appear that baseball was not your first choice as a career, if you weren't playing baseball what would you be doing and do you feel you made the right decision to stick with baseball?

Ford: I can't say exactly what I'd be doing. But I'm sure it would be in the computer science field. I know I made the right decision to stick with baseball. There will always be time for other things later.

Holly_Wood: Leeeeeeeeewwwwwww, this is Miz and Wooda from Anoka. Would you like your kids to become Major League ballplayers one day?

Ford: I'll support them with whatever they want to do. They're still very young and they have a lot of opportunities still. They love baseball.

twinsgirl101: Lew, since you play at the Dome, have you actually had a hot dog (or as they call it Dome Dog)?

Ford: Never had a Dome Dog.

ilikebrandnew: Hey Lew! Are you superstitious at all?

Ford: I'm not superstitious ... but I have the same routine I go through every day. As far as time when I get to the field, doing my work the same every day, the hitting group in BP I'm in, the throwing partner I have and what days I work out.

mndawgs: What are you thinking about while your up to bat?

Ford: I think about finding the ball out of the pitcher's hand and just reacting. All the thinking comes before you get into the batter's box. Once you're in there, you can't think about much.

imageless766: Hey Lew!! This is Jason, big fan. I was wondering how if felt going back to Fenway after they dealt you? Did you want to really perform well to show them what they missed?

Ford: I haven't performed well in the minors against Red Sox teams. It's always tough to go back and play them. We left with a good feeling taking two of three from them.

Holly_Wood: What is your favorite thing about being a Major League Baseball player?

Ford: It's probably not just one thing. Just getting to play baseball every day as your job. You couldn't ask for any better job.

Holly_Wood: Hey Lew! What do you think of the Barbie bag the bullpen carries around and would you ever get one for yourself?

Ford: I think it's hilarious that they have it. I wouldn't get one for myself.

number1twinsfan: Do you ever get nervous when you play?

Ford: Yeah ... sometimes you get nervous before you go up to bat. But once I get into the batter's box, I remain calm and don't worry so much about the outcome.

pcarroll: I have heard you are a computer wiz. Did you have classes in high school or self taught? I have heard a lot of the guys are into video games.

Ford: A lot of guys have a PlayStation or GameBox ... most guys have a computer that they use to watch DVDs or store music mostly. I've had both classes and I was toying around with computers at a young age before I was in high school.

spinmom: Can you settle once and for all whether or not you are eligible for the Rookie of the Year award?

Ford: I'm not eligible

mintkayvich16: Lew, how was Doug's fising tournament yesterday? Catch anything? Thanks, Laura.

Ford: I caught a bass and carp ... we had a great time on the lake. It was perfect weather to be out there.

mlb_com_member: Do you have any secret handshakes with any of your teammates?

Ford: They do the handshakes ... I have special ones I do with Torii, Guzman, LeCroy and everybody has different ones they like doing with certain people.

Ford: Thanks everybody for having the chat. We'll see you at the ballpark.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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