During a live web chat with season ticket holders, Astros third baseman Chris Johnson fielded questions about his goals for the 2012 season and beyond.
Chris Johnson: Hi everyone, it's Chris Johnson. Thanks for joining the chat. We're ready to get started. What's up?
johnny14k_2: With so many front office changes does it affect your game mentally or strategically?
Chris Johnson: I try not to let it affect me. I try not to let things I can't control affect my game. I focus on the things I need to do to get better and let everything else fall into place. I think we're headed in a really good direction with all the new hires.
scout01: What is your offseason workout regimen like?
Chris Johnson: Right now I'm here in Houston, working out every morning with our trainers from about nine to one. Just started getting into hitting and throwing. Hitting-wise we're in the cage right now, hitting off the tee and soft toss. Our last workout here will be around the 15th and then I'll head down to Spring Training shortly after that.
scout01: Do you have any superstitions or pregame rituals?
Chris Johnson: I'm a very superstitious person. I don't have anything that I do every day but if there's something that I did yesterday that worked I'm going to try to do the same thing the next day. What I ate for lunch, or articles of clothing, stuff like that.
alliegirl7: Last year in the NL Central. Any plans on how you would like to close this year?
Chris Johnson: Playoffs.
scout01: What are some of your goals, personally and as a team, for the 2012 season?
Chris Johnson: As a team, we would like to get to the playoffs. Obviously we're in a little bit of a rebuilding process. It's important to increase the win total from last year, by a lot. Now we have to live up to the Texans!
johnny14k_2: who inspired you to play the game? and what did they do/say to make you a better player?
Chris Johnson: My dad inspired me to play the game. He's been in the game all his life. He played in the Major Leagues. As a kid, I was like any other boy, wanting to follow in his dad's footsteps. If anybody's influenced me the most, however, it would be my mom.
bspaulding: Tell us how the young guys on the team have come together. You've been around for a few years now. How does it feel having them look up to you as an elder statesman?
Chris Johnson: I don't consider myself one of those guys yet. But you're right, I've been around for a couple of years now and I try to help out as much as I can to make our team better. Being a young team, a lot of us played in the Minor Leagues together. So we know each other pretty well. So it's pretty easy to get on each other when we need it and help each other out.
johnny14k_2: How ready are you for Florida? When exactly do you leave?
Chris Johnson: I'm from Florida so I'm very ready for it. I'm about 2 1/2 hours from my family, which is nice going into an eight-month season where I'll probably see them twice.
bspaulding: What do you see as the keys to success for this club in 2012?
Chris Johnson: We're going to need young guys to step up. We're also going to need older guys to show us the way. Jed Lowrie was a good addition. We have pretty veteran pitching with a young offensive core. It could be an interesting season.
johnny14k_2: How do you evaluate your performance after each game? Just the stats? Or personal reflection?
Chris Johnson: Stats are one thing but I think you know at the end of the game, I think every guy knows to a man how they performed that night and things that they need to work on. That's how we'll grow. Personally I'm very hard on myself after games. But playing every day, in this game, you need a short memory because you have to go and play another one tomorrow.
alliegirl7: What away games are you looking forward to this year?
Chris Johnson: I'm excited to go to Miami and see their new stadium. We go there early in the season. I'm also looking forward to it because I'm a Florida boy. I also always look forward to going to Chicago and playing at Wrigley Field.
alliegirl7: What sort of stuff keeps you busy in the offseason?
Chris Johnson: When the season ended I took a short vacation and then I went home to Florida for a week. Then I came back to Houston to start working out. While I'm here, I play golf, watch movies, play basketball, watch every Duke basketball game.
bspaulding: With all the changes for the club, and the tough year last year, most "experts" are not expecting much out of the Astros this year. I think there is a big chance to prove them all wrong. Do you feel extra motivation to prove everyone in the media wrong?
Chris Johnson: As an athlete, I think we all have that competitive attitude and would love to prove every one of those people wrong. I think we have a better team than most people are giving us credit for. I think we will shock some people this year.
Chris Johnson: Thanks for joining us! If you have any more questions follow me at @cjastros23. Thanks and see you at the ballpark!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.