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06/28/05 6:35 PM ET

Izturis chats with fans online

Dodgers shortstop fields questions during live chat

Dodgers shortstop Cesar Izturis is in a fight to the finish for the starting National League shortstop spot at the 2005 All-Star Game in Detroit. Izturis chatted with fans online about his season so far, beating a slump and the team's chemistry.

wewillwinthewest: Hey Dodger All-Star! Who was your favorite shortstop growing up?

Cesar Izturis: Omar Vizquel because he was from Venezuela and everybody watched him growing up. And of course, he's got nine Gold Gloves. I got the opportunity to meet him and he's a great guy on and off the field.

mlb_com_member_2: First of all, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today. What's the difference between the beginning of the season and right now as far as team chemistry?

Izturis: It's a little different because we have been going through a slump. In the beginning of the season, we were winning, so everyone was always happy. But that's part of baseball. Hopefully, we'll turn it around soon.

mlb_com_member_2: How important for you is it to be a starter in the All-Star Game or are you just happy to make it?

Izturis: For me, I'd just be happy to make it. Especially for all the fans who have voted for me and want me to be there. To be there is like an honor for me. I'd be happy either way.

chumsferd: Izzy, big fan of yours here. Have you been surprised by Jeff Kent's defense and do you think that you two have the same chemistry you shared with Alex Cora last year?

Izturis: I think he's done a great job defensively and he's a very smart defensive player and knows how to play the game. With me and Alex, we worked together for many years, so it takes time to get to know Jeff like that. But he's definitely been solid defensively.

ericgagne38gameover: Hey Cesar, are you superstitious?

Izturis: Yes, with my batting glove. When I get a hit, I never change them and when I don't, I change them out. So right now, I've been using a lot of them!

fade2blue: Did you get to pick your Dodgers number and if so, why that number?

Izturis: I wanted to get No. 2, which was what I had in Toronto, but everyone knows that Tommy (Lasorda) wears No. 2. So I said one up or one down is fine. I like No. 3.

dela: How many gloves do you go through in a typical season?

Izturis: Just one. One for batting practice and one for the game.

crustee: What was it like playing against your brother Maicer during the Freeway Series?

Izturis: It felt good. To see your brother play in the same game together, it was cool. But we've played against each other in the Venezuelan league and during Spring Training, so it wasn't that different to me.

Base_Ball_3: Hey Cesar, we're voting non-stop for you so don't worry, you'll be starting in the All-Star Game! I just had a question about the slump you are coming out of -- how do you work through it? How hard is it to block out your previous at bats?

Izturis: Wow, it's hard. But like I said before, it's part of the game. Sometimes you feel good and sometimes you don't. But I just work hard every day and try to figure out what's wrong by watching video from the past. Hopefully, I'll pull out of it soon.

bd2: Cesar, what guys from the club do you hang out with?

Izturis: Giovanni Carrara. When I was growing up in Venezuela, I met him when I stayed at his parents house for an All-Star tournament. So for us to be on the same team in the Major Leagues is great.

wewillwinthewest: Do you ever listen to the trade rumors flying around?

Izturis: No. It doesn't do us any good to listen to those, so we just focus on the game that day or the players we have here.

Base_Ball: Do you have any advice for a beginning baseball player?

Izturis: The best advice I could give is to just play hard, all the time. You should have fun playing the game and not make it feel like you have to play. Work hard at your game and you'll get better.

thewood: What was it like for you to start your first game at Dodger Stadium?

Izturis: I was very nervous. But at the same time, it was exciting playing for a team with the tradition like the Dodgers. In Toronto, it was different, but here you see the crowd, 40,000 or 50,000 people every game. It makes you excited.

ericgagne38gameover: Hey there Cesar! Do you still keep in touch with Alex?

Izturis: Yeah, definitely. We talk maybe one time a week.

crustee: What has been your most memorable moment in the Majors?

Izturis: It has to be last year, winning the National League West in a game against the Giants. That's definitely the best moment for me.

mlb_com_member_3: How does it feel to be on a video game, MVP Baseball 2005, that I play every day?

Izturis: It's a little strange to see yourself on a video game. I've played before when I was the Dodgers and I hit a few line drives and got on base, so I was happy.

speedyj: Thanks for taking our questions Izzy. I was wondering how you have such a strong throwing arm for a little guy?

Izturis: I was just born with it, thank god. I work out to try and build muscles, but I was fortunate to be blessed with this throwing ability.

wulv1997: Hola Cesar, como esta? Are you going to be playing in Mexico during the offseason?

Izturis: No, I usually play for Lara in the Venezuelan League. That's where I'm from.

isamar_ruiz: Hey Cesar! Wow! I can't believe I'm actually talking to you! I'm your biggest fan! Do you feel nervous about the All-Star Game?

Izturis: I haven't made it yet, so I can't feel nervous about it. But I appreciate all the support the fans have given me, both Dodgers fans here in L.A. and also back home in Venezuela.

Cesar_Sanchez: Tocayo. Is there any pitcher you do not like facing?

Izturis: Right now? Everyone! No, seriously, that's a tough question. Maybe Billy Wagner.

Base_Ball: Hey Cesar, what do you prefer -- a double play or a hit?

Izturis: That's hard to answer. I'll say a double play, because it's worth two outs and helps the team more.

glygn: How is everyone in the club house taking the news about Eric Gagné?

Izturis: Everyone knows he's a big part of the team, but we have a great closer in Yhency Brazoban who has done a good job in his place. It's a tough loss, but we know we have to move on, no matter what happens.

Leah_Setaghian: What is your favorite part of playing in L.A.?

Izturis: The weather! It's great out here. And of course, the fans. And the trainer, Stan Johnston, who's sitting here with me!

b1ued0dger: How much time do you spend with Tim Wallach?

Izturis: Right now, a lot. But even when I'm hitting well, I work with him every day. And Manny Mota has been a huge help to me, too.

speedyj: Hey Izzy, thanks for stopping by. What do you do to relax?

Izturis: I like to watch movies. "Rush Hour" is my favorite.

soyjimador1: Cesar, what is your outlook for the second half of the season? What does the team need in order to get back to the playoffs?

Izturis: We have had a lot of injuries, but with guys getting healthy, like Jose Valentin and Milton Bradley and Wilson Alvarez, we have a lot of good players here already.

hikarichan: Cesar, what are some of your favorite offseason activities? Good luck with the All-Star ballot.

Izturis: Thanks again for your support. I like to spend time with my family, because I have one little boy and one girl at home and I get to see them mostly during the offseason.

ericgagne38gameover: When did you start switch hitting?

Izturis: When I signed professionally in 1996.

soyjimador1: What's your favorite sport other than baseball?

Izturis: Basketball.

crustee: Which team(s) do you most and least enjoy playing against?

Izturis: I like playing the Giants the most and I don't like playing against Colorado.

fade2blue: Hey Cesar, besides eating Dodger Dogs, where is your favorite place to eat in L.A.?

Izturis: Sushi Roku in Pasadena. I love sushi.

bd2: Cesar, what kind of music do you listen to?

Izturis: Salsa, mostly. My favorite singer is Oscar DeLeon.

b1ued0dger: Why do you think you are so good defensively? Were you just born with your defensive skills or did you practice a lot?

Izturis: You're born with the hands, but you learn more every day. It's good instincts, but you have to practice hard every day.

bd2: Cesar, what makes a good pregame meal?

Izturis: Nachos.

wewillwinthewest: What is your favorite road city/stadium to visit?

Izturis: Arizona. It's just a good stadium and a fun city. Plus, I like the hotel that we stay at there.

george_vender: How do you feel about Frank McCourt and the decisions he has made for the Dodgers?

Izturis: I think he's done a very good job since he came to Los Angeles. I know he cares about the Dodgers and wants to see us win more than anybody. And I know we will, soon.

Base_Ball: Are you a Lakers fan?

Izturis: I was, but I liked Shaquille O'Neal and now he's gone.

blue271: Do you and the other guys on the team play jokes on each other? Who is the biggest joker?

Izturis: Probably Olmedo Saenz. You might not expect that, but he's a funny guy.

jm8469: Izzy who has stepped up as the clubhouse leader?

Izturis: Definitely Jeff Kent. He's a veteran and he knows how to play hard every single day. We learn a lot just by watching how he plays hard every day.

Izturis: Alright guys, I've got to go get ready for tonight's game. But thank you very much for writing so many questions and for all the support you have given me for the All-Star Game and for coming out to Dodger Stadium. We'll see you soon!

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