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08/22/06 6:09 PM ET

Team goals most important for Ethier

The postseason is priority for Rookie of the Year contender

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who is making a strong case for National League Rookie of the Year, chatted with fans online Tuesday. Ethier said the Dodgers reaching the postseason and winning the World Series is more important than any individual honor.

Andre Ethier: Hi, thanks for taking part in this. Let's get started.

Ethier4ROY: How does it feel to play along side of Greg Maddux?

Ethier: I guess it's kind of surreal. Growing up, you watch him pitch and imagine what it would be like to face him one day and now he's on your team. It's pretty surreal to have him on my team now.

14hodges: If you weren't a professional baseball player, what job would you like to do?

Ethier: I think I would probably be a firefighter back home in Phoenix.

ethierroy: What was it like hitting your first Major League home run?

Ethier: It was pretty exciting. It was good to get that one out of the way and over with because that one dwells on you a little more than even getting your first hit out of the way. You want to get that first one out of the way quick.

liveitupdp: Who is the biggest practical joker in the Dodgers locker room?

Ethier: That's a tough one right there. I don't know who the biggest one is. I would say it would be the new guy, Toby Hall. He just has a way about, in certain situations, always saying something funny or off the wall. He has a smart comment for a lot of things.

Teresa_Herrera: What is your greatest memory from Arizona State?

Ethier: I think just all of the people and the friends that I got to meet while going to school there. There's no one memory that stands out.

nate_schoenbrun: What was your first reaction when you heard you were going to the Majors?

Ethier: I would say it was overwhelming excitement. I was so excited I could barely think. I didn't know what to do next, who to call. I don't think I could have packed my bags fast enough.

14hodges: Andre, who is your favorite Dodgers player from the past?

Ethier: My favorite Dodger player from the past is Bob Welch.

1leftfielderrocks6: I have noticed that you seem to really enjoy interacting with the fans in L.A., especially those sitting in the left-field pavilion. How do you feel the fan support affects your game?

Ethier: I don't think it actually affects my game at all. It let's me relax. Without the people out there, we aren't playing the game, so you have to give back to them sometime.

14hodges: Do you spend time with teammates when you're not at the ballpark? Which teammate(s) are you closest to?

Ethier: Probably my closest friend on the team is Russell Martin. We've come up together and been down this same road the whole time.

trickygerm: What was your favorite team growing up?

Ethier: I didn't really have a favorite Major League team growing up. My favorite baseball team was the Arizona State Sun Devils.

kentbelieveit: What kind of music do you listen to?

Ethier: There's a good one. My favorite music to listen to is a rapper named Lil' Wayne. But, besides that, because of my wife, I listen to more easygoing music like Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, stuff like that. But when I'm alone, I listen to Lil' Wayne.

shawn_yang_2: Andre, how do you feel about Felipe Alou's comment comparing you to Bobby Abreu?

Ethier: It's real flattering. I guess, coming from a guy who's seen as much as he has, it means something, but at the same time, I'm a young guy and don't think I can quite be compared yet to a guy like Bobby Abreu. I hope that I can live up to his comparison of me.

Britney_Soto: What inspired you to be a baseball player?

Ethier: I've wanted to do this since I was young and now I get to do this for a living. To put myself and my family in a situation where we can live a comfortable life -- I'm play for all of those people that supported me along the way.

Fabiola_Macias: What are you munching on out on the field?

Ethier: I'm either munching on sunflower seeds or Bazooka bubble gum. Sometimes I'll sneak a protein bar out there with me.

Fabiola_Macias: Does hearing all the buzz about Rookie of the Year make you nervous?

Ethier: Yeah, only when people mention it all the time! Just kidding. It's pretty neat to be mentioned in that group of people who are up for the running of that, but sometimes it's a distraction that can get in the way of some of the team goals we're trying to achieve. If you play well and play hard, hopefully stuff like that will take care of itself. The most important thing is the team goal of getting to October and winning a World Series. I think a World Series ring is better than a Rookie of the Year trophy, any day.

oliviaaarrgh: What are your hobbies outside of baseball?

Ethier: In season, there's not much time for hobbies. Out of season, I like to try and take day trips up to Northern Arizona and do a little fishing. I actually enjoy working out during the offseason. Also, just hanging out and catching up with family and friends that I haven't seen.

14hodges: Andre, best wishes and congratulations to you and Maggie. Is she a baseball fan in her own right, or just your biggest fan? Does she attend games often? Does she ever travel to games on the road?

Ethier: She is somewhat of a baseball fan. She likes it enough to allow me to play and do my job. She usually only makes it to the home games. She hasn't made it to any road games this year. She works a full-time job back in Arizona. Up until four months ago, she was the main provider for our family!

Ethier4ROY: What pitcher do you think has given you the toughest time at the plate?

Ethier: I can't remember because I usually put those guys out of my mind right away. I don't like to dwell on it.

14hodges: What's the best movie that you've seen lately?

Ethier: I saw "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" and enjoyed that one.

jrmarsh: You have such a natural, long swing, that allows you to go with the pitch that is thrown. How did you learn that swing?

Ethier: Years and years of practice, getting it to the point where it's at now. My father was the one who worked with me my whole life and still does in the offseason. He helps tweak and perfect my swing. I still get the once-in-a-while phone call from my dad asking me what the heck I'm doing!

bsblkline: Are you superstitious? If so, what are your superstitions?

Ethier: I'm not really that superstitious. The one thing I don't do before games is that I never eat beef before games or I try not to. I only try to eat chicken. If anyone knows any good chicken restaurants, I'm up for suggestions.

chazfarote: Did you move to L.A. or do you still keep a home in Arizona?

Ethier: I live in a hotel in Los Angeles right now. I'm a permanent resident of Arizona.

Ramon_Angulo: What advice would you give a player coming up through the Minor Leagues?

Ethier: I would say just to keep working hard. Don't get too discouraged or turned down about the way things go. Things in this game happen really quickly and you can find yourself in a situation where, similar to me, you're in Double-A at one point and then starting in the bigs next. You never know what can happen, so don't get caught up in the stuff that you can't control.

Ethier: Thank you all very much for taking the time to be a part of this. I hope we can do it again sometime soon.

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