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Dave Roberts chats with fans
05/12/2004  6:22 PM ET
Dodgers outfielder Dave Roberts logged on at Dodger Stadium and met with fans Wednesday for a half-hour online chat on Dodgers.com. Questions ranged from basestealing techniques to pizza toppings, clubhouse chemistry to the Dodgers' outstanding start to the season.

Moderator: Thanks for joining today's chat with Dave Roberts. We're ready to begin....

jolemite: I don't know if someone already asked, but when do you think you'll be 100 percent?

Dave Roberts: The injury is not as serious as the one last year. I think I'll be 100 percent on the middle of the next road trip.

Base_Ball: What did you always want to do when you were growing up?

Roberts: I wanted to become an NFL football player. But then I stopped growing, so baseball seemed like the best option.

Base_Ball: Dave Roberts, how does it feel every time you steal a base?

Roberts: The best part of stealing a base is before I steal. Knowing that everyone in the ballpark knows I'm going to steal really gets my adrenaline going.

vicenteromo: Dave, Congratulations on your superb start, we miss the stolen base threat you bring to the top of the lineup. The numbers show that you hit lefties better than righties. Any explanation for that?

Roberts: Actually, I've always hit lefties better throughout my career but I have no explanation for it.

mnu998: Do you think you will beat your career high in SB's this season?

Roberts: Without a doubt.

paul_khoury: Hi Dave, hope you get healthy soon. Do you think you can beat out Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre in the stolen base category this year???

Roberts: Both those guys are great base stealers. If my hamstring cooperates with me this year, I like my chances.

sebastiansdad: Hey Dave, are you comfortable in left field.

Roberts: It's definitely different but I'm getting more comfortable each day. Center field is more difficult because there's more ground to cover, but the way the ball comes off the bat makes left field a little more difficult for everyone.

oml1200: Dave, many on the Dodgers message boards refer to you as "Pig Pen" (don't know if players read the boards), because by the second inning, your uniform is dirty. Does that bother you?

Roberts: Pig pen, huh? I guess that's a compliment. I don't get a chance to read the message boards, but I think that's great that we have such a great following.

Christopher_Wade: When you were young who did you really look up to? What player did you really want to be like?

Roberts: Growing up in San Diego, my favorite player was Tony Gwynn. But Rickey Henderson was someone I wanted to emulate as well.

bluebeard129804: Dave, how does the clubhouse compare to last year?

Roberts: It's 180-degrees different. For example, we listen to William Hung after every victory and that definitely wouldn't have happened last year. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but...

slimgoofy: Hi Dave Roberts!!! I'm a big fan of yourself and the rest of the team. ...Glad you all have been doing so great this season. ... With exception of your injury.... What do you think is a great factor in the Dodgers' success this year?

Roberts: Obviously we're swinging the bats a lot better. But even in Spring Training, we knew the chemistry was going to be a lot better than in the last couple years.

H_Wang: What was it like to see yourself on your first baseball card?

Roberts: That was a pretty awesome feeling. That's something that every kid dreams about and when I saw my first baseball card, the realization that I was a Major League Baseball player really hit me. It was something I'll never forget.

oafgirl: Dave, Why did you major in History at UCLA?

Roberts: When I went to UCLA, I didn't really know what I wanted to major in and History gave me the flexibility to study different parts of the world, different cultures and different time periods. I'm also pretty good at BSing essays.

trekiev: I see that you were born in Japan, do you speak Japanese? How do you get along with the other Japanese players?

Roberts: I can understand it a little, but Nomo, Ishii and I don't engage in many long-winded conversations. But we get along great and they're great teammates.

H_Wang: What city do you live in and how hard is it for you to drive to Dodger Stadium with the LA traffic. How early do you get to the ballparks?

Roberts: During the season, I live in Pasadena and it makes getting to the ballpark really easy. I typically get to the ballpark about 2:30.

H_Wang: Since being born in Japan, have you gone back to visit Japan?

Roberts: Yes, I go back there every offseason to visit friends and family. The support from the Japanese people has been awesome.

H_Wang: What are your hobbies?

Roberts: Although I'm not good, I really enjoy playing golf. But nothing beats playing baseball with my 3-year-old.

homastaeiii: How long did it take you after you were signed to make it to the Major Leagues?

Roberts: It took me five years to get to the Major Leagues.

jfanaselle: To whom do you mostly contribute your huge success as (in my opinion) currently the best baserunner in Major League Baseball?

Roberts: I would have to say Maury Wills. Not just the technical part of stealing bases, but the confidence factor and I think that's the biggest part of being a successful base stealer. Even if it's the bottom of the ninth inning and you're down a run and 50,000 people know you're going to steal a base, you still have the guts to attempt to steal. And thank you for the compliment!

bearabl: Dave, what kind of music do you like?

Roberts: Going through the minor leagues and playing Major League Baseball, there's so many different types of personalities and so many types of music, that I've grown to have an appreciation for all types. But, my favorite would probably be R & B.

Ryan_Riggen: How has Milton Bradley fit in with the club so far?

Roberts: Milton's been great. He's from Long Beach and playing for the Dodgers has been his dream. Obviously he's performed well on the field and in the clubhouse, he fits right in.

fisch69: How'd you like PETCO Park down in SD? And where are your favorite places to play (other than Chavez Ravine!)??

Roberts: PETCO Park was great. I think the best part about the park is what it's done to downtown San Diego. The atmosphere is incredible but when we play the Padres, I stay at my house.

Daniel_Chinen_2: On base, do you generally have a green light, or wait for a steal signal? There was one game where it looked like you ran on the first pitch each time.

Roberts: I do have the green light but Trace (Jim Tracy) gives me a hold sign in certain situations. The game you're talking about was Colorado and I did go on the first pitch every time because coming off an off-day, I wanted to be extra aggressive to try and ignite the team.

oafgirl: With your enthusiastic support of school programs, do you think you might coach (when you finally hang up the spikes)?

Roberts: That's a viable possibility. I love kids, I love baseball, so it seems like it would be logical fit. What I do know is that it will have something to do with baseball.

supacoo: Dave, who's the funniest guy in the locker room? Can you spill a dirty little secret on anyone? (We won't tell...)

Roberts: The funniest guy in the locker room without a doubt is Jose Lima. Adrian Beltre and Jose Lima can never beat Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca in cards. They play every single day in batting practice. But if you see them, don't tell them I told you. They take it really personally.

bornblue29: Dave, What pitcher do you least like to face and why?

Roberts: Probably Billy Wagner on the Astros. He's left-handed and throws about 100 mph. That's never any fun.

Base_Ball_3: Who started the Will Hung thing?

Roberts: Shawn Green brought in the CD, so he gets the credit. But Alex Cora and David Ross also deserve some credit for keeping it going.

bearabl: What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Roberts: Canadian bacon and pineapple. Or just sausage.

bluebeard129804: Dave, what's your take on the LAKERS!!!!!? =P

Roberts: They looked great last night. I just think that they need to continue to match San Antonio's energy. I think it'll be Lakers in seven.

Leah_Cheatham: What's your pump-up song?

Roberts: It's called "Yeah" by Usher. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

ptr1223: Is it true that you were a Navy brat? And if so what advice could you give military kids who live overseas?

Roberts: Actually, my father was in the Marine Corps for 30 years. My advice would be to try and enjoy the place where you're living because you'll never know when you'll be back.

azulfan4life: What feature on the pitcher (ex. glove movement, feet) do you observe when you steal a base?

Roberts: Each pitcher has different tendencies. Some, it might be the front shoulder. Others, the front heel or the knee. But before every game, I do a lot of studying on videotape to get a good idea of how I'm going to go about stealing a base off that pitcher.

Josh_Behr: What food do you like to eat before or after the game? Do you have any superstitions?

Roberts: I usually eat something light. Some chicken or bananas, yogurt. As far as superstitions, not really. The only one I can think of is that I don't touch any of the foul lines. Shawn Green is your superstitious guy, but I can't divulge that information. A couple more questions here...

ibleadbloo: Dave, how did you feel when you got "X'd" on Jamie Kennedy's show?

Roberts: Initially, I was very upset. But obviously you've got to appreciate what they did to me. So, if you can come up with a prank to get Paul Lo Duca back, I'm game.

bearabl: How much harder is it to steal third instead of second? And have you ever stolen home in your Major or minor league career?

Roberts: Third base is actually easier to steal but since you're in scoring position already, a lot of times it's not worth taking the chance. I've not stolen home before because when I'm on third base, the middle of the lineup is batting, so I'd rather take my chances on them driving me in, instead of trying to steal home.

dodgerfaninexile: Plenty of people doubted you guys coming into the season. How satisfying is the start to the season?

Roberts: It's been a great start so far and we're really excited. The people that doubted us have obviously been frustrated the last couple years. But we've just got to keep winning baseball games to prove the doubters wrong and hopefully get everyone back on our bandwagon.

I've got to get back downstairs now, but thanks for taking the time to send me your questions. This just reinforces to me why you guys are baseball's best fans. Keep supporting us because this is the year we're going to be playing in October.

Moderator: That wraps up today's chat with Dave Roberts. Thanks to everyone for participating and to Dave for being our guest.

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


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