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Estrada chats with fans online
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06/16/2004  4:38 PM ET
Estrada chats with fans online
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Johnny Estrada currently ranks fifth among NL catchers in All-Star balloting. (Kathy Willens/AP)
Braves catcher Johnny Estrada took time out before the Braves vs. Royals game at Turner Field to chat with fans online. In addition to giving baseball advice to young fans, Estrada talked about what it means to be playing for the Braves, his favorite teams growing up and more.

Base_Ball_2: I have an 11-year-old left-handed pitcher who loves baseball. Any advice for him? Oh Johnny you're an AWESOME BALL PLAYER!

Johnny Estrada: My suggestion is that he should stay left-handed and keep working hard. I appreciate your compliment.

Base_Ball_2: Hey Johnny, I was just wondering if you did anything drastically different last year and this year, as opposed to when you started for Philadelphia in 2001? Keep up the good work, win us a batting title!

Estrada: I got the chance to play here every day, as opposed to once every three days, like I was doing in Philly.

Base_Ball_2: What convinced you to get into your "no drug" campaign? Was there something that changed your life?

Estrada: It has to do with the neighborhood I grew up in and saw as a kid. I just think it's important for kids to stay away from drugs.

grooveone: Hi Johnny! It's really great to see you doing so well with the Braves. I'm really happy for you. I`m wondering how has this year changed your relationship with your dad? I know you guys grew up Braves fans.

Estrada: My dad is like a kid in a candy store this year. I'm just glad he's getting the chance to see me play for the Braves.

mlb_com_member_2: What would you tell someone whose dream is to play for Atlanta?

Estrada: Anybody that wants to play in the Majors has to work hard and stay dedicated.

Ray_Yorkey: What do you think has been the biggest challenge with the Braves so far this year?

Estrada: Obviously overcoming all the injuries.

Base_Ball_3: Are the Braves looking to add anyone to help out this year?

Estrada: Yeah, we're looking to add Marcus Giles and Adam LaRoche.

msudawgs2006: Did you enjoy your time in Richmond? I am from here and loved watching you play here. I knew sooner or later you would be moving to the Majors, so I saw all the games I could when you were here.

Estrada: I had my best minor league season in Richmond. Good luck getting that new ballpark.

gumbytoo: Johnny, do you feel any pressure in filling the great Javy Lopez's shoes? If not, in what ways do you think you go above and beyond what he has accomplished in the Braves' recent history?

Estrada: I'm a different type of player than Javy. I'm just trying to contribute to a winning team, not replace Javy Lopez.

thedrewcrew04: Johnny, what do you think of "Estrada`s Armada" for a catch phrase....sort of like "Sheff`s Chef`s" from last year? The fans could dress up in Navy outfits and come to the games!

Estrada: I've never heard that one before. It sounds pretty good. But in this humidity, I don't think you want to be in Navy suits.

trumpet1brad: Johnny, do you think the Braves can sweep the series with the Royals and get over .500?

Estrada: We should sweep the Royals.

kay-kay_allen: This is your biggest fan, Kay-Kay. Do you think that the Braves will win their 13th division title this year?

Estrada: Considering they've won 12 in a row, why should anybody say that we're not going to win again?

carterbraves: Mr. Estrada, I am very impressed with the numbers you are producing so far this season, and I am stunned at the numbers you have put up with runners in scoring position. I just wanted to say thanks a lot for your commitment, and good luck for the rest of the season.

Estrada: Thank you.

mlb_com_member: Johnny, I wanted to say that you have been a great addition to the team. I`ve voted numerous times and hope to see you make the All-Star team as well.

Estrada: Thank you. That would be a dream come true.

Mark_Mullis: Hey Johnny, My name is Tanner and I am 7 years old. Do you still live in Salisbury? I live in Oakboro, near Albemarle.

Estrada: I moved from Salisbury two years ago. But I enjoyed my time there.

DieHard_ForFick: What motivates you? What motivated you when you were a kid?

Estrada: Providing for my family motivates me.

txboy51_yahoo_com: Hey Johnny. This is Art Edwards' dad. You are doing great. How's it feel to make the "show?"

Estrada: I'm glad to see all the hard work at LaVista Little League paid off. Thanks for all you did.

bravepap: Johnny, switch-hitting catchers are rare, but you seem to be able to hit anyone the opposition throws out there. Do you have a preference for which side you bat, and is there a particular pitcher that you don`t exactly relish facing?

Estrada: I'm more comfortable hitting left-handed.

bethany: Who was your favorite baseball team growing up?

Estrada: I'm a die-hard Oakland A's fan. I grew up watching the A's.

tiki18: Hi Johnny! I think you are a great player and I was wondering if you like Interleague Play?

Estrada: I like Interleague games, but don't think we should have to play so many games.

allman05_aol_com: How has Eddie Perez helped you this season?

Estrada: Eddie is awesome. I've learned from watching him for a long time.

angelchizka: Well, I wanted to ask Johnny how the transition from being with the Phillies to going to the Braves was?

Estrada: Very easy. Bobby Cox is great.

dax1017: Aren`t you totally blue after some games? I saw one game in which you got knocked down four times by foul-tipped balls.

Estrada: It's part of my job description. I wouldn't play any other position.

hog: What is your favorite sport besides baseball?

Estrada: Football. I'm a diehard Oakland Raiders fan.

bonehead2001: Hi Johnny, which aspect of the game is the most challenging and has required the most changes in the Majors vs. the minors -- hitting, catching, or throwing out baserunner? Keep up the good work!

Estrada: It's tougher to hit consistently in the Majors. Pitchers are a lot better.

farney: Hi Johnny, I`m a Braves fan from Germany and saw you in Spring Training this year and last year. You are always looking so concentrated on the field. What would be your advice for young players?

Estrada: Don't give up. Believe in your dream and always work hard.

Estrada: Sorry I was late. Thanks for taking time to chat with me. I've got to go get ready to play tonight.

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

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