04/11/2002 12:15 pm ET
Indians chat transcript: Ricky Gutierrez
By John Benander / MLB.com
Moderator: Everyone, thank you for joining in today's chat with Ricky
Gutierrez. Ricky Gutierrez is now here.
Ricky: Thank you fans for greeting me very nicely. I'm glad to be here.
Lofton007: So far, how has your adjustment to 2nd base been?
RG: It's been great. I feel great over there now. It's been great working with
Omar - he's made it very easy.
mistwalker2001: What are you and Omar practicing to be a better double play
RG: During batting practice, we practice a lot. I try to do it from every angle.
I'll try to do any angle I can.
Lofton007: What was your favorite baseball team growing up?
RG: My favorite baseball team growing up would be St. Louis, because of Ozzie
Lofton007: Who was your favorite player growing up?
RG: My favorite player was Ozzie Smith.
DiningPhilosopher10: When you decided to sign with the Indians, did you at any
point think, "Wait a minute, I'm going to be in the American League"?
Did you think it would be weird to switch leagues?
RG: It hit me after a couple hours after my agent told me Cleveland was interested.
I thought about how I was going to be seeing new cities, new places. So, yeah,
it did feel kinda weird when I thought about it.
DiningPhilosopher10: How do you like the new fake grass that they have in some
stadiums? Is it better than Astroturf?
RG: I think it's nice - It's way better than Astroturf. I think it takes away
the stress from your knees. I think you'll see players lasting longer playing
jackass666: I would like to know what your expectations are for the team this
year and why do u think that?
RG: My expectations are to finish with a solid offensive year and to be a solid
second baseman. Those are the standards I always set to keep me playing harder
and keep going.
jackass666: What do u think if the team as of right now
RG: I like our team, I like our makeup. In the middle, we have guys who can
knock it out of the ballpark. Then at the top, you have guys who are fast. And
at the bottom of the order we can even hit the ball. Then our pitching is our
MLBtribe: How well do you think you have adjusted to the second base position?
RG: So far I think I have adjusted pretty well. The double play - I'm getting
better everyday. I'm getting much more comfortable there like I played there
my whole life.
sayee: Are the shoes of Robby Alomar too big to fit in ??
RG: I've been asked that question all spring. But I don't see myself doing that
- I'm not trying to fill his shoes. I need to fill my own shoes. That doesn't
even cross my mind. He's a great player, a future Hall of Famer, but I just
have to play my game.
BranyanK: Is it reasonable to say that the Tribe will finish up 161-1
and steamroll their way to the Series title?
RG: Hahaha - I wish we could. This is a long season. That would be a dream come
true. But in a realistic life, that's not going to happen.
CoreyK626: With whom have you hit it off the best among your new teammates?
RG: Well, there's a lot of guys I hang around with, but the guy that almost
always around with is Matt Lawton. He's a good guy. You'll most often see me
MLBtribe: Do you like going up against AL pitching better than NL pitching?
RG: The difference is in the NL you see more fastball when you are behind the
count. With a 3-1, 2-1 counts, the AL tends to pitch more off-speed.
simonefl4: Do you like the environment better in Chicago or in Cleveland?
RG: It's too early to tell. So far it's good here. Everyone gets along and the
chemistry is pretty good.
_1indians: Hi Ricky, How old were you when you first started to love
RG: Hmm - young age. Five. Ever since I was a little kid, I have had a bat or
ball in my hand. I've been throwing balls off the walls. I've loved it for a
BranyanK: Bottom of the ninth, guys on second and third, two down,
Tribe down 1. Your up, who do you want to see on the mound?
RG: There's no pitcher you really like to see on the mound. They're all tough.
You just have to be tough and hopefully you'll come through and be the hero
for that night.
DiningPhilosopher10: Do you take time to travel during the offseason? If so
where's the best place you've gone?
RG: We go on ski trips to Colorado, and we go to Hawaii. I take trips with my
family - spend some time together.
johnboy1448: Who is the player on the Tribe that has helped you adjust
to playing in Cleveland the most?
RG: Probably Omar. Because we spend so much time on the field together, he told
me what to expect. He made it comfortable for me.
sayee: Considering the present form the Indians are in, where has the team set
its goals ? We the fans want you to go all the way, but what is your realistic
RG: Realistic goals are to try to win the division. I know we're not the favorite.
But we just have to focus and accomplish that goal first.
Metfan13: I have been waiting for you to have breakout year, do you
think Cleveland is the place to have it?
RG: It's a nice hitting ballpark. I can hopefully improve my numbers from last
year in Wrigley. It's a great ballpark to hit in.
Ricky Gutierrez: Thank you everyone for joining me today. It's great
to be here.
Moderator: Thank you everyone for joining the chat. We appreciate all
the great questions that the fans offered today. Hopefully the Tribe will keep
up their winning ways tonight. Have a good night and Go Tribe!