Nationals Catcher Jesus Flores on the Nationals

Nationals catcher Jesús Flores forces out Arizona's Felipe López earlier this season.
Nationals catcher Jesús Flores forces out Arizona's Felipe López earlier this season. (By Matt York -- Associated Press)
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Jesus Flores
Nationals Catcher Jesus Flores
Thursday, July 30, 2009; 1:00 PM

Washington Nationals catcher Jesus Flores will be online Thursday, July 30 at 1 p.m. ET to talk about playing for the Nationals, what it's like to make the major leagues after a long trek through the minors and the future of Washington's MLB franchise.

Read more about the Nationals with The Washington Post's Nationals section, and with Nationals Journal.

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Section 205, Row K: Jesus,

Can't wait to have you back.

Can you hear what fans are saying at games? Does the good stuff encourage you? Does the bad stuff get to you? Ever want to wring the neck of a really obnoxious fan?

Jesus Flores: Yes, we can hear what fans say from the stands. Both the bad and the good. But what's important is that we stay focused on the game. It's great to hear the positive things the fans have to say. It keeps us motivated.

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Bratislava, Slovakia: Before we left Washington last summer, my daughter had a turtle named Ryan Zimmerman and a lizard named Jesus Flores -- the names were meant simply to reflect her favorite players; I assure you they were not a commentary on your looks or Ryan's. In a race, Jesus the lizard beat Ryan the turtle by a substantial margin (no big surprise there). But if you were really racing Ryan, who would win and by how much?

Jesus Flores: That is great! LOL! I would have to say that Zimmerman would win. :-)

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Trenton, NJ: If you could play any other position, what would it be?

Jesus Flores: I wouldn't want to play any other position. Being a catcher is all I've ever wanted to be and it's what i have focused on. I'm working to be the best catcher the Nats have ever had.

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Reston, Va.: Can't wait until you're back on the field!

Jesus Flores: Thank you! Can't wait to be back!

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Harrisburg, Penn.: How much baseball did you play while growing up in Venezuela? What did you need to work on when you became pro that you didn't pick up from sandlot and youth games?

Jesus Flores: I started playing baseball when i was 4 years old in the small, poor town of Carupano, Venezuela. My father is a huge baseball fan! I grew up watching baseball with him and my brothers. I had to work on my skills growing up and I am very proud to have become the first big leaguer from my city.

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Potomac, Md.: JFlo - We really miss you. The MLB website has you listed out for the year and scheduled for Winter Ball.

Any chance you will surprise us and be back in September?

Jesus Flores: I would love to be back as soon as possible because I love to be behind the plate and do my best to help the team win. I just need to make sure that I am 100% healthy.

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Red Porch, Washington, D.C.: Take us inside the locker room. Who is the funniest guy on the team? Does anyone play a musical instrument? Who has the most cars? Who is your best friend on the team? Which pitcher has the best curveball?

Jesus Flores: The funniest guy, to me, is Ronnie Belliard. Cristian Guzman has the most cars. I consider myself to be friends with everyone on the team and try to help all of them. I'd have to say the best curveball goes to Craig Stammen.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Pat Corrales still your mentor? How much of an influence has he had on you - both on and off the field?

Jesus Flores: My three most important mentors that have made the most impact in my career, so far, are Gary Carter because he showed me to play the game the way he played it and he's a Hall of Famer; Pat Corrales because ever since I got to the Nationals he shared all of his experiences with me as a big league catcher; and Manny Acta because he showed me the level of discipline and responsiblity it takes to be a successful player for a long time.

Off the field, my biggest mentors have been my parents because of their dedication, commitment to hard work and humility.

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Washington, D.C.: Are you going to be the Nats' All Star representative next year? What kinds of goals will you have for next year, besides staying healthy?

Jesus Flores: My goals for this year were to prepare myself physically and mentally to play more than 130 games. Another goal was to be an All-Star caliber catcher. Other goals were to improve my consistency defensively and offensively, and become fluent in English.

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Section 416: Besides Nats Park, what is your favorite ballpark in the MLB and why?

Jesus Flores: Of course I love Nationals Park, but another favorite ballpark is Chase Field in Arizona. The dome is really cool! And the ball flies!

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Arlington, Va.: Jesus,

What is your favorite thing about D.C.?

Jesus Flores: I really like all the monuments, museums, the history, and the people have really treated me well and I appreciate that.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Jesus -

You've become one of my favorite - or most likeable - guys on the team. Your personality appealed to me from day 1, but the reason you've become so familiar to me is because you're from another country yet have seemed to embrace the culture you currently live in as well.

I love that you're from Venezuela, and that you have made a conscious effort to be able to communicate with your U.S. fans. If you have no reply, then just thanks.

Jesus Flores: Thank you for those nice words! I always try to improve myself in my personal and professional life. English is a difficult language to learn but I am making the effort to learn it and I have even hired a private tutor.

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Miami, Fla.: Are you married?

Jesus Flores: Nope! Not married, no girlfriend. I'm very focused on my baseball but at the right time, with the right person, you never know....... :-)

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Jesus Flores: Thanks for chatting today! I hope to see people out at games!

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