LOS ANGELES -- For a period of time Monday morning, D-backs catcher Miguel Montero was a star-struck fan.
Montero, along with teammates Henry Blanco and Gerardo Parra, paid a visit to the UCLA campus, where Real Madrid, a professional soccer team based in Spain, was practicing.
Though Montero grew up in Venezuela, both of his parents are from Spain and he is a big fan of Real Madrid -- and in particular its goalkeeper, Iker Casillas.
"He was nice, man, really humble guy, down-to-earth guy," Montero said. "It really surprised me how his personality is. I talked to him for a half an hour and he was an unbelievable guy."
The D-backs have an off-day Thursday, so Montero, Blanco and Parra are staying in Los Angeles to watch Casillas and his teammates play the Los Angeles Galaxy in an exhibition match.
Montero was going to purchase tickets, but Casillas told him he would get them for him.
"He knows what baseball is, but he doesn't follow it," Montero said. "We just wanted to meet him because he's a superstar, well known throughout the world."
Willie Bloomquist saw the D-backs team chiropractor, who happened to be in Los Angeles, on Wednesday to try to get some relief for his back stiffness. Bloomquist has been unavailable to play the past two days, but D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he had improved greatly.
Gibson gave Gerardo Parra the start in center in place of Chris Young for the second time in the three-game series with the Dodgers.
"It's not a platoon," Gibson said. "I'm just trying to keep everybody involved, everybody engaged. I understand he wants to play every day, they all want to play every day. I get it. I just think all in all we'll be a better team doing it this way."
Gibson had breakfast with recently acquired third baseman Chris Johnson on Wednesday.
"Just trying to understand where his foundation is on certain things," Gibson said. "We feel that if we communicate together we can try to understand what his strengths are, what he thinks his weaknesses are, so we can try to make him better that way."