Q&A with Ducks newcomer Lee Cruz
The Ducks acquired Lee Cruz in a trade Tuesday with the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association for a player to be named. Cruz went to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles. He played five games for Kansas City before going to Yucatan of the Mexican League for 26 games, then returned to Kansas City. He batted .354 with 29 runs, seven home runs and 28 RBIs in 44 games with the T-Bones. Cruz hit .330 with 20 runs, eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 26 games with Yucatan. Last season, Cruz was with the Amarillo Sox and won the American Association Player of the Year. He batted .344 with 75 runs, 18 home runs and 94 RBIs. The 29-year-old was drafted in the 10th round of the 2006 amateur draft by the Chicago White Sox and spent five years in their minor-league system. He also played in the minors for Houston, reaching as high as Triple-A.
You have done quite a bit of moving from team to team. What is that like and what keeps you going?
"It's overwhelming. That is a part of baseball. That's what you have to do when you love the game. I still love it and I don't want to have any regrets. I have played very well the last few seasons. I am going to play until I know I can't do it anymore."
There have been some players in the major leagues who didn't get a chance until late in their careers. How much do you look at that as motivation?"Some guys get an opportunity late in their career. It makes me not want to give up. There's always hope."
How has life been with the Ducks in your short time in Long Island?"I know they are a good organization. They have a good group of guys and make it fun. The fans are great and I get to play in the playoffs. We were out of the race in Kansas City. I wanted to play for a team that has a chance to win a championship. I haven't been in a playoff atmosphere since, I think, 2008."
The Ducks are scheduled to face Roger Clemens when he pitches for Sugar Land on Friday. What are your thoughts on facing him?
"It's awesome. He's one of the best pitchers of all time. We're all pumped. Hopefully, we'll be on ESPN highlights for something good."
What if you get a hit off him?"I want a home run. I don't want just a hit. They won't show that. I'll enjoy it and have fun."