Luis Alfonso Cruz Bojorquez – Utility Man. Social Observationalist.
Beer to drink while he comes in to pinch run: A warm can of Tecate.
I know, I know. Why is Luis Cruz ranked ahead of Mark Kotsay and the starting shortstop of the Brewers? Do I think that Luis Cruz should be starting? The answer to the second question is clearly “no”. But I wouldn’t mind if the Brewers signed another infield utility guy and made Luis Cruz the setup man in the 8th inning. I’m sure he’d do better than LaTroy Hawkins against the heart of the Cardinals order.
Luis Cruz vaults ahead to 20th because he’s from the greatest Mexican state on the map, and because he called former Brew Crew manager Ken Macha “racist” during an interview in November. According to his minor league biography with the Nashville Sounds, he is also a huge fan of the show Thundercats and the original Nintendo classic RBI Baseball. God, Robin Yount was so awesome on that AL All-Star team.
Let’s get to the meat of this argument for Numero 20. In November, Luis Cruz gave an interview at Mazatlan’s Estadio Teodoro Mariscal. (I have no idea what or where that is: I think it’s the stadium near the Celinto Catayente Towers, which were designed by Matt Dillon’s character Healy in There’s Something About Mary.) Said Cruz about Macha, “The truth is that he is very dry, very lethargic, a bit racist… but that’s all passed.”
Let’s be honest. Ken Macha was dry. Ken Macha was lethargic. I don’t know about the racist part, but I’ll take the word of the backup shortstop. This isn’t, say, Yovani Gallardo making this statement. It’s from a guy who got 17 plate appearances last season. Cruz has no reason to lie to the Mexican press.
Ken Macha was a crappy manager. The guy went 157-167 record in his two seasons here, and he had the balls to blame Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun when he got kicked out of the bar? The man flat-out under performed. He’s probably the reason that LaTroy Hawkins is on this team. I could have coached a team with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to the playoffs. You think I’m kidding? We play in a division where we play the Cubs and the Pirates more than 30 games combined a year. What more do you want? Listen, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series last year. I still can’t name five position players on that team. Posey, Huff, Sandoval… Man… Oh yeah, Torres… Vizquel? Is Barry Bonds still on that team?
This is a brave new world, where, apparently, hitting doesn’t matter anymore. And when the backup shortstop is calling you racist, it’s pretty clear that you are an immense ass clown who should be selling cars in Biloxi this summer. Macha will find another job. Kudos to Cruz for speaking the (alleged) truth.
Still, when Luis Cruz doesn’t play much this season, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to have too much to do with the manager. It’s going to probably center more on the fact that he’s just not ready for the grind of the Major League schedule. Cruz is not going to play too much, barring a likely Betancourt meltdown or Rickie Weeks heading to the Disabled List. He’s probably more of a reserve infielder who can play every position, come in to hit for LaTroy Hawkins after the pitcher blows an 8th inning lead, or to pinch run for Lucroy in the late innings. He might just see a lot of time in the late innings when the game is close, and they need his glove up the middle. I assume he’s fine with that instead of being sent to Nashville.
All Cruz really wants out of this season is a chance to start an away game in Dodger Stadium. He grew up a Dodgers fan, along with practically every other person in Mexico. He’s stated that his favorite team is the Dodgers. He said his greatest moment in his career was playing in Dodger Stadium on September 15, 2009. He’s got the date of that game down? And he was in the league for a full season by then? Wow. I just hope that the Brewers don’t play the Dodgers in the playoffs, and he gets to start. If so, Cruz is probably a lock for six errors and will get picked off three times in an attempt to throw the game for L.A.
Finally, I guess now is the time that I have to explain his nickname for the season as well. So it goes like this. Since Cruz first started playing organized professional in the Mexican League with Diablos Rojos, he has had the nickname “Cochito”. This is according to a Facebook fan page that I saw the other day without doing any fact-checking. Now, I took Spanish II more than a decade ago, and I don’t think the word “Cochito” has any literal translation whatsoever. But I failed that class, so I’m going to have to take a guess. Since “Coche” means “car” in Spanish, I’m just going to guess that “Cochito” means “Little Car”. So, that’s his nickname. “Little Car”. And it goes well with his initials “L.C.” anyway. Man, I’m lazy. But for God’s sake, at least I’m nice and thoughtful enough to give the back-up shortstop a nickname.
“Little Car” is far more generous than, say, “Donkey Show”.