{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Father knows best: Dad helps Cruz get on track

|
Father knows best: Dad helps Cruz get on track play video for Father knows best: Dad helps Cruz get on track

SAN DIEGO -- All winter and spring Luis Cruz tried to ignore the skeptics who wondered if he was the career Minor Leaguer he had been or the late bloomer who won the Dodgers' starting third-base job over the second half of 2012.

Then Cruz started the season 0-for-17 and, he admits, one thing might have had something to do with the other.

"I wanted to prove too much that what I did last year was real and I overtried to do things," said Cruz, who broke out with a pair of hits Wednesday night. "My dad got me to relax and have fun. I'm not the first or last to go 0-for-17. Now I'm 2-for-5. I'm not counting the 17."

Cruz credits his father, a hitting coach in the Mexican League, for spotting his flaws physical and mental, and for providing just enough needling to keep his son loose.

"He told me that he couldn't make [the Major Leagues], so I see myself in you," Cruz said. "The other day he asked me if he should go to bat for me. Last night after the game he said he thought I'd go 0-for-400. Thank you, Dad. He always gives me a hard time, in a good way."

Cruz's father told his son he was "jumpy" at the plate and the son tried to explain why.

"You go to the plate and it's like you want to get two hits in one at-bat," he said. "You want it so bad. I wasn't nervous, just too excited. When I'm pulling balls, that's not me. I just wanted to get one hit to right field. I know that's me. I was almost as excited as my first hit."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español