Kurt Abbott Jersey

Choose best cheap Kurt Abbott Miami Marlins jersey online, womens youth youth Kurt Abbott gear sale, buy Kurt Abbott jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Gold/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.
Eight years after a World Series title slipped away from him, Cruz remains one of the majors’ best power hitters, in a surprisingly powerful Minnesota Twins lineup.
Nelson Cruz, 39, hit 41 homers this year, to bring his career total to 401.
Nelson Cruz, 39, hit 41 homers this year, to bring his career total to 401.Credit…David Berding/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

By Tyler Kepner

Oct. 4, 2019

A ring sailed right over his head, and eight years later, Nelson Cruz is still trying to grab it.

Cruz, the slugging designated hitter for the Minnesota Twins, was the right fielder for the Texas Rangers in 2011, one out away from a championship in Game 6 of the World Series in St. Louis. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals’ David Freese tripled off the right-field wall to tie the game. Cruz raced back more than 10 strides and leapt for it, but his efforts were in vain and the Rangers went on to lose the game and the series.

Cruz is 39 now, and hit 41 home runs this season to bring his career total to 401. His efforts helped lift the Twins to the American League Central title and a meeting with the Yankees in a division series. Cruz hit another homer — his 17th career postseason home run — off James Paxton in the third inning of the Twins’ Game 1 loss on Friday.

Cruz has not returned to the World Series since 2011, and he could not forget his near miss if he tried.

“I mean, it’s there,” he said last month, before a game in Boston. “You cannot erase that from your mind. It’s something that, as a player, you know that you’re that close to winning something that important and you weren’t able to do it — and not only one time, it was two times.”
Marc Stein’s Newsletter

Marc Stein has covered Jordan. He’s covered Kobe. And LeBron vs. the Warriors. Go behind the N.B.A.’s curtain with basketball’s foremost expert.

Continue reading the main story

Cruz went on to describe the excruciating details: a two-run homer by his teammate Josh Hamilton in the 10th, then another St. Louis rally, then a homer by Freese to win the game in the 11th.

“It was like, ‘Are you kidding me, what is this?’” Cruz said. “It’s a shame, you know? But you cannot be with that weight on top of your shoulders for long. You have to let it go.”

Unlock more free articles.

Create an account or log in

In truth, Endy Chavez, a superior defender, probably should have been in for defense in the ninth. Cruz is a full-time D.H. now, yet that role — and his most famous chance in the field — obscures the athleticism that gave him a career in the first place.

As a boy in the Dominican Republic, Cruz starred in basketball because he could play that sport at night. During the afternoons, he worked as a mechanic at his uncle’s shop. He could play baseball only on Sundays, he said, but eventually he caught the attention of a Mets scout, Eddy Toledo.
ImageCruz could not come down with David Freese’s triple off the wall in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
Cruz could not come down with David Freese’s triple off the wall in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Dominican players can sign at 16 years old, but Cruz was already 18 when Toledo signed him in 1998 for $15,000. That was at least three times the going rate for Dominican amateurs, said Omar Minaya, then the Mets’ assistant general manager in charge of international scouting. But as a project, Minaya believed, Cruz was worth it.

Continue reading the main story

“I couldn’t tell you I thought he was going to be the player he is today, but he was a raw athlete,” Minaya said. “I’m a big believer in looking for guys that have the physical profile, have strength and athleticism, and that’s what this guy had.”

But in 2000, the Mets were pushing for the playoffs and seeking an extra infielder, so on Aug. 30 they dealt Cruz to the A’s for Jorge Velandia, a smooth fielder at several infield positions. Cruz was crushed.

“I remember I didn’t tell anyone in my house for like a week,” he said. “I was like: ‘Why did they trade me? They don’t like me!’ That was my first impression. As a kid, you have no idea.”

Velandia played 15 games after the trade without a hit, and he was left off the Mets’ postseason roster. (A different backup shortstop, Kurt Abbott, dived futilely for Luis Sojo’s go-ahead single up the middle in the ninth inning of the World Series finale against the Yankees.) Cruz hit well as an Oakland prospect, but he did not stick there, either, moving on to Milwaukee in a 2004 deal for infielder Keith Ginter, and then to Texas in a six-player deal for closer Francisco Cordero two years later. Yet even the Rangers — just like the Mets, the A’s and the Brewers — did not know what they had.

“On one hand, we traded for him, we saw potential and we ultimately gave him an opportunity,” said Jon Daniels, the Rangers’ general manager. “On the other hand, in the middle of that, we passed him through outright waivers and he went unclaimed.”

That happened at the end of spring training in 2008, with every team passing on the chance to claim Cruz for $20,000 and a major league roster spot. He went back to the minors, where the Rangers’ hitting coordinator, Mike Boulanger, suggested an open stance that gave Cruz a better view of the pitcher.
Editors’ Picks
Typing These Two Letters Will Scare Your Young Co-Workers
Dogs Can’t Help Falling in Love
How Marla Maples Spends Her Sundays
Continue reading the main story

Continue reading the main story

It worked: Cruz was most valuable player of the Pacific Coast League, hit .330 for Texas down the stretch and has been a mainstay in the majors ever since — except for a 50-game suspension in 2013 in connection with the Biogenesis doping scandal.

Two years later, Cruz told The Seattle Times that he was “freaked out” after losing 45 pounds because of a viral infection and “made the wrong choice” out of desperation to get better. Looking back now, he said, the suspension reinforced his passion for the game.
Celebrating after the Twins clinched the American League Central title in September.
Celebrating after the Twins clinched the American League Central title in September.Credit…Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

“Once you get separated from something that you love so much — like I love baseball a lot — you know how important it is, so you don’t want to leave that part again,” he said. “It’s something I’ve got to hold as long as I can, because I love the game so much. That’s the thing that I know how to do, all my life.”

In the six seasons since his suspension, Cruz has hit the most home runs in the majors: 243, 20 more than the next closest hitter, Mike Trout. The Twins signed him last winter for one year and $14.3 million with a team option for 2020, and watched as he led a parade of sluggers to become the first team in major league history to reach 300 homers in a season.

“He’s not just as advertised, he’s better,” Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Yeah, the at-bats are pretty impressive, but he definitely changes all the dynamics in the clubhouse, in the dugout, everywhere, just by who he is. He has a tremendous presence and charisma.”

Outfielder Max Kepler said he studies Cruz’s preparation and marvels at the way his swing never changes.

Continue reading the main story

“And his mind is always great,” Kepler said. “It seems like he’s always smiling, always in a good, positive mind-set.”

In Cruz’s mind, he said, one vision sustains him each winter.

“I train every year just thinking of that first game of the playoffs,” he said. “When everything starts right after the season, I start thinking about that moment. When that moment comes, I just have to be ready.”

The moment has arrived again for Cruz, another chance for the ring he just missed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>