Jose Cruz Jr. might be a former Gold Glove winner, but anyone who saw him negotiate right field during the 2003 NLDS against Florida can well wonder how that could be. From the Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman.
As much as a howling wind played havoc with the Diamondbacks’ Jose Cruz Jr. in center field on Sunday, the cold reception he got inside the locker room made things that much gustier.
After a tough day in the outfield, when he misjudged and misplayed a few fly balls hit his way during Arizona’s 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field, Cruz found an image of Darth Vader taped above his locker.
Blue highlighter was smeared on Vader’s cheeks, a not-so-subtle reminder by someone on the team that Cruz could have used eye black – or something – to more deftly play his position.
Cruz (above, shown homering off Jake Westbrook in the 5th inning) was visibly upset and later, when reporters approached, he stammered something to the effect that he is a big “Star Wars freak” and the picture of Vader “came in a box with other stuff,” but that didn’t appear to be the case.