Here is Kruk at the plate. A lefty, he leans so far out of the batter's box that he seems in danger of falling into the home dugout. The stance he adopts is as lopsided as Windbag Man's. His shoulders are aligned with the rightfield foul line. His bat barrel is pointed straight up to the sky. His expression borders on baleful.
The first pitch is a fastball, up and in. Snapping the bat with his quick wrists, Kruk swings through it. Strike one.
Kruk has the look of a man who has just been slugged in the stomach. He lowers his bat and drops his hands.
The second pitch is another heater, down and in. Kruk slashes at the ball samurai-style, fouling it off. Strike two.
Kruk's mouth is pinched, as if he has just spit out a lemon seed. He adjusts his grip and realigns his feet.
Pitch number 3 is yet another inside fastball. This time Kruk rolls his shoulders, crooks his elbows and inside-outs the ball to left centerfield.
Three hours later Kruk slouches back to the clubhouse. Mashed Potato Man has mashed three hits.
Since the beginning of this season, Kruk, 31, has maintained a batting average in the vicinity of .400, yet he claims he's not in a hitting groove. "Only a handful of my hits weren't lucky," he tells his locker. "I've hit balls harder with a Wiffle bat. I know they're falling in, but I'm just not comfortable at the plate."
Murphy shakes his head at this. "I hope he stays uncomfortable," he says.