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Monday, October 18, 2010
Nelson Cruz ready to bomb in friendly Bronx

By Jeff Caplan

NEW YORK -- If the postseason ended today, the offensive MVP for the Texas Rangers would be an easy choice: Nelson Cruz.

Check out his numbers through seven games: .407 batting averge, four doubles, three home runs, 11 total bases and one very important stolen base in Game 5 of the ALDS. He mashed two of his doubles in Game 2 of the ALCS, ball hit so hard and so straight that both banged off the top of the wall with no chance of being caught. Even Cruz surprises himself sometimes how hard he hits the baseball.

"Some days, yeah," Nelson said with a chuckle. "I hit one in Seattle against Felix Hernandez. He was throwing a no-hitter. Everybody knows that the ball doesn't carry that much in Seattle and it was a line-drive homer, so I was kind of impressed myself."

Now he's ready to take his Boomstick to Yankee Stadium, and Cruz is confident the Rangers can continue to win on the road. They are 3-0 on the road in the postseason headed into their first road game in the ALCS.

"I like to play there so I don’t see any reason why we get over there and don't play good," Cruz said. "I really enjoy my time when I go there so I’m going to have fun there. I like to play in this situation."

Cruz does enjoy coming to the Bronx. That's because Cruz loves to visit his older sister, Olga, and her family. They live, in the Bronx, just a few blocks from Yankee Stadium. Cruz's wife's family also lives nearby, so Cruz always spends time here during the offseason.

He said over the three games here, he could have 20 to 30 family and friends coming to Yankee Stadium.