The 43-year-old ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst hit .300 during a
10-year career with the Padres, Phillies and White Sox
SI: This magazine once wrote that your body looked like a third
helping of mashed potatoes.
Kruk: Pretty accurate.
SI: What's the first thing you would do as baseball commissioner?
Kruk: No DH. It doesn't take a brave man to throw at someone. But
it takes a brave man to stand up there and get thrown at.
SI: What team has impressed you the most thus far?
Kruk: Florida. Their pitching hasn't missed a beat.
SI: Are you in favor of miking players during games?
Kruk: You really have to be careful, especially with the way the
FCC is coming down on people. If they put it on me, they wouldn't
get nothing except bleep, bleep and bleep.
SI: Which player has the best swing?
Kruk: Rafael Palmeiro. I don't think he's ever overswung. He hits
righties and lefties, and he has unbelievable pop for such an
SI: What pitcher gave you the most trouble?
Kruk: I was 0 for 12 or 13 lifetime against Lee Smith. But it's
weird--he was asked to list the three guys he had the toughest
time with, and he listed me third. How do you figure that?
SI: You got to golf at Augusta National in 1999. How far did that
set back the sport?
Kruk: It's not like I was throwing beer cans all over the greens
and spitting tobacco everywhere, but I was scared because I'm
always afraid that when I go somewhere nice, I'm going to screw
SI: On April 11, 1994, you underwent radiation for testicular
cancer in the morning, then played first base and went 3 for 5
for the Phillies that afternoon. Where does that rank among your
Kruk: People think that because I had cancer I'm some kind of
hero or something, but people go through worse than I did.
SI: How's your health these days?
Kruk: Perfect. I'm a little fat, but other than that things are
pretty good. --Richard Deitsch
For more from John Kruk, go to si.com/siexclusive.
COLOR PHOTO: RICH ARDEN/ESPN (KRUK HEADSHOT) Behaved at Augusta
COLOR PHOTO: DAVID WALBERG (KRUK ACTION)