by Mel Bracht Modified: May 30, 2008 at 7:26 am •  Published: May 30, 2008

/> "To me it's the right way that baseball was supposed to be played,” he said. "Faster paced. No margin for error. A lot of strategy involved as far as bunting, sending runners, moving runners, hitting behind runners, how careful you have to pitch. When I watch the girls play, you wish the guys that were getting paid had the same passion that these girls have.”

Kruk, 47, averaged .300 with 100 home runs and 592 RBIs in his 10-year career with the Padres, Phillies and White Sox. The husky former first baseman/outfielder said he wished he had taken better care of his body as he often came back from injuries too soon instead of letting them heal properly.

He'll soon find out what kind of shape he is in. ESPN producers are planning to have him bat against analyst Michele Smith, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Oklahoma State, for a segment to air during a game broadcast.

Kruk said he isn't quite so sure.

"I'm going to watch, and if I think I can hit it, I might get in there,” he said. "But here's the deal: If she throws one at me, I'm too old and too slow to move — It's going to hit me.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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John Kruk is in the broadcast booth for ESPN's coverage of the Women's College World Series. BY NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN

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