SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz reported to spring training in Surprise, Arizona on Friday morning and went about his normal routine: getting situated at his locker, followed by visiting with his teammates and coaches. But there was one minor change. He quickly addressed the allegations in the Miami New Times that he was a client of a Miami clinic that distributed performance enhancing drugs to MLB players.
“I cannot make any comments about it at this time,” Cruz said. “As soon as it’s done, I’ll address it and tell everything I know.”
Cruz was limited in the answers that he could provide under his attorney’s advice. In fact, there was an awkward moment after Cruz gave his opening statement. We were not sure if we was going to take questions, which he graciously did.
He admitted that he is asked about the allegations virtually everywhere he goes, and described the day his agent broke the story to him as “shocking” and “very depressing.”
Cruz is pretty much in the dark, as are the Rangers. Major League Baseball is conducting an investigation of the Miami New Times article and is not providing Cruz or his team with updates. MLB has not yet conducted any interviews with Cruz.
As to whether this could be a distraction for the Rangers, remember that Texas has been through this before. In 2010, manager Ron Washington admitted to using cocaine. The Rangers went to the World Series for the first time ever. And in 2011, it was Michael Young’s beef with Rangers GM Jon Daniels. The result? Another World Series appearance. There was the Josh Hamilton tent revival last year. Texas won 93 games.
You get the idea.
“Strong mentality,” Washington said succinctly, when asked how his team deals with an issue like this. “That’s what this game is about: who is more powerful mentally.”
“Each and every year I’ve been here, my team has shown its strength,” Washington added. “We’ll be fine.”
Evan Grant, Rangers beat writer for The Dallas Morning News, will join me to discuss this effect on the team and much more, Friday night on The Fan Sports Show at 6:30 p.m. on TXA 21.
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