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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The only certainty surrounding Nelson Cruz is that he’s not on the field.
Everything else involving his 50-game suspension from the Biogenesis investigation is vague — at best.
In his first interview since accepting the suspension on Aug. 5, Cruz suggested to USA Today that the decision ultimately was not his.
“My first thought was to appeal, and right up to the last day I told (the Rangers) my decision was to appeal. That was my plan. It’s hard to explain it, but at the end it wasn’t my decision. It wasn’t what I wanted to do. It came out of my hands.”
So whose decision was it then? Rangers GM Jon Daniels says the team was looped into the process, but for informational purposes only.
“We had a couple of conversations, just so we understood,” said Daniels before Monday’s game against Houston. “We were obviously an interested bystander. We were certainly curious about where he was going to go; it has an impact on what we do. As far as ultimately making the call, it was Nelson’s choice.”
Cruz also said that, had he not accepted the 50-game suspension, MLB officials were threatening a 100-game ban.
“If I wasn’t a free agent, it would have been different,” said Cruz in the interview. “It’s a totally different situation. I didn’t want to take 100 games next year. It’s part of the business.”
With the offense struggling, reports indicated that Daniels was blaming the Rangers recent collapse on Cruz, who could have appealed the 50-game ban and remained in the lineup.
Daniels says his words were taken out of context.
“I don’t think it’s much of a leap to suggest that we’re a better team with him in the lineup,” said Daniels. “Ultimately, the decisions he made put him in that position. I’m not putting any more than that on him.”
Both Daniels and manager Ron Washington were non-committal on potentially adding Cruz to the playoff roster should the team qualify.
Daniels also declined to answer questions regarding Cruz’ chances of returning to Texas through free agency this offseason.
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