Nelson Cruz Didn't Have A Choice
Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said during an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today that his choice not to appeal a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was out of my hands and wasnt my decision:
"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. Its hard to explain it, but at the end it wasnt my decision. It wasnt what I wanted to do. It came out of my hands. It was so hard, because I knew something worse could happen to me. If I wasnt a free agent, it would have been different. Its a totally different situation."
According to Nightengale if Cruz had appealedlikely delaying the penalty until 2014 and allowing him to finish the season in the Rangers lineupMLB was threatening to increase the suspension from 50 games to 100 games. And obviously hitting the open market with a 100-game ban looming would crush his free agent value. Instead he immediately began serving the 50-game suspension and is eligible to return for the playoffs, except the Rangers have fallen apart down the stretch by going 5-15 in their last 20 games to fall out of the Wild Card lead.
General manager Jon Daniels told Nightengale that wed be in better shape if he wasnt suspended and its a choice Nelson made. Which of course doesnt quite vibe with Cruzs statement that at the end it wasnt my decision and it came out of my hands.