Weatherford Democrat

Sports

August 2, 2013

Cruz has made no decision on appeal, if suspended

 ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz said Thursday he hadn’t decided whether to appeal if he is suspended as a result of Major League Baseball’s latest drug investigation.

When asked before a game against Arizona if he had been told specifically what penalty could be forthcoming, Cruz responded, “No, I can not tell you, sorry.”

The All-Star right fielder, whose 25 home runs and 73 RBIs lead the Rangers, was in the lineup batting sixth against Arizona.

“I’ve heard a lot of stuff,” Cruz said, though he wasn’t specific about what and from whom before saying he couldn’t comment further on that.

He sighed when asked if there was any indication when he might know something, then said, “It’s tough. Sorry.”

Cruz is among 14 players targeted for discipline because of their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. He appears to be facing a 50-game suspension as a first offender under baseball’s drug program.

Discipline could be announced by Monday.

“It’s tough. I mean we’re in a good situation now, we’re close to first place and close to the wild card, also,” Cruz said. “Hopefully everything plays well.”

After three consecutive victories on game-ending home runs to sweep the Los Angeles Angels, Texas was within four games of idle Oakland in the AL West. The Rangers were a half-game back in the wild-card chase.

Their makeup game against Arizona was their 109th game, leaving 53 to go in the regular season. They open a 10-game, 11-day trip against AL West teams Friday in Oakland, before going to Los Angeles and then Houston.

If Cruz is suspended 50 games, he could lose more than $3.2 million: $2,732,240 in salary for the rest of this season and another $500,000 in potential performance bonuses based plate appearances that would become unattainable. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

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