On August 5, 2013, Major League Baseball suspended Nelson Cruz for 50 games, because the player had violated the conditions of their basic agreement and the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, which are the part of the agreement. The Rangers lost one of their costliest flagship players.
The Result of Suspension
Cruz hadn’t tried to appeal against the suspension, so it went into force immediately after issue. Cruz had a chance to perform during the postseason in case the Rangers made the playoffs. Jon Daniels, who is the general manager, deviated to clarify this possibility.
After Cruz was included in the postseason roster, Daniels said this is a great opportunity. If he can work, why not give him a try? What bothered the player most is how the team would react upon his returning. Would they be open or not? Some people had no illusive expectations to the possibility of such an outcome. They would like to see whether his teammates would approve Nelson. If they would, Cruz had a chance.
Update: The baseballer did not return to the team.
Rodriguez Case & Other Suspensions
Biogenesis investigation of the league resulted in the suspension of 13 players in 2013. Alex Rodriguez—third baseman of Yankees—was punished the stiffest way. He was banned from playing as well as deprived of payment for 2014 season.
Rodriguez has decided to appeal the suspension though. Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz heard his case. However, the decision was left unaltered.
As A-Rod claims, MLB’s suspensions result from bringing to light the use of several forbidden performance-enhancing drugs, in particular, testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) as a part of a durable steroid cycle. Rodriguez attempted to conceal the fact of taking illegal steroids. This is severe violence of the basic agreement and serious hindrance of the equitable clear investigation.
There are numerous players, who were suspended, including Cruz, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Phillies pitcher Antonio Bastardo, and others.
The Issue of Replacing Cruz
For helping to replace Cruz the Rangers even called up the team’s outfielders from Triple-A Round Rock, who were Joey Butler and Engel Beltre. There was an expectation that the Rangers would make some more team replacements. However, they did not consider Manny Ramirez to be an appropriate candidate. They stayed at Round Rock.
Daniels reported that the team was not ready to swap Nelson and his great performance and success for someone else. He said the team is willing to become more creative and cooperate with Washington for increasing the power of defense and improving general marks.
He admitted that there would be a wearisome period connected with Nelson’s case. But they weren’t afraid to have any challenges. All they had to do was to believe in the power of every team member. They were always one step ahead because of their leadership and unity. They believed they had all chances to win without intermission and get their place in the playoffs.
Some Facts About Cruz
After being bought by the Brewers on July 28, 2006, Cruz demonstrated incredible results. He hits .269, which led the Rangers to numerous victories, having 27 home runs as well as 76 RBIs.
Obviously, they were disappointed that one of their players was charged by the Drug Policy with steroid taking. Nolan Ryan, Rangers CEO, said it was difficult to decide to replace a player like Nelson for someone else, not knowing his abilities and skills.
Cruz found the perfect explanation for his steroid use. His attorney said that Cruz was poisoned and his healthcare professional prescribed him some forbidden drugs. Cruz didn’t intend to cheat anyone.
According to Cruz, there was a difficult period from November 2011 to January 2012, when he suffered from gastrointestinal infections. He lost 40 pounds and became completely weakened. The week before it happened he had received a proposal to participate in Spring Training in 2012. He had no idea whether he would recover and perform well or not.
Cruz said that, in his opinion, he took a mistakable position while being judged. Instead of saying that he admits to taking banned substances and regretting it, he would better argue and explain the entire situation. All he had to do after the incident was wait until the Rangers, his teammates, and fans would respect him again. He was sure that rejoining his playoffs team would regain the respect he felt he deserved.
Details of Nelson’s Violation
Cruz was suspended from the games half a year after his name appeared in the Miami New Times newspaper (in a report that linked him to the Biogenesis clinic). This clinic distributed illegal doping medicines to various athletes. In the Miami New Times report, it was stated that Nelson had bought illegal medicines worth approximately $4,000. It also turned out that in the private diary of Anthony Bosch (owner) there was a record about Nelson. Incidentally, Ryan Braun was also involved in the Biogenesis scandal.
Steroid users recourse to some small tricks to cheat steroid testings. They consume certain lozenges or troches, to mask the contents of drugs in the body. They leave the body as quickly as possible after providing the desired effect—illicit drugs undetectable.
Nelson Cruz After Doping Scandal
According to Daniels, he had several conversations with Cruz concerning his suspension appeal. He just wanted to know what Cruz had decided. Disqualification spoiled the reputation of Cruz. The Rangers actually drove him to the market of free agents. At the same time, almost all the offseason teams failed to meet him in concluding a new agreement. As a result, the sportsman became a free agent following the 2013 season. In early 2014, he signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2019, the baseballer signed a $14.3 million agreement with the Minnesota Twins.
During the offseason, Nelson and his loving family ( his wife Solani Genao, children Giada and Nelson Jr.) reside in NYC.