And whose was it, exactly? It would be an understatement to say the Texas Rangers could’ve used Nelson Cruz’ help over the past 50 games, but the suspended OF chose not to appeal his 50 game ban ala A-Rod, and as such, he’ll only be available again this year if the Rangers make the playoffs. Speaking with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Cruz claims the decision some have deemed selfish, was the handiwork of UNSEEN FORCES.
“My first thought was to appeal, and right up to the last day I told (the Rangers) my decision was to appeal,” Cruz says. “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.”
Cruz won’t go into specifics. He says if he hadn’t accepted the 50-game suspension, MLB officials were threatening a 100-game ban. With Cruz due to become a free agent in November, he knew sitting out the first 100 games of the 2014 season would hurt his free agent value.
“It was so hard, because I knew something worse could happen to me,” Cruz says. “If I wasn’t a free agent, it would have been different. It’s a totally different situation. I didn’t want to take 100 games next year. It’s part of the business.”
In the meantime, Cruz, 33, talks to the minor leaguers in camp, telling them he’s living proof of the ugly consequences of performance-enhancing drugs.“I’m helping kids here and sharing my story, telling them what happened with me,” Cruz says. “Hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes I did.”