Cruz refrains from commenting on PED report
Rangers outfielder says at camp he'll try to prepare for season in usual fashion
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said he wants to tell his side of the story about allegations he was a customer of a Miami-area wellness clinic that reportedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs.
"Really badly," Cruz said.
But he can't tell his side just yet. His lawyers have told him not to comment because Major League Baseball is conducting an investigation.
"I want to be honest but because this matter is under investigation by Major League Baseball, I can't make any comments," said Cruz in addressing the media upon his arrival to Spring Training on Friday. "As soon as it's done, I will address it and tell you everything. It's been rough but I want to thank the fans and my family. They have supported me and made it easier for me."
The Miami New Times reported last month that, according to the clinic's notes, Cruz bought $4,000 worth of products from Anthony Bosch, the proprietor of Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. Other notable Major Leaguers, including Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, were also named in the report.
Cruz said he didn't find out he was included until the newspaper contacted his agent for comment the day before the story came out.
"It was really shocking ... depressing," Cruz said. "It can really hurt you. I want to comment but I can't."
The newspaper said it obtained journals and records from the now-closed clinic. A journal that was allegedly kept by Bosch refers to Cruz and includes the entry: "Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and ... and will infuse them in May."
MLB is investigating the clinic and the allegations that came out in the New Times' report and others. The Rangers have not been informed as to the status of the investigation. Cruz said he will talk to investigators if asked but has not been approached by the Commissioner's Office.
"I don't know when that will happen," Cruz said.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels spoke with Cruz briefly Friday morning in the clubhouse.
"We understand that there is an investigation going on," Daniels said. "I wanted to get a sense of where his head is at and let him know that as the investigation goes on, we'll support him. There's not much else we can do because the investigation is going on. But we're going to support Nellie through it."
Rangers position players officially reported on Friday and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Saturday. Cruz said he is not sure if he will address his teammates privately. Otherwise, he said he will try to prepare for the season like he always has and that he is still planning to play for the Dominican Republic in next month's World Baseball Classic.
"It's going to be hard, but hopefully I can get through it as easily as I can," Cruz said. "Like I said, it's right there. Everybody is talking about it. Everybody wants to know about it. It's right there in front of me."
Cruz has never failed a drug test. But the Commissioner's Office has the right to suspend players for 50 games if evidence shows they have been involved with PEDs. That is a possibility Cruz and the Rangers may face once the investigation is completed and there is no timetable for that to occur.
"We're just taking it day by day," Daniels said. "We've got so many other things going on in camp to prepare for. We're focused on baseball. There's not much we can do now. We're preparing for the year and we're preparing for him to be our right fielder. If something else comes up that impacts that, we'll deal with it."
Cruz has been the Rangers' starting right fielder for the past four seasons. He is entering the last season of a two-year contract and can be a free agent next offseason. He avoided the disabled list last year for first time in four seasons and played in a career-high 159 games, hitting .260 with 24 home runs and 90 RBIs. His .460 slugging percentage was his lowest in four seasons as the regular right fielder.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.