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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Despite His "Error in Judgment", Will We Forgive and Forget When It Comes to Nelson "Mohamad" Cruz?

   I like Nelson Cruz. As a player, obviously. But also as a clubhouse character.
   In March 2012 I was in the Rangers' clubhouse in Surprise, Arizona on the morning of Yu Darvish's first MLB Spring Training outing in nearby Peoria.
   "Can't wait. Very exciting," Cruz said with a twinkle in his eye, "It's gonna be like ... China Town!"
   Don't worry about the fact that Cruz screwed up his geography - Darvish, of course, is half-Iranian, half-Japanese - he's at times just a fun-lovin' kid merely playing a game.
   He's also, no way around it, the author of two of the biggest mistakes in Rangers' franchise history.
   In November 2011 he misplayed David Freese's fly ball to right field, costing Texas the World Series. And in August of 2013 he received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball for knowingly taking steroids.
   He's a cheater.
   A liar.
   And - being that Cruz is the team's best power hitter and his actions have ended his regular season - he's severely jeopardizing the Rangers' 2013 playoff push.
   But in baseball's Steroid Era that is now officially harder to kill than Freddy Krueger, are we eagerly willing to shrug our shoulders, forgive, forget and cheer his next at-bat in a Rangers' uniform - which would come in an October playoff game?
   Despite the ugly facts, I think know we are.

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  1. Easy answer...yes he will be forgiven if he comes back with little drop off. It's hard to determine who's using and who isn't these days. How long did it take for Lance to slip up? Shan Shariff mentioned this morning, would you care if the Cowboys were on steroids and went 14-2? Winning cures everything. The Giants won without Melky having a career year, will the Rangers be able to weather losing Cruz? They might have just enough pitching to do it.
    The A's don't have a formidable lineup of hitters, they just play defense well and have good pitching. These two teams are as close as two teams can be, aren't they? When the Rangers were up 6 games, everyone was saying the AL West race was over, then it swung the other way to the A's up by 6, and now they're up by 2. Should be a fun 50 game stretch.

    1. I don't think I could root for the Cowboys if I knew they were all juicing. Cheating is cheating and me being a homer isn't going to change that. Plus, nobody wants to get stuck with that label.

    2. I think it's an interesting debate. I mean, a lot of golfers cheat (improved lie, writing down less strokes) and sleep with themselves just fine. I'm betting most Cowboys fans would take a steroid-laced Lombardi trophy and pretend it wasn't tarnished.

    3. I guarantee the Cowboys of the 90's were juicing. Everybody was so don't bury you head in the sand Anonymous.

  2. There has always been cheating in sports going all the way back to ancient Greek Olympics and there always will be.
    Only until MLB/NFL/NBA start testing for artificial testosterone then usage of PED's will drop.

    1. Of course cheating will always exist. But still my personal preference is to root for a team that doesn't cheat. I want to be proud of my team when they do well not ashamed. I'll still cheer for the Rangers, but not Nellie. I'm not going to support him after all this.

    2. I hear ya, Robert. Good point.

  3. So, PED use gets your gall but the long list of crimes including beating women, murder and all the other crap is OK? Not really aiming this at Richie but all the sanctimonious people piping up here about PED use.

    Last night on the ESPN Dodgers/Cards game, Rick Sutcliffe was talking about how some of his teammates in the 80's would show up for camp with an extra 30lbs. Some would have backs full of acne and there were other telltale signs. You've got to figure that Andre "The Hawk" Dawson's MVP year in 1989 was due to PEDs. I'd be willing to bet that the sainted Nolan Ryan was dabbling.