Texas manager praises Cruz for handling questions
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Rangers manager Ron Washington thinks All-Star right fielder Nelson Cruz has "admirably'' separated his job on the field from the lingering questions off it.
Cruz is among more than a dozen players linked in media reports to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Among the others are three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun.
"I don't know what he's going through because I've never been in that situation, but I think he's handled it admirably,'' Washington said Tuesday. "I think he's been a pro, and he has been able to separate what he does on his job, which is come to the ballpark and play baseball, and how he handles it when he's out of here.''
Cruz batted .275 and led the Rangers with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs in his first 95 games this season.
Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, was suspended without pay Monday by Major League Baseball for the rest of the season. That appears to be just the start of sanctions against players targeted by MLB for alleged connections to the now-closed Biogenesis of America clinic.
"Nelson's name is out there, so at some point they're going to decide what they're going to do with Nelson,'' Washington said. "It hasn't come across my desk, and it hasn't come to the Texas Rangers yet, so we're just worried about today. That's all we can do.''
After homering Monday night, Cruz wouldn't comment on Braun's suspension. Cruz said he is "playing the same way'' and shows up at the ballpark thinking about winning games.