It’s been a rough couple of weeks in local sports. Less than a week after Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff wrecked his truck while his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal amount, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has been identified by a Miami newspaper as a client of a company that peddles performance enhancing drugs. The Miami New Times reported that Cruz’s name was on a client list of a clinic called Biogenesis, which it calls “The East Coast version of Balco,” the clinic that famously provided ‘roids to Barry Bonds and others.
Though the clinic has closed, a former employee provided the list to the newspaper. Some of the other notable names on the list are Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, and Yasmani Grandl.
The Rangers released a statement earlier today, which was nothing more than a trumped up no comment.
“The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. The team has no further comment.”
According to many online sources, Major League Baseball will investigate every name on the list. A player who tests positive for performance enhancing drugs is subject to a 50 game suspension for first-time offenders.
Cruz has never tested positive for anything; and MLB has no precedence for punishment in this type of thing.
From a baseball standpoint, this has been a terrible offseason for the Rangers, and this just twists the knife. There’s no telling how long, or even if, Cruz will be suspended. So it’s hard for the Rangers to make alternative plans for right field.
The club has Murphy penciled in left field, Leonys Martin/Craig Gentry in center, and a Nelson Cruz-sized hole in right. Mitch Moreland and Mike Olt seem likely candidates to replace Cruz. Lance “No-Knees” Berkman could lumber out there if necessary.
Here’s a great story on Lonestar Ball about the possible ramifications of all of this stuff.
If only the PEDs he was allegedly using were powerful enough to allow him to make the catch that would have ended the World Series two years ago. That shame I could have lived with.