Reports: Nellie Cruz Faces Long Suspension - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Reports: Nellie Cruz Faces Long Suspension

MLB's punishment expected soon in drug scandal



    Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz said Thursday he hasn't decided whether to appeal if he is suspended as a result of Major League Baseball's latest drug investigation.

    When asked before a game against Arizona if he had been told specifically what penalty could be forthcoming, Cruz responded, "No, I can not tell you, sorry."

    The All-Star right fielder, whose 25 home runs and 73 RBIs lead the Rangers, was in the lineup batting sixth against Arizona.

    "I've heard a lot of stuff," Cruz said, though he wasn't specific about what and from whom before saying he couldn't comment further on that.

    He sighed when asked if there was any indication when he might know something, then said, "It's tough. Sorry."

    Cruz is among 14 players targeted for discipline because of their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. He appears to be facing a 50-game suspension as a first offender under baseball's drug program.

    Discipline could be announced by Monday or as early as Friday.

    "It's tough. I mean we're in a good situation now, we're close to first place and close to the wild card, also," Cruz said.

    After three consecutive victories on game-ending home runs to sweep the Los Angeles Angels, Texas was within four games of idle Oakland in the AL West. The Rangers were a half-game back in the wild-card chase.

    If Cruz is suspended 50 games, he could lose more than $3.2 million: $2,732,240 in salary for the rest of this season and another $500,000 in potential performance bonuses based plate appearances that would become unattainable. He is eligible for free agency after the season.

    ESPN Radio radio host and Star-Telegram columnist Randy Galloway said Thursday night's game Thursday night Arizona could be Cruz’s last as a Ranger.

    “Without a doubt, he’s in big trouble,” Galloway said. “And without a doubt, he’s going down.”

    Galloway said Cruz is hugely popular with fans and teammates but if he made a mistake, he must pay the price.

    “He’s got to take the fall, and the fall is coming,” Galloway said.

    NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.