Jon Daniels said in a conference call on Monday that the decision whether to bring Nelson Cruz back for the postseason, if the Rangers qualify, would partly depend on his teammates' reception and reaction to Cruz's 50-game suspension he accepted Monday for using PEDs.
If the Rangers' clubhouse reaction on Monday was any indication, Cruz will be welcomed back with open arms when his suspension is up, which would be for the first game of the postseason if the Rangers are able to either catch Oakland in the AL West or earn one of the two AL Wild Card spots.
"It's sad. You obviously didn't expect anything like that to happen, but nobody is perfect," the team's union rep Derek Holland told The Associated Press. "Everybody makes a mistake, and once he gets back, we'll be waiting for him. We've just got to take care of what we've got to do now, and that's go get the West."
Cruz can work out at the team facilities during his suspension to remain in shape, but once the gates open at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington prior to a game, he has to leave the premises. He was on his way to a career year in 2013 as he'd already mashed 27 homers and driven in 76 runs — both tops on the team.
Even two of the more outspoken Rangers against PED use, veterans A.J. Pierzynski and Joe Nathan, both said they appreciated Cruz talking to the team and owning up to his mistake and that he would be welcomed back if the opportunity is there.
Ian Kinsler, one of the team's unquestioned leaders, had the same feeling.
"We love Nelson, I like Nelson a lot, he's been one of my favorite teammates, I'm going to miss him in the clubhouse," Kinsler told ESPN Dallas.
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All his teammates have to do now is give him the opportunity to redeem himself.