Markakis on Cruz: “He’s going to be welcome here and we are going to play as one”
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who has been a vocal advocate for stricter penalties for performance-enhancing drug users, said Saturday the organization’s addition of Nelson Cruz –who was suspended last season for his role in the Biogenesis scandal — doesn’t change his opinion any.
But Markakis, the team’s longest-tenured player and a quiet leader in the clubhouse, will put aside his personal feelings on the matter and plans on welcoming Cruz to the Orioles.
“He’s my teammate now and I got to be a teammate, and no matter if you disagree or agree with your teammates they are still your teammates,” said Markakis, who has called PED users out for ‘stealing’ money. “He’s going to be welcome here and we are going to play as one. That’s for sure.”
Markakis didn’t think there would be any ill-will among the other players when Cruz –slated to arrive Saturday night– joins the clubhouse. Chris Davis, who has also been vocal about PED users and maintains that the home run record being 61, has played with Cruz in Texas.
“We know how things go on in this clubhouse, we know how we do things, and we do things certain ways,” Markakis said. “Guys coming in here are going to have to adjust to that. It’s not just about making adjustments in the batters box and on the pitchers mound, it’s making adjustments to a new clubhouse, a new team, and so forth. There’s adjustmentes, not just on the field but off the field, too.”
“I’m aware of what’s going on and what’s been going on in baseball. But my opinion doesn’t change toward anything. He’s part of this team now and he’s going to be in this clubhouse and we’re going to welcome him just like anybody else. He’s going to be part of this team.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter has had Cruz and –speaking hypothetically until the organization officially announces the deal– said the front office and coaching staff has done their homework on researching guys before they bring them in.