Once Nelson Cruz, Jr. came to the plate in last night’s “play-in” wild card game, I immediately became a Tampa Bay Rays fan.
It didn’t really dawn on me until Cruz came up that we were in for an interesting look at “people”…and, unfortunately, the fans in Arlington failed themselves last night.
In case you’ve been in a cave over the last three months, Cruz was one of thirteen major leaguers who was suspended earlier this summer for his role in the PED scandal involving Biogenesis. He sat out a 50-game suspension before returning for last night’s one-game showdown with the Rays, which Tampa Bay won – thankfully – 5-2.
There’s no doubt at all that Nelson Cruz, Jr. would have somehow, someway, been responsible for at least one win during his 50-game suspension had he, in fact, played the games instead of sitting out due to his PED involvement.
And, had Texas figured out a way to win just one more game this season, they wouldn’t have played Tampa Bay last night.
They’d still be playing on Wednesday night in Cleveland in the REAL wild-card game.
So, when Cruz stepped to the plate last night, guess what happened?
The place went nuts.
Yep, they welcomed back their hero with a resounding ovation last night in Arlington, Texas, where clearly they have little conscience.
Here’s the guy coming to the plate who couldn’t stay away from performance enhancing drugs and cost his team a chance at the World Series this year and the fans usher him back in like he found the cure for polio.
I’m not shocked.
People have little memory when it comes to one of their own.
But, it’s a telling sign of our continued tolerance of PED’s when a player returning from a 50-game suspension gets welcomed back with open arms.
It’s disappointing, but then again, baseball and the player’s association clearly don’t really care all that much about PED’s or these guys wouldn’t be playing at all this October.