PHOENIX — Nelson Cruz, one of the players suspended Monday by Major League Baseball for their role in the Biogeneses scandal, had a rather productive five games against the Rays in the 2010 American League Division Series.
The Rangers’ right fielder had a pair of doubles and three home runs, helping the Rangers advance to the championship series.
Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked Tuesday if he thought about how Cruz’s use of performance enhancing drugs might have influenced the outcome of that series.
Maddon said he had, but added, “A lot of teams could say the same thing.”
What Maddon said he is more focused on is the future of baseball with a more-level playing field.
“I always contend that a level playing field benefits us always,” he said. “My point there is that if PEDs are prevalent in the game, obviously, those people are putting up severe numbers.
“We cannot afford severe numbers. Other teams can. So if a team can afford to pay for severe numbers, that makes it much more difficult for the Rays to win.”
Maddon believes eventually the teams that win will win because of skill, work ethic, the philosophy of the organization and character.
“When it arrives at that point, I believe the Rays can be successful for many years to come regardless of free agency and how much money needs to be spent, whatever,” he said. “Because if everyone is paying for the same human being, unaltered human being, we can win.”
Matt Moore, the Rays’ player representative, said he’s glad the suspensions where handed down Monday because he was so tired of hearing about the topic, he stopped watching TV.
“We’ve been hearing about it for so long that to finally have guys that did break the rules finally paying the price and not contributing to a team in a positive way, I think is going to help out,” he said.
“It’s just unfortunate. You really think it’d be tough for those guys to look themselves in the mirror and face what they face but somehow they find a way to do it.”
Chris Archer, who starts tonight, offered this:
“My opinion is, we know what happened, I don’t feel any certain way about it. The only thing I can say is let’s drop it, let’s move on. If somebody has a bad outing, you talk about it for that day and the next day is a new day. Justice has been served, let’s move on.
“Let’s not give it life anymore, and then I think the game will continue to prosper and that won’t exist anymore if we don’t give it life.”