"It was tough," shortstop Elvis Andrus said after the outfielder addressed the team Monday night. "As a man, he had the guts to stand up to everybody in here, and it was tough for his heart. You could see how tough it was for him and his family. At that moment, we always have to think not as a player but as a human being. It happened. Nobody is perfect in this world. We don't have enough power to judge. The only thing I'm going to do is support him."
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he wasn't surprised to hear his players offer support for the slugger, who led the Rangers in home runs (27) and RBIs (76) before his suspension.
"He never lost our respect," Washington said. "It's sad. You obviously don't expect anything like that to happen, but it happens."
"Nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes," starting pitcher Derek Holland said. "Everybody makes mistakes, and I'm not going to worry about it. I hope he gets back, and we'll be ready and waiting for him. We just have to take care of what we have to do now -- and that's get the [AL] West."
The Rangers are two games back of the Oakland Athletics in the AL West. Cruz would be eligible to return for the postseason if the team made it.
"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," second baseman Ian Kinsler said.
Several players said they didn't have a problem with Cruz not appealing his suspension, and Washington noted that players weren't angry because that would be considered judging. Closer Joe Nathan said players who were suspended by MLB for their dealings with the Biogenesis clinic did it for their own personal reasons. Nathan said he was pleased Cruz spoke to the team, and catcher A.J. Pierzynski said he'd welcome the slugger back if the team made the postseason.
Washington wouldn't comment about what Cruz had to say to the team.
"You never accept when you do wrong," Washington said. "He was sorry. It's a choice to make. He made his choice. I'm not going to judge him. He had a choice to make. It wasn't an easy choice, and this is what he chose."