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By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
SARASOTA, FLA. - While Nelson Cruz's one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles was being finalized, players spent the past few days answering questions about how Cruz would be accepted inside the Orioles clubhouse. The 33-year-old gives the Orioles the middle-of-the-order power bat the club had been searching for this offseason, but served a 50-game suspension last season as part of the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. But before Cruz was introduced to the media on Tuesday morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, his new teammates made a statement of solidarity that spoke volumes without saying a word.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2014
BOSTON - Nelson Cruz's five-hit night helped send Red Sox right-hander John Lackey to an early exit in the Orioles' 7-4 win over Boston in the nightcap of the teams' doubleheader, but after the game, Lackey didn't have much positive to say about Cruz. Cruz was 3-for-3 with a double and homer off Lackey. He doubled and singled off Lackey in his first two at-bats of the game, then hit a towering solo homer down the left-field line that cleared the Green Monster and hit a sign well above it. Cruz also hit an RBI single and a double after Lackey exited.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The day after Major League Baseball doled out hefty suspensions after its investigation into Biogenesis, the Orioles faced a San Diego Padres team that will be without one of its best players - shortstop and National League stolen base leader Everth Cabrera - for the rest of the regular season. No Orioles received punishment as part of the investigation - designated hitter Danny Valencia was cleared in the case - and Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said he believes players are glad that baseball has taken added measures to try to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs.
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By Alejandro Zuniga and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named American League Player of the Week, Major League Baseball announced Monday afternoon. In seven games last week, Cruz batted .476 with four home runs and eight RBIs. In that span, he had a .556 on-base percentage and led baseball with a 1.190 slugging percentage. The gaudy numbers came before Cruz left Sunday's game against the Houston Astros after he was hit by a pitch in his left hand . X-rays were negative, and Cruz is listed as day-to-day with a hand contusion.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2013
The Orioles open a two-game series against the San Diego Padres tonight at Petco Park -- the first stop on a three-city, eight-game interleague road trip through the National League West. They arrived here in San Diego early Monday evening after their cross-country flight to Southern California was delayed twice due to the weather. Danny Valencia did not make the trip with the team. Brian Roberts will be back from the paternity list today and Valencia will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
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Peter Schmuck | January 13, 2014
There wasn't much in Sunday night's "60 Minutes" report on baseball's Alex Rodriguez investigation that could truly shock anyone at this point in the sport's tawdry PED era. Everyone knows that anabolic steroids and other sophisticated performance-enhancing substances have been rampant in baseball for decades. The thing that was most revealing about the interview with Biogenesis snake oil salesman Anthony Bosch and the documentary evidence presented was the lengths that athletes will go to gain some advantage over the competition and the lengths that Major League Baseball was willing to go -- in this case -- to build a case against one of the most celebrated of the alleged steroid offenders.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2013
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said his comments to USA Today - in which he said that allowing the Yankees to take Alex Rodriguez's salary off their books would allow them to unfairly skirt the luxury tax, ensuring that O's catcher Matt Wieters would end up in pinstripes once he becomes a free agent - weren't intended for public consumption. In the USA Today story, Showalter is quoted as saying: "If [commissioner] Bud [Selig] lets them get away with that, they're under the luxury tax. If they can reset, they can spend again and I guarantee you in two years Matt Wieters is in New York.
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By Peter Schmuck, The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2014
If you think, or are hoping, that the 162-game suspension imposed on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has brought an end to the Biogenesis saga or A-Rod's controvery-laced career, think again. The ruling by arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, which reduced the original suspension that Major League Baseball handed down to Rodriguez from 211 games to 162, may stand up to a federal court challenge by Rodriguez and his small army of attorneys, but you can bet that we'll still be wondering next month whether he'll be allowed to start the 2014 season.
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By Alejandro Zuniga and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named American League Player of the Week, Major League Baseball announced Monday afternoon. In seven games last week, Cruz batted .476 with four home runs and eight RBIs. In that span, he had a .556 on-base percentage and led baseball with a 1.190 slugging percentage. The gaudy numbers came before Cruz left Sunday's game against the Houston Astros after he was hit by a pitch in his left hand . X-rays were negative, and Cruz is listed as day-to-day with a hand contusion.
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By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 5, 2013
Major League Baseball has gone to great pains to move past its so-called steroid era, which gripped the game for more than a decade and stained the reputations of many of its greatest players. But nearly six years after the release of the Mitchell Report, which was designed to put an end to that period, baseball is again shadowed by a drug scandal that has fans and analysts wondering if the problem can ever be stamped out. About 20 players, including former Most Valuable Players Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, could face suspensions of up to 100 games based on their dealings with the Biogenesis clinic in South Florida, according to an ESPN report.
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By Eduardo A. Encina, The Baltimore Sun | February 25, 2014
SARASOTA, FLA. - While Nelson Cruz's one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles was being finalized, players spent the past few days answering questions about how Cruz would be accepted inside the Orioles clubhouse. The 33-year-old gives the Orioles the middle-of-the-order power bat the club had been searching for this offseason, but served a 50-game suspension last season as part of the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. But before Cruz was introduced to the media on Tuesday morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, his new teammates made a statement of solidarity that spoke volumes without saying a word.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles' sudden spring training spending spree continued Saturday as the club agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, according to industry sources. The deal, which is pending a physical and was first reported by ESPN Deportes, is worth $8 million with $750,000 in incentives, according to a source. After spending much of the offseason in a holding pattern, the Orioles' acquisition of Cruz would be their third free-agent acquisition in a little more than a week, raising their projected Opening Day payroll to approximately $105 million - the highest in franchise history - and addressing two of their biggest offseason needs.
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By Peter Schmuck and The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2014
Guess we can all stop wondering what the New York Yankees are going to do with the $25 million annual increase in their national television revenues. They spent almost that much per year on Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka , if you combine their reported seven-year, $155 million deal with the $20 million posting fee they must pay to Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles to pry him out of his existing contract. That's just crazy, of course, but why should anyone be surprised? Not only did the Yankees get that boost from the new national TV contracts that kick in this season, but they also will save about that much if Alex Rodriguez and his lawyers don't find a federal judge to strike down his one-year Biogenesis suspension.
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Peter Schmuck | January 13, 2014
There wasn't much in Sunday night's "60 Minutes" report on baseball's Alex Rodriguez investigation that could truly shock anyone at this point in the sport's tawdry PED era. Everyone knows that anabolic steroids and other sophisticated performance-enhancing substances have been rampant in baseball for decades. The thing that was most revealing about the interview with Biogenesis snake oil salesman Anthony Bosch and the documentary evidence presented was the lengths that athletes will go to gain some advantage over the competition and the lengths that Major League Baseball was willing to go -- in this case -- to build a case against one of the most celebrated of the alleged steroid offenders.
SPORTS
By Peter Schmuck, The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2014
If you think, or are hoping, that the 162-game suspension imposed on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has brought an end to the Biogenesis saga or A-Rod's controvery-laced career, think again. The ruling by arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, which reduced the original suspension that Major League Baseball handed down to Rodriguez from 211 games to 162, may stand up to a federal court challenge by Rodriguez and his small army of attorneys, but you can bet that we'll still be wondering next month whether he'll be allowed to start the 2014 season.
SPORTS
By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2013
The Orioles open a two-game series against the San Diego Padres tonight at Petco Park -- the first stop on a three-city, eight-game interleague road trip through the National League West. They arrived here in San Diego early Monday evening after their cross-country flight to Southern California was delayed twice due to the weather. Danny Valencia did not make the trip with the team. Brian Roberts will be back from the paternity list today and Valencia will report to Triple-A Norfolk.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2013
Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis says the only way baseball will rid itself of performance-enhancing drugs is to stiffen its penalties, which he believes should, at the least, include a five-year suspension for a first-time offender. And, if Major League Baseball and the players' union would ever consider a lifetime ban for anyone caught using PEDs, Markakis said he would “100 percent” support that proposal. “No ifs, ands or buts about it,” Markakis said in an exclusive interview with The Baltimore Sun as MLB prepared to announce suspensions in the Biogenesis case.
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Peter Schmuck | August 5, 2013
Maybe someday we will all look back at the decisive action taken by Major League Baseball to discipline Alex Rodriguez and 12 more players in yet another scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs and view it as the seminal moment when professional sports gave us back our innocence. That would be nice, but while you're holding your breath waiting for that happy moment, there is a sleazy chemist somewhere who is moving a couple atoms around on a molecule and creating some new compound that will drag the national pastime through the mud again.
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Peter Schmuck | August 6, 2013
It's tempting to take the Biogenesis scandal, pile it on top of all the others that have soiled the sports world over the past decade and conclude that we live in the tawdriest of times. Perhaps because that might be true. Major League Baseball's latest attempt to rid itself of performance-enhancing drugs by dropping the hammer on 14 players for their alleged association with that notorious anti-aging clinic in Miami may temporarily restore our faith in the national pastime, but even a cursory survey of the greater sports landscape would seem to confirm that it's time for your kids to look elsewhere for their role models.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2013
SAN DIEGO - The day after Major League Baseball doled out hefty suspensions after its investigation into Biogenesis, the Orioles faced a San Diego Padres team that will be without one of its best players - shortstop and National League stolen base leader Everth Cabrera - for the rest of the regular season. No Orioles received punishment as part of the investigation - designated hitter Danny Valencia was cleared in the case - and Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said he believes players are glad that baseball has taken added measures to try to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs.
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