On his way to hitting a major league-leading 53 home runs last year, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis openly criticized those who use performance-enhancing drugs. But he welcomed Cruz to Baltimore and is one of his most vocal supporters.
“Obviously, when a guy tests positive, you’re not happy about it. But at the same time, there has to be some point in time when we forgive and move on,” Davis said. “The biggest thing to remember is: How did he handle it? Did he try to run away from it? Or did he stand up and say: ‘I’m going to serve my suspension. I’m going to come back and rebound from it.’”
After explaining that he used a banned substance to treat a gastrointestinal infection in 2012, Cruz accepted the suspension with the words, “I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error.”
“They supported not only him, but what he stands for,” Davis said. “The guy plays hard. He has a good time. He’s going to give you everything he’s got. I think the fans appreciate that, and seeing them get behind him was pretty awesome.”
“In today’s world, none of us would like to have our lives judged by our worst decision, including me,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “I can’t speak for other people, but I think Nelson is pretty sincere about trying to go forward instead of looking back. It doesn’t surprise me with our fans.”
Peralta was batting .074 through Tuesday, but Cardinals fans are treating him as one of their own.
“The fans here, they’re pretty good with me,” he said. “What’s happened is in the past and I’m trying to put this away and trying to focus on 2014.”
“Everybody around here had their conversations, and he had the ones he needed to have around here,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “After that, we just moved forward.”