Nick Markakis says Orioles will welcome free-agent Nelson Cruz 'like anybody else'

The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis has made no secret of his disdain for the culprits in baseball's long-running performance-enhancing-drug scandal, saying publicly that they are "stealing" and advocating stiffer penalties for offenders than are currently prescribed in baseball's drug program.

So what does he think of the club agreeing to terms with Nelson Cruz, who was suspended for 50 games last year for his part in the Biogenesis scandal?

"It doesn't change my opinion toward anything,'' Markakis said Saturday. "I got to be a teammate, and no matter if you disagree or agree with your teammates, they are still your teammates. He’s going to be welcome here and we are going to play as one. That’s for sure."

Markakis also said that he does not think Cruz will encounter any negative reaction in the Orioles clubhouse.

"I wouldn’t think so,'' he said. "That’s everyone’s personal decision on how they feel about somebody. Everybody has got their own views and their own ways of looking at things. But ultimately, when we we are all under one roof, we are a team. So we are going to welcome him just like anyone else."

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