BOSTON -- A day after Boston Red Sox right-hander John Lackey made pointed remarks about Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz, Orioles manager Buck Showalter tactically fired back at the Red Sox before Sunday’s series finale at Fenway Park.
Asked about Cruz on Saturday, Lackey said: “I’ve got nothing to say about him. … You guys forget pretty conveniently about stuff,” referring to Cruz serving a 50-game suspension last season for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drugs scandal while playing for the Texas Rangers.
Cruz said before Sunday’s game that he didn’t know about Lackey’s comments, but he said he has become used to being criticized for last year’s mistake. He accepted his suspension and quickly made a public apology.
“What I care is about my teammates, what they think about me,” Cruz said. “When you go to ballparks and beat other teams, they are not going to be happy, regardless of what you do. What I care about is what my teammates think about me and what my fans think about me.”
Showalter, however, didn’t take the high road.
“You consider sources of people and some of their emotions after the game, whether it be a player’s comment or a manager’s comment or some fan’s comment,” Showalter said. “You understand that nobody makes those comments after they pitched a complete game shutout or Nelson is 0-for-5. It’s human nature.
“We need to all make sure we check our own backyard before we start looking at someone else’s.”
Showalter was undoubtedly referring to Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, who was listed among 100 players — along with former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez — who reportedly tested positive for PEDs in 2003, according to a New York Times article in 2009.
The testing was anonymous and Ortiz was never disciplined.
At the time of his suspension last season, Cruz said he used PEDs after a gastrointestinal infection that went undiagnosed and caused him to lose 40 pounds. Cruz said he has moved on from last year, but he still gets constantly heckled on the road by fans.
“Like I said, everybody is free to talk,” Cruz said. “What I care [about] is what I’m doing here. You can’t go and confront everybody who talks, you know? My point is to go and play hard and try to get hits for the team.”
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