SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington isn't concerned about Nelson Cruz or his team's mental state this spring. He's confident the slugger will get himself prepared to play this spring and that the team will go about its business.
"Our priority is to get ready to play the 2013 season," Washington said Friday morning, moments after Cruz addressed the media. "That's what we do. This team is mentally strong. We'll be fine."
Cruz walked out to a media huddle outside the Rangers' clubhouse Friday morning and said he wanted to talk but was told by his attorney not to comment as MLB continues its investigation into the Miami New Times report linking Cruz and others to a clinic that sold performance-enhancing drugs.
So Cruz didn't comment on the ongoing MLB investigation into the clinic, other than to say that he hadn't talked to MLB investigators but will cooperate fully when asked. Read more here.
Cruz did say he still plans to play in the World Baseball Classic and will go about his normal spring training work in preparation for the season. The challenge will be not allowing this to be a distraction. He didn't seem concerned about that Friday. But full workouts haven't even begun yet.
“I’m going to go out there and try to play my game,” Cruz said. “There’s always going to be comments and stuff like that, but I’ve got to be myself.”
Washington said he saw Cruz come in and go through his normal spring routine of working out in the weight room and then hitting in the batting cages. Washington spoke with Cruz a few weeks ago, so he didn't feel the need to sit him down and talk with him in detail.
Cruz said he hasn't thought about whether he'll say anything to the team during the first full meeting Saturday morning, but he did add that his teammates have been supportive.
* Position players have until the end of the day to report, but it appeared that everyone was in camp this morning. The first full workout is scheduled for Saturday morning. Players that haven't had physicals will get them and there will be a team meeting at 9 a.m. before work begins.
* Pitchers are continuing their bullpen sessions, with Yu Darvish one of those throwing today.