Miguel Cabrera’s arrest was ugly

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If you’re goin’ down, go down with dignity.  Miguel Cabrera was either uwilling or simply unable to do that when he was arrested last night.

According to the TC Palm, Cabrera made reference to another person — who was not on the scene — saying “I’m going (expletive) kill him.”  Then he played the “do you know who I am?” card which is never good.   But it got worse:

A deputy reported Cabrera was put in handcuffs after not following orders. Cabrera also “kept running out in the road with his hands up.”

A deputy asked Cabrera to get his a patrol vehicle, and he said, “(Expletive) you.”

Miguel Cabrera pushed off a vehicle into a deputy, who “delivered 3-4 knee spikes” into Cabrera’s left thigh.

The police report described Cabrera as “belligerent, cocky, combative and argumentative.”  He was charged with resisting an officer without violence.

Notably, Cabrera refused the breath test.  The legal advice surrounding that is more complicated than many believe, and the “never ever take a breathalyser test ” advice you often hear casually passed around isn’t always the right move.

But to the extent not taking a breath test is the smart play, it’s only because by doing so the police have to establish that you were intoxicated by other means.  When you drink from an open bottle, run into traffic, slur your speech and cuss out the cops, well, the game is pretty much up my friend.

Report: MLB could fine the Angels $2 million for failure to report Tyler Skaggs’ drug use

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T.J. Quinn of ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball could fine the Los Angeles Angels up to $2 million “if Major League Baseball determines that team employees were told of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office.”

The fine would be pursuant to the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement which affirmatively requires any team employee who isn’t a player to inform the Commissioner’s Office of “any evidence or reason to believe that a Player … has used, possessed or distributed any substance prohibited” by MLB.

As was reported last weekend, Eric Kay, the Angels Director of Communications, told DEA agents that he and at least one other high-ranking Angels official knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. The Angels have denied any knowledge of Skaggs’ use, and the other then-Angels employee Kay named, current Hall of Fame President Tim Mead deny that he know as well, but Kay’s admission that he knew — he in fact claims he purchased drugs for and did drugs with Skaggs — would, if true, constitute team knowledge. Major League Baseball would, of course, want to make its own determination of whether or not Kay was being truthful when he told DEA agents what his lawyer says he told them.

Which raises the question of why, apart from a strong desire to get in criminal jeopardy for lying to DEA agents, Kay would admit through his lawyer that he lied to DEA agents. Still, the process is the process, so giving MLB a little time here is probably not harming anyone.

As for a $2 million fine? Well, it cuts a number of ways. On the one hand, that’s a lot of money. On the other hand, (a) a man is dead; and (b) $2 million is what the Angels’ DH or center fielder makes in about 11 minutes so how much would such a fine really sting?

On the third hand, my God, what else can be done here? No matter what happened in the case of Skaggs’ death, this is not a situation anyone in either the Commissioner’s Office nor the MLBPA truly contemplated when the JDA was drafted. We live in a world of horrors at times, and by their very nature, horrors involve that which it is not expected and for which there can be no adequate, pre-negotiated remedy. It’s a bad story all around, no matter what happens.

Still, it would be notable for Major League Baseball to fine any team under the “teams must report players they suspect used banned substances” rule. Because, based on what I have heard, knowledge of players who use banned substances — which includes marijuana, cocaine, opioids and other non-PED illegal drugs — and which have not been reported to MLB is both commonplace and considerable.

But that’s a topic for another day. Perhaps tomorrow.