New White Sox bench coach ready to go tit-for-tat

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Obviously more interested in fan approval than league approval, new White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, a former major league catcher, said his team will seek revenge for hit batters this season, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“You hit our guy, we’ll hit your guy,” he told the gathered crowd, earning him some scattered applause at SoxFest.

The White Sox were hit a major league-high 84 times last season, while they themselves hit just 44 batters on the year. However, a big part of the separation was due to Carlos Quentin’s presence. Quentin led the AL with 23 HBPs in just 118 games last season, and he’s at 97 in 616 games lifetime. Since he’s been shipped off to San Diego, the White Sox’s HBP totals are sure to fall in 2012, regardless of what kind of policies the coaching staff has in mind.

For what it’s worth, Parent may not realize that a batter often has as much to do with the HBP as the pitcher. The longtime backup was hit by pitches just twice in 13 major league seasons.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.