Today’s minor league drug suspensions

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Someone go figure out for me how many games the Arizona Rookie League Royals, the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will have to forfeit to make up for these drug violations:

  • Kansas City Royals Minor League first baseman Mark Donato has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Donato, who is currently on the roster of the Arizona Rookie League Royals, is effective immediately.
  • Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methamphetamine and an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Minor League right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.

Or are we OK with these things being routine and not evidence of some Creeping Evil when minor leaguers are involved?

Sale, BTW, was the Rays top overall pick in 2010. Stroman was the Jays’ first round pick this year.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.