Cubs hire James Rowson as full-time hitting coach

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James Rowson took over as the Cubs’ interim hitting coach after the team fired Rudy Jaramillo in mid-June and today he got the full-time job.

Chicago also gave assistant general manager Randy Bush a three-year contract extension and hired Reds Triple-A manager David Bell as third base coach, where he’ll replace Pat Listach.

When the Cubs fired Jaramillo they were hitting .247 with a .689 OPS while averaging 3.7 runs per game. After replacing him with Rowson they hit .235 with a .674 OPS while averaging 3.8 runs per game.

Sometimes the grass is the same exact shade of green on the other side.

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.