Rick Ankiel’s last stand

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A couple weeks ago Mike Bates wrote a nice career — Retrospective? Requiem? I dunno yet — about Rick Ankiel. Today Joe Posnanski takes a pass at one of the more interesting careers we’ve seen in some time. He’s particularly taken with Ankiel’s all-or-nothing approach this year, wondering if Ankiel knows his career is close to the end:

And he seems to have decided, like the boxer entering the final round losing on all scorecards, like the broke gambler down to a final bet, like the golfer facing the impossible shot but needing to pull it off to make the cut — that he might as well go for everything. Maybe, just maybe, if he can hit a noticeable number of homers — strikeouts, walks, singles, all of them be damned — he can keep this crazy career alive.

And I still hope the Astros let him pitch before they release him.

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.