Jay-Z is trying to sell Robinson Cano “as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player”

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Mark Feinsand of the Daily News quotes a baseball insider as critical of the way Jay-Z and his team are trying to sell Robinson Cano in free agency:

“They’re selling him as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player,” said a major-league official familiar with Cano’s situation. “As a guy that’s going to be a big rock star and bring all these fans in. Last year, that wasn’t the case.”

Maybe the source is just being catty. But if that is the pitch that Jay-Z has for Cano, it seems pretty misguided for a baseball player.

As the insider’s quote suggests, one player never makes the difference, on the field or in the ratings. Just ask the 2013 Yankees, who were basically the Cano Show by default. And baseball people know that by now. A pitch that hinges on Cano being paid differently than his teammates is one thing. If it has him being treated differently — if it has him committing to things beyond simply playing second base and knocking the cover off of baseballs every night — than suitors are going to be turned off, I suspect.

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.