Great Moments in Derek Jeter

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TAMPA — I’m at Steinbrenner Field for the Masahiro Tanaka debut today. As I was waiting for his arrival to the Yankees’ clubhouse this morning, another player of note walked in. No one walked over to his locker so I figured I would.

Me: Derek, do you have a second?

Jeter: Sure.

Me: What’s it like having a day here where you aren’t the guy everyone is here to see?

Jeter: I’m never that guy. He is [Jeter points to Brian Roberts, two lockers down. Roberts guffaws]

Jeter: What’s going on today?

Me: Well, Tanaka is pitching.

Jeter: Is he? Didn’t even know that. [Jeter is grinning now]

Me: Yep.

Jeter: Well, come back later and I’ll let you know what that’s like.

All that was missing was him waving his hand, telling me that these are not the droids I’m looking for and telling me to move along.

He’s so damn smooth.

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.