The Rays interviewed three candidates for open managerial position

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays had phone interviews with three of their eight candidates for their open managerial position: Craig Counsell, Raul Ibanez, and Don Wakamatsu.

All three, of course, are former major leaguers. Counsell is currently serving as a special assistant in the Brewers’ front office. Ibanez may have just completed the last season of his career as a player, reaching the World Series with the Royals. Wakamatsu, who reached the majors for his first and only season in 1991 with the White Sox, managed the Mariners in 2009-10.

The Rays are taking their time selecting their successor to Joe Maddon, who opted out of the final year of his contract to become the Cubs’ new manager. The five other candidates include Dave Martinez, Manny Acta, Kevin Cash, Charlie Montoyo, and Ron Wotus.

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.