The eighth greatest general manager of all time is, like, the fifth dude on this list connected to the Orioles

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Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have written a book: In Pursuit of Pennants, which examines how front offices have historically found innovative ways to build winning teams. In support of that, they are counting down the top-25 GMs of all time over at their blog. Since it’s slow season, I’m going to continue linking to the countdown as it’s great stuff we rarely read about in the normal course.

If you came of baseball-watching age sometime between the late 1990s and, oh, three or four years ago, you can be forgiven for thinking that the Baltimore Orioles are a perpetually messed-up and dysfunctional franchise. Yes, they’ve righted the ship just fine since Dan Duquette has been there, but before that, hoo-boy, things were a mess.

If you’re older than that, though, and if you paid attention to baseball between the late 50s and the late 80s, you know that the Orioles were, for decades, the Gold Standard for how a franchise should be built and run. Which makes the fact that this top-25 list Mark Armour and Dan Levitt have put together contains a boatload of executives who either got their start, made their bones or completed their legacies while working for the Baltimore Orioles make all kinds of sense.

The latest — and not the last, if I have the top-10 guessed properly — is one Harry Dalton. Go learn about him here.

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.