Three-time All-Star shortstop Rafael Furcal has decided to retire at age 37 after injuries derailed numerous comeback attempts in recent years.
Furcal debuted for the Braves in 2000, winning the Rookie of the Year award, and spent the next decade as one of the league’s best all-around shortstops, but he last topped a .700 OPS in 2011 and has played a grand total of just nine games in the big leagues since 2013.
A switch-hitting, 5-foot-8 speedster with good on-base skills and a rocket arm, Furcal batted .281 with a .346 on-base percentage and .402 slugging percentage in 1,614 games, stealing 314 bases and smacking 113 home runs.
Among all MLB shortstops since 2000 he ranks fourth in Wins Above Replacement with 39.0, trailing only Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins, and Miguel Tejada. He played 14 seasons for the Braves, Dodgers, Cardinals, and Marlins, earning $97 million in salary and winning one World Series with St. Louis in 2011.
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.