Carl Crawford, bench player: “I want to play, but I understand I put myself in this situation”

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Carl Crawford is a 34-year-old four-time All-Star with two seasons remaining on a $142 million contract, but he’s slated to be a backup for the Dodgers and seems at peace with his limited role.

Crawford has been informed by rookie manager Dave Roberts that Andre Ethier will be the Dodgers’ starting left fielder, telling Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

They told me there will be a lot of at-bats for me, but ‘Dre starts, and he’s earned it. I’ll get spot starts and be ready to pinch-hit for the pitcher a lot. That’s pretty much it–just be ready to come off the bench. I want to play, but I understand I put myself in this situation, so I knew it could happen. I’m not in position to argue with them. Right now, I do what’s asked of me and keep trying to improve myself and be sharp and ready to play when my number is called.

That’s basically the ideal quote any team would want to see from any player in this situation. Crawford wants to play more and will be ready to do so if needed, but in the meantime he understands the situation and won’t make a stink about losing at-bats to Ethier. And odds are the Dodgers will need him plenty this season anyway.

Crawford hit .265 with four homers and a .707 OPS in 69 games last season and has a .742 OPS overall in three years with the Dodgers. He’s certainly still good enough to be a starter on plenty of teams, but few teams have as much quality depth as the Dodgers.

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.