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Ken Giles says the Astros have more talent than the Rangers do

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The Rangers beat the Astros with a walkoff double by Rougned Odor last night. That hit came off of Astros reliever Ken Giles. After the game, Giles vented about both this game and about how the Rangers have totally owned the Astros of late, having lost all seven meeting between the clubs this year:

“We have more talent than this team does,” Giles said. “That’s what I believe, and we shouldn’t be losing these kind of ballgames.”

The writer of that story, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, noted something in the Rangers’ clubhouse this afternoon:

Even though the words are on a video monitor, I think we can still call it bulletin board material.

Giles may be correct in the sense that some analysts or scouts or armchair GMs may think, in the aggregate, and on paper, the Astros are the more talented team. In the abstract I tend to think the Astros have slightly more talent, I guess. But that’s a characterization that requires all kids of qualification and agreement on terms. Who may be better over the next several years vs. who is set up better this year. The weighing of offense and pitching. There are all manner of subjective factors.

It’s the stuff of preseason or pregame analysis, though, not the stuff of postgame analysis. When you got beat — and when you’ve been beat by one team as many times as the Rangers have beat the Astros — they’re thoughts that are both beside the point and better left unsaid. At some point the subjective assessment of “talent” must give way to the objective assessment of “better.” The Rangers are right now and have been all year, better than the Astros, full stop.

But nice job making the bulletin board, Ken.

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.