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Prominent agent suggests players could boycott spring training in ‘rising tide’

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Building on the stuff from the last post about player dissatisfaction regarding the current free agent market, a prominent player agent — Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA, who represents Buster Posey, Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes and a host of other big name stars — made a lengthy post on Twitter suggesting that players could boycott spring training:

“There is a rising tide among players for radical change. A fight is brewing. And it may begin with one, maybe two and, perhaps, 1,200 willing to follow. A boycott of Spring Training may be a starting point if behavior doesn’t change.”

The entire post is reproduced below.

I won’t rehash the stuff I wrote a couple of hours ago about this all being a function of a bad couple of Collective Bargaining Agreements, but that’s certainly the genesis of the problem. What is done with the player dissatisfaction is another thing altogether. What Van Wagenen is talking about here may well be evidence of player solidarity in search of a place to express itself. Until more players get on the record about all of this — or until the union, credibly speaking for the consensus of players talks about — we can’t be sure what will come next.

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.