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Josh Bell hits 472-foot home run into Allegheny River

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PNC Park in Pittsburgh opened 18 years ago. It sits on the banks of the Allegheny River, just a tad to the east of where it meets up with the Monongahela to form the Ohio. The river flows beyond — way beyond — the right field stands.

Several players have hit homers that have ended up in the river, but the vast majority of those bounced first. Before today, only three people had hit home runs into the river on the fly: Daryl Ward of the Astros and Garret Jones and Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates. Today Josh Bell of the Pirates became the fourth guy to do it.

Bell took an extraordinarily straight one-ball, no-strike fastball from Shelby Miller and sent it out 472 feet to right, splashing down:

You’re not gonna find many fastballs that are that hittable, but even so, that was a hell of a rip from Bell.

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.