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Former closer Bobby Jenks wins $5.1 million settlement over botched back surgery

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Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2009 and 2010, his effectiveness fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox snapped for the 2011 season. That season was a nightmare in which he pitched only 19 games and then had surgery to alleviate spinal compression.

Normally surgery improves things, but in Jenks’ case it was a nightmare. Jenks experienced painful headaches and issues with leaking spinal fluid in the aftermath. In its wake he slid deep into substance abuse and his career ended.

Jenks got sober several years ago. And he learned that the surgeon who was overseeing his surgery had two separate surgeries going on at the same time, a practice called “concurrent surgery.” Jenks sued, alleging malpractice. His case must’ve looked pretty good, because he just reached a $5.1 million settlement with the hospital and doctor which performed the surgery:

Former Boston Red Sox and White Sox pitcher Bobby Jenks has won a $5.1 million dollar settlement with Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Kirkham Wood . . . In a recent interview Jenks stated, “I want this to be spread everywhere and known by everybody…..What they practiced at the hospital was unsafe and should not be done anywhere.”

Jenks has said he plans to use the $5.1 million from the settlement to teach the general public about the great dangers connected to concurrent surgery.

Good to see that Jenks’ fortunes have improved.

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.