Mets manager Mickey Callaway did not include shortstop Amed Rosario in the lineup for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Marlins due to a lack of hustle on a fly ball hit in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game, according to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, quoting what was said on the SNY broadcast. Per Ehalt, Callaway didn’t say that was the reason for Rosario’s absence when speaking to the media, instead saying it was a “scheduled off day.”
The Mets had just taken a 4-2 lead on a two-run home run from Robinson Canó in the eighth inning. After Todd Frazier struck out for the second out of the inning, Rosario came up and hit a fly ball to right-center field. There was a lapse of communication between center fielder J.T. Riddle and right fielder Brian Anderson, so the ball dropped between the two of them. Rosario had not been running hard and had to stay at first base when he should have been on second base. Nevertheless, the Mets went on to win 4-2.
Rosario did enter Sunday’s game as part of a double-switch in the seventh inning. He then led off the eighth with a double and later scored on a Pete Alonso sacrifice fly.
Rosario isn’t the only player to have been punished for a lack of hustle this season. Canó twice didn’t run out batted balls against the Marlins and was benched back in May. Predictably, Canó then hustled on a batted ball shortly thereafter, injuring his quad.
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.