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Thieves steal $500,000 worth of valuables from A-Rod’s rental car

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The San Francisco Chronicle reports that thieves smashed into Alex Rodriguez’s rented SUV Sunday night and made off with an estimated half-million dollars worth of jewelry and electronics. One. Half. Million.

San Francisco police said that the theft occurred a short walk from Oracle Park between 9 and 11 p.m., not long after A-Rod called the Phillies-Giants game. Among the items stolen were bags, a camera, camera equipment, a laptop, jewelry and miscellaneous electronics. The report said the SUV was rented by ESPN for “the broadcast crew” so it’s unclear if everything inside was A-Rod’s or if any of belonged to his colleagues, though only A-Rod was named in the report. Based on the photo in the Chronicle it is clearly not an ESPN production/equipment van, so we’re talking all personal items here, not pro-grade electronics.

Anyone who has spent a lot of time walking around Oracle Park and the surrounding area knows that, generally, it feels like a pretty safe area. New condos and upscale bars and restaurants and all of the hallmarks of a gentrified area of a wealthy town. As the Chronicle reports, however, there has been an epidemic of vehicle break-ins in San Francisco of late, with nearly 70 occurring in the city each day in the month of July.

Even if such an epidemic is not occurring, however — even if one is parked on Main Street in Mayberry, North Carolina with Sheriff Taylor standing right there on the corner — what in the hell is anyone doing leaving half a million dollars worth of crap sitting in their car?

Report: MLB could fine the Angels $2 million for failure to report Tyler Skaggs’ drug use

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T.J. Quinn of ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball could fine the Los Angeles Angels up to $2 million “if Major League Baseball determines that team employees were told of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office.”

The fine would be pursuant to the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement which affirmatively requires any team employee who isn’t a player to inform the Commissioner’s Office of “any evidence or reason to believe that a Player … has used, possessed or distributed any substance prohibited” by MLB.

As was reported last weekend, Eric Kay, the Angels Director of Communications, told DEA agents that he and at least one other high-ranking Angels official knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. The Angels have denied any knowledge of Skaggs’ use, and the other then-Angels employee Kay named, current Hall of Fame President Tim Mead deny that he know as well, but Kay’s admission that he knew — he in fact claims he purchased drugs for and did drugs with Skaggs — would, if true, constitute team knowledge. Major League Baseball would, of course, want to make its own determination of whether or not Kay was being truthful when he told DEA agents what his lawyer says he told them.

Which raises the question of why, apart from a strong desire to get in criminal jeopardy for lying to DEA agents, Kay would admit through his lawyer that he lied to DEA agents. Still, the process is the process, so giving MLB a little time here is probably not harming anyone.

As for a $2 million fine? Well, it cuts a number of ways. On the one hand, that’s a lot of money. On the other hand, (a) a man is dead; and (b) $2 million is what the Angels’ DH or center fielder makes in about 11 minutes so how much would such a fine really sting?

On the third hand, my God, what else can be done here? No matter what happened in the case of Skaggs’ death, this is not a situation anyone in either the Commissioner’s Office nor the MLBPA truly contemplated when the JDA was drafted. We live in a world of horrors at times, and by their very nature, horrors involve that which it is not expected and for which there can be no adequate, pre-negotiated remedy. It’s a bad story all around, no matter what happens.

Still, it would be notable for Major League Baseball to fine any team under the “teams must report players they suspect used banned substances” rule. Because, based on what I have heard, knowledge of players who use banned substances — which includes marijuana, cocaine, opioids and other non-PED illegal drugs — and which have not been reported to MLB is both commonplace and considerable.

But that’s a topic for another day. Perhaps tomorrow.