Blake Snell says he won’t risk his life for reduced pay

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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said during a Twitch stream yesterday that the health risks of returning to play this season is “just not worth it” if he’s going to make significantly less than his contracted salary.

Here’s Snell, whose full comments can be seen in the video below:

“Bro, I’m risking my life . . . What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%.

“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go, for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof, it’s a shorter season, less pay . . . I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower, why would I think about doing that? Like you know, I’m just, I’m sorry.”

Snell later sent a text message to the Tampa Bay Times and said that he realizes his comments came off as greedy, but that “I mean, honestly, it’s just scary to risk my life to get COVID-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to others . . . . I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives ’cause I know I miss mine!” He added, “I’m just saying, it doesn’t make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play. And then be on lockdown, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less — and then the risk of injury runs every time I step on the field.”

Snell, whose full salary would be $7 million in 2020, has already taken a lot of blowback for his comments. He is 100% correct that players are the ones who will be risking their health and possibly their lives to go back and play baseball. And he’s likely not the only player who holds this sentiment.

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.