New Details in Death of Angels’ Tyler Skaggs

Josh Calloni, Reporter

Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died over the summer, and now the DEA is releasing an investigation that the organization was specifically aware of his opioid addiction, and gave him the drugs he overdosed on. 

Skaggs passing was one of the biggest storylines of the summer for the MLB. The Angels left hander was found unresponsive in his Dallas hotel before the team bus had left for their game on July 2 against the Rangers. At the time, the family requested that no extra detail about his death was released, so once the autopsy report came out, all that surfaced was that Skaggs choked on his own vomit. 

Moving forward towards the end of the baseball season, roughly in the middle of September, further reports showed that Skaggs had taken fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol. However, a few weeks after that report, the DEA investigated further and found that not only was this a common issue for Skaggs, but that the Angels had personnel supplying these drugs to their players, and knew about Skaggs addiction. 

“It’s not right. No MLB team should ignore it’s players illegal substance abuse under any circumstances, especially if it’s gonna put that players life on the line. It’s not right at all. I definitely think the Angels should not only be comprehended in the baseball world, but the legal world, and someone should face jail time,” senior Zach Russell said.

The DEA started its investigation by interviewing members of the Angels roster, according to their report; Trevor Cahill, Noe Ramirez, Matt Harvey, Andrew Heaney and two other unnamed pitchers on the Angels roster were all questioned. While no clear reports from their questioning has come out, the DEA was lead to an Angels media relations person, Eric Kay. Kay had been in the Angels organization for 24 years, and had recently been checked into rehab for his own opioid addiction around the time of the investigation. After questioning, Kay admitted to giving oxycodone to Skaggs, but never mentioned how the pitcher received the fentanyl that was in his system. 

“The fact that a professional sports team knew that their player had an addiction and basically ignored it is awful. It should not happen,” senior Jack Ives said.

Further questioning of Kay revealed one other things. Some members of the Angels organization were aware of his addiction. Kay said that had shared this information with the teams traveling secretary, two team officials and the teams vice president of communications. Still though, nothing had been done. Skagg’s family has hired a top sports drug lawyer, and have reportedly pressed charges against the Angels. However, when charges are pressed in baseball, the MLB is also tried, not just the team at fault.

There is no current punishment for any Angels organizational member, though the investigation is still ongoing. If these trials come to fruition this winter, it could mean a more regulated opioid testing system would be implemented around the MLB.