Normally, I’d wish the members of Athletics Nation a happy Friday, but we’re heading into this weekend on a sad note.
On July 1, 2019, America’s opioid epidemic visited tragedy upon the baseball world when Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas prior to a series opener with the Texas Rangers. His autopsy indicated that fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol were in his system and led to his death by choking on vomit. He was 27.
Yesterday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reported that a jury convicted Eric Kay, a former Angels communications director, on two charges: distributing oxycodone and fentanyl to Skaggs since “beginning or before 2017,” and providing him with the drugs that he overdosed on (non-paywalled link to other sources below). Kay now faces 20 years to life in federal prison pending sentencing in June.
The Skaggs family attorney, Rusty Hardin, stated that “the Angels knew what Eric Kay was doing, and the team is morally and legally responsible for his conduct.” The family intends to hold the organization accountable in upcoming civil proceedings. Five other former Angels testified that Kay supplied them with opiates; among them was Matt Harvey, who may face suspension for his involvement.
Athletics Nation offers renewed condolences and sympathy to Tyler’s family, friends, former teammates, and all those most deeply affected by this terrible loss. If you or someone close to you is struggling with opioid abuse or dependency, please seek help before it is too late. A good place to start is the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services SAMHSA National Helpline.
- Hall: A’s stadium news: Oakland City Council certifies EIR for Howard Terminal
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MLB News & Interest:
- Franco: Eric Kay Convicted Of Drug Distribution Resulting In Death Of Tyler Skaggs
- Franco: Report: Matt Harvey Facing Possible Suspension Related To Drug Distribution
- Blum: Former Angels employee Eric Kay convicted in Tyler Skaggs’ death: ‘A tragedy all the way around’
- Rosenthal: How prevalent is the use of opioids in Major League Baseball? ($)
- Shaikin: Eric Kay verdict is the start of a long, sad road for Angels, MLB and Skaggs family ($)
- NIghtengale: MLB lockout: The league and players had another short, fruitless meeting Thursday
- Dierkes: Latest Collective Bargaining Positions For MLB, Players Association
- Franco: MLB Suggests New CBA Would Need To Be In Place By End Of February To Begin Regular Season On Time
- Polishuk: MLBPA Drops Push For Universal Two-Year Arbitration, Expands Pre-Arb Bonus Pool In Latest CBA Offer
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Had to wait up for this one! Oakland Council certifies Howard Terminal EIR
I never tire of these gorgeous Howard Terminal renderings
Fifth & Mission Podcast: Oakland's $12 billion waterfront ballpark faces an important City Council vote. Reporter @sarravani joins host @CeeLei to discuss the environmental review, community concerns and what the vote means for the A’s.— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) February 18, 2022
Are the MLB/MLBPA accelerating the bargaining process?
While exact plans are not finalized, MLB and the MLB Players Association intend to hold multiple bargaining sessions — perhaps every day — as early as Monday, sources told ESPN. Multiple owners and players expect to fly in for sessions leading up to MLB’s stated Feb. 28 deadline.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 18, 2022
Passan busy scoopin’ it out today (hey, we all struggle with possessives sometimes)
The MLBPA backed off it’s request for arbitration for all players with 2+ years of service today, requesting instead 80% of players go into the system. Additionally, the union requested an increase in its pre-arb bonus pool ask from $100 million to $115 million.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 17, 2022
CBass on the Lockout
Needless to say, there is a lot more depth and texture to be appreciated with respect to the Skaggs tragedy
New #ESPNDaily:— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) February 17, 2022
The mystery of the 2019 death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs is unraveling now, inside a Texas courtroom.@TJQuinnESPN investigates how opioid abuse permeated an MLB team — and how an Angels exec was allegedly at the center of it all
#BlackHistoryMonth: Billy Williams, first African American coach for the Oakland A’s