Friday’s revelation about what caused pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ death is creating some new questions for the Los Angeles Angels organization.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus was asked about the prevalence of opioids within his own clubhouse in the wake of the news that Skaggs had died of an accidental overdose on alcohol and drugs, including fentanyl and oxycodone.
“Quite frankly, I had to Google what fentanyl was. I don’t really know much about it,” replied Ausmus, per Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.
“You read about opioids being an issue both culturally and of course post-surgically for athletes,” Ausmus continued. “But I can’t say I’ve ever seen it or noticed it being a problem.”
Skaggs, who was just 27 years old, passed away on Jul. 1 in his Southlake, Texas hotel room with the Angels in town to play the Rangers. The lefty was 28-38 in 96 career starts and overcame Tommy John surgery in Aug. 2014.
Major League Baseball has also launched an investigation into an allegation that an unnamed Angels employee had some involvement in Skaggs’ death, so the story may still be getting bigger from here.
The Los Angeles Angels lost a marathon game to the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night, and Brad Ausmus believes a bad call prevented his team from walking off with the win in the 15th inning.
With the Angels trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the 15th, Mike Trout belted a ball down the left field line that scored two runs with ease. David Fletcher tried to score all the way from first to give the Angels the win, but he was thrown out at home plate. Here’s a video of the play:
— MLB Replays (@MLBReplays) July 26, 2019
It was hard to tell in real time whether Fletcher’s hand hit home plate before the tag, but some replay angles appeared to show he was safe.
.@MLB I don’t care who wins this game, but David Fletcher was safe and I’m watching this from my couch. Your Replay Guy in NY is clearly asleep. DM if you need a West Coast Replay Guy. pic.twitter.com/zlyp70dd7v
— Francis in Glendale (@TFPWillEat) July 26, 2019
The call on the field stood, and the Orioles went on to win. After the game, Ausmus admitted the bang-bang play was tough for home plate umpire Tony Randazzo to get right, but the Angels manager felt there was enough video evidence to overturn the call.
“His hand was in there before the glove hit him in the chest,” Ausmus told reporters. “It was a tough call for Tony Randazzo, but I think New York missed it.”
Like in the NFL, MLB will always stick with the call on the field in the absence of clear evidence that it should be overturned. Ausmus believes that evidence existed.
Because the call stood, an Orioles player was able to make history the following inning. It’s amazing how many things one controversial play can change.
Matt Harvey is officially looking for a new team.
The Angels officially released Harvey after designating him for assignment on Friday, having unsurprisingly failed to find a trade for the veteran right-hander.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 21, 2019
The Angels took a flier on Harvey that ultimately proved to be a disaster. In 12 starts, Harvey posted a 7.09 ERA and tried in vain to gut out injuries, a move that ultimately made things worse. He only struck out 39 batters in 59.2 innings while walking 29.
Some team will probably give Harvey a shot due to his record of success, but that was a long time ago now. The unfortunate reality of the situation is that Harvey’s best days are almost certainly behind him.
The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels got into it on Tuesday night after Jake Marisnick was hit by a pitch.
Angels reliever Noe Ramirez had Marisnick 1-1 with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Ramirez ran a 90 mph fastball up and in on Marisnick, hitting him high on the back between the shoulder blades.
— Doug Downs (@DougDownsCanada) July 17, 2019
Marisnick, who has become an unpopular figure in Anaheim due to his collision with Jonathan Lucroy on July 7, ran straight to first.
Some in the Astros dugout seemed bothered by the hit by pitch and chirped from the dugout. First baseman Albert Pujols heard something he didn’t like and walked over to the opposing dugout.
Finger-waggin' Albert Pujols was about to take on the Astros dugout by himself. pic.twitter.com/IeLCQ7ZKqt
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 17, 2019
The bullpens emptied and benches cleared as players walked over to get involved.
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) July 17, 2019
Marisnick actually tried to play peacemaker the whole time and told his players to go back into the dugout. He seemed to be expecting to get hit and just took it like a pro. He later stole second base but was stranded on the bases.
Marisnick had been getting booed by Angels fans during his at-bats in the game.
The Los Angeles Angels tossed a memorable team no-hitter on the night they honored late teammate Tyler Skaggs, and they capped it off in a perfect way.
Taylor Cole and Felix Pena combined to throw nine no-hit innings, walking just one in a 13-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. After the game, in one of the more memorable sights in recent baseball history, the entire team laid down their jerseys on the mound in tribute to Skaggs.
The Angels capped things off a bit more quietly, but still perfectly, by placing Friday’s game ball in Skaggs’ locker.
— Maria Torres (@maria_torres3) July 13, 2019
This is the perfect way to cap off the tributes to Skaggs. The team and organization as a whole couldn’t possibly have done a better job.
It was simply meant to be.
The Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners in a 13-0 win on Friday night, the same night they paid respect to Tyler Skaggs in their first home game since his death.
Before the game, the Angels paid tribute to Skaggs with a pregame ceremony. The ceremony included Skaggs’ mother throwing out the first pitch, and 45 seconds of silence to match Skaggs’ jersey number. The stadium had new signage commemorating the late pitcher, who died on July 1 while the team was in Texas for their series against the Rangers. Every Angels player wore a jersey with No. 45 on the back and Skaggs’ last name.
Then the game started.
The Angels scored seven runs in the first to grab a huge lead and added two more in the second to go up 9-0. Taylor Cole opened the game with two perfect innings. Felix Pena finished it off with seven hitless innings to complete the no-hitter. He only allowed a walk in the fifth.
This was the 11th no-hitter in Angels history, and by far the most meaningful.
After the game ended, every single Angels player went to the mound and took off his jersey and laid it down on the mound for Skaggs.
Gone but never forgotten
— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) July 13, 2019
No words. #45 pic.twitter.com/MmytNT6cW4
— Eric Kay (@EKay2121) July 13, 2019
This was one of the best sports moments I’ve seen in a long time. It gave me chills all over.
Giancarlo Stanton was a member of the Miami Marlins when his late teammate Jose Fernandez passed away, and he is sharing some advice to the Los Angeles Angels on how to get through the heartbreaking situation of grieving the loss of a teammate.
Fernandez, a former All-Star pitcher, died on Sept. 25, 2016 in a boating accident, and the Marlins’ game that day was postponed. The team ended up playing out the rest of the season despite Fernandez’s death.
The Los Angeles Angels are in a similar situation now as they learned the tragic news that pitcher Tyler Skaggs had died on Monday. Their game against the Texas Rangers later that evening was postponed, while the franchise is left grieving.
Stanton posted a message on his Instagram account to share his best advice to the Angels on how to get through it:
View this post on Instagram
RIP Bro, My heart goes out to your family My message to the @angels while having no time for yourself to grieve is to hug each other, laugh, cry, lift the ones taking it extra hard up. You’re going to wonder why all of this is happening , is it real, why are u suiting up to play a game that seems irrelevant. Some Anger will ensue while u have to grieve in a fish bowl.. A lot will go through your mind. So stay together through that. The first days back to schedule are the weirdest feeling, from the energy to the questions to having to walk by his locker. Try to Focus & understand how important your strength is for his family, all of your supporters & anyone looking for the power to overcome something. They’re looking @ you for guidance. So you all really need each other right now. Stay strong fellas I’m thinking about you!
A post shared by Giancarlo Stanton (@giancarlo818) on
“RIP Bro, My heart goes out to your family My message to the @angels while having no time for yourself to grieve is to hug each other, laugh, cry, lift the ones taking it extra hard up. You’re going to wonder why all of this is happening , is it real, why are u suiting up to play a game that seems irrelevant. Some Anger will ensue while u have to grieve in a fish bowl.. A lot will go through your mind. So stay together through that. The first days back to schedule are the weirdest feeling, from the energy to the questions to having to walk by his locker. Try to Focus & understand how important your strength is for his family, all of your supporters & anyone looking for the power to overcome something. They’re looking @ you for guidance. So you all really need each other right now.
“Stay strong fellas I’m thinking about you!”
Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Texas at the age of 27. Police say no foul play and no suicide was suspected.
The southpaw pitcher was 7-7 with a 4.29 ERA this season.