The Baltimore Orioles and the rest of MLB were shocked and devastated earlier this season when Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs turned up dead in his Dallas-area hotel room. The entire league justifiably seemed to take pause to honor and remember Skaggs. These sports are all brotherhoods, and players stand by one another.
We’re now hearing that an Angels’ PR employee had been supplying Skaggs with various opioid drugs for a few years, and had even been using the drugs with Skaggs. Just as a reminder, opioids are a narcotic. Short of heroin or crack cocaine, we’re talking the worst of the worst when it comes to drugs.
President Donald Trump has spoken on numerous occasions about wanting to combat the opioid epidemic that’s facing our country. In fact, it’s been slowing creeping up on us for 30 years or so. Whatever else you may think about President Trump (positive or negative), you should be behind that initiative. Again whatever else your view is of him, keep in mind that he had a brother who died as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. He’s in a position to know the endgame for people mixed up with opioids.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that this was going on. Opioids has seemingly touched every other aspect of our society, so why shouldn’t it hit MLB also? But I suppose I would say that it shocked me to an extent. But it shouldn’t have; athletes have access to drugs such as pain killers that the general public does not.
The issue for the Angels and for MLB is that a team employee was supplying the opioids. Now while Skaggs was paying for the medication, that could leave the team and/or the league open to lawsuits. Possibly as harsh as wrongful death litigation.
Orioles’ GM Mike Elias and his counterpartsall need to grab the bull by the horn on this. They need to ensure that nothing of this nature is occurring throughout their organizations. Because if there are, jobs, money, and even freedom from jail could be at stake.