Los Angeles Angels: Tyler Skaggs’s death has gone to a Texas grand jury

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore Tyler Skaggs #45 jersey to honor him after his death on July 1. Angels won 13-0. Los Angeles Angels public relations employee Eric Kay is seen on left. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 12: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim players lay their jerseys on the pitchers mound after they won a combined no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 12, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The entire Angels team wore Tyler Skaggs #45 jersey to honor him after his death on July 1. Angels won 13-0. Los Angeles Angels public relations employee Eric Kay is seen on left. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Angels: Tyler Skaggs’s death has gone to a Texas grand jury

Maddon Under More Pressure Than He Thinks

It was already a maelstrom into which new Angels manager Joe Maddon walked when he accepted the job and returned to the team for whom he served long and well as former skipper Mike Scioscia‘s consigliere on the bench.

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Maddon should have had to worry about nothing more than bringing the team together under a new bridge commander, solving pitching issues, pondering percentages and execution on the field. But he has to worry about keeping a team together amidst continuing investigations and potential revelations about a popular teammate dead a little over half a year.

He even has to ponder ramifications should it prove any Angel player past or present knew Skaggs was in trouble and did or said little to nothing to help.

“This was a young man in pain,” wrote USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale when the toxicology report emerged. “Perhaps more physical than even the doctors and trainers knew. Maybe more mental than even any team therapist knew. It will be a bigger tragedy if we never understand why. Prescription painkillers are a scourge in this country, and professional sports—with catastrophic injuries and the expectation to play through the pain they cause—are ripe for potential abuse.”

Exactly how ripe in Skaggs’s case is what his family, federal drug investigators, and now a Texas grand jury wants to know.

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Whatever the answers prove to be, they’re going to cut soul deep. For his family, for a Los Angeles Angels franchise steeped in too-often tragedy before Tyler Skaggs, and for baseball itself.