MLB: What to do in light of the Tyler Skaggs bombshells

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Hansel Robles #57 of the Los Angeles Angels looks at a ball as it goes over the wall and a photo of Tyler Skaggs #45 during batting practice before playing the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 27, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Hansel Robles #57 of the Los Angeles Angels looks at a ball as it goes over the wall and a photo of Tyler Skaggs #45 during batting practice before playing the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 27, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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Bombshell testimony in the trial of Tyler Skaggs casts a dark cloud over the MLB’s clubhouse culture.

We are all sick of the lockout. When there are no trades, signings, or other transactions, other pieces of news have a way of revealing themselves. The most interesting developments this week in the baseball world came from a federal courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas. Eric Kay, a former Los Angeles Angels communications director, is on trial for drug distribution and conspiracy in connection with the 2019 death of Tyler Skaggs.

So what’s next?

What happens to Kay is almost a moot point. He will have to live with the fact that his actions likely cost a young man his life and harmed countless others, regardless of whether he’s found guilty or not. In a tweet by T.J. Quinn, an investigative reporter for ESPN, it is detailed that, in testimony Tuesday morning, four former Angels players, including Matt Harvey, admitted to receiving drugs from Kay. There could be countless more and not just within the Angels. While it’s easy to say as an outsider that the players just never should resort to drugs, MLB’s system (or lack thereof) is at least partly to blame.

New system following Tyler Skaggs’ death

Credit where credit is due, the MLB and MLBPA immediately announced changes to the existing drug program following the death of Skaggs. In an article written by CBS MLB writers Mike Axisa and Dayn Perry, Axisa and Perry outline the league’s plan to start testing for opioids and other drugs of abuse.

In light of the recent CBA negotiations, when it feels like the two sides can’t agree on whether the sky is blue, it certainly is refreshing to see the league and player’s union take swift action to implement sweeping changes within five months of Skaggs’ death.

That’s still inadequate though. It starts with adequate pay for minor leaguers to alleviate the pressure of being a baseball player. The teams must monitor players coming back from rehab. The bottom line is everyone around the league bears a responsibility to prevent tragedies like this.

Next. Matt Harvey just ended his career. dark

With the new CBA looming, fans and players will undoubtedly wonder what the final luxury tax threshold will be or what the rule changes will be. However, we must reform the testing policy because it is a privilege to play and cover America’s pastime and, with little else baseball-wise to think about right now, it is the perfect time to enact change.