Losing a loved one is never easy, but the Los Angeles Angels are trying to forge ahead while simultaneously honoring the memory of Tyler Skaggs. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding his untimely passing are making this difficult to achieve. Friday afternoon, the coroner's office released a seven-page report that said Skaggs was found with painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, as well as alcohol.
Despite the circumstances surrounding Skaggs' death, the Angels are not forgetting the man that he was in the locker room and off the field. In fact, fellow pitcher Andrew Heaney reacted to the news of the toxicology report by explaining how it won't change his opinion of his former teammate.
“It really didn’t change much,” Heaney said, per the OC Register. “He’s no longer with us. That’s what hurts the most. The circumstances don’t change how I feel about him. It doesn’t change how everyone here was treated by him and how much they loved him. It doesn’t change a thing.”
Andrew Heaney honored Tyler Skaggs in his emotional tribute 🙏 pic.twitter.com/4ciEzTQhKa— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) July 24, 2019
As Schedule II controlled substances, both fentanyl and oxycodone are viewed as dangerous due to their addicting properties, as well as the fatal results when mixing high quantities with alcohol. In addition to drug and alcohol intoxication, the report also said that Skaggs sustained “terminal aspiration of gastric contents." In layman's terms, this means that he choked on his own vomit.
There are concerns around Skaggs and if he had a history with these controlled substances, but if so, his teammates were unaware. As Heaney explained, he didn't know of "anything like that" involving Skaggs.
Similar to Heaney, Angels manager Brad Ausmus was not letting the storyline surrounding Skaggs affect his opinion on the 27-year-old. He reacted to the coroner's report by opting to reflect on the fact that the team lost a beloved figure.
“I said at the time, it didn’t matter to me what the cause was,” said Ausmus, who said he had no knowledge of the cause before Friday. “We still lost someone way too early, someone that we liked and cared about. And there’s a huge void as a result. It didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now. The facts remain the same.”
With the release of the seven-page coroner's report, more questions arose surrounding Skaggs' death. However, that will not affect his former teammates or those in the building. Skaggs will remain a beloved figure in the building and on the roster.