On Saturday, Los Angeles Angels player Mike Trout responded to the official cause of death for his late teammate, Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs passed away mysteriously back in July, and on Friday the medical examiner's office officially confirmed that he had a mix of alcohol and opioids in his system. However, for Trout, this does not change Skaggs' legacy.
“Obviously, it doesn’t change my view on Tyler,” Trout said, according to a report by MLB News. “He made a big impact on my life, this team. I was kind of shocked when the news came out like that. That’s tough, but it doesn’t change the feeling I have for him and the way he impacted my life.”
Early on in the investigation, people close to Skaggs thought it was unlikely that drugs played a part in his passing. Trout, for his part, said that he had no idea his friend was using opioids, including oxycodone and fentanyl. Both drugs were in Skaggs' system when he passed, and Trout said he wished that the team had known so that they could offer their support.
“Obviously, if I knew I would definitely have said something or did something,” Trout said. “It’s tough. You love Tyler. We didn’t know he was going through this. Just a tough situation when this came out. Tough to put your mind to it. But it doesn’t change the way I feel about Tyler and the way he impacted my life.”
The Angels have honored Skaggs every step of the way through their summer season, even as his death remained a mystery. Trout noted that the team did not know that the toxicology report would come out on Friday, and they were surprised by the news.
“When stuff comes out, you want to know if it’s true,” Trout said. “I don’t really know anything specifically about what he took or what kind of drugs they were. I stay away from all that stuff. I couldn’t even tell you what fentanyl is. I just heard it’s pretty dangerous."
The Angels' clubhouse was closed to media before Friday's game as the team tried to process the report. It came from the Tarrant County medical examiner's office, finally closing the case on Skaggs' death in Southlake, Texas, on July 1. The pitcher was found dead in his hotel room at the time.0comments
For Trout, it was the second season in a row marred by tragedy. Last year, his brother in law, Aaron Cox, passed away in August. The 24-year-old was a pitcher in the Minor League.
“It’s difficult,” Trout said. “You obviously have a job to do, to go out there and perform. But obviously things happen in life. When you have a relative or a teammate pass away, it’s tough. Mentally it’s a grind to get over it. Every time you do something, Tyler pops into your mind. Every day I still think about him. It’s tough.”