With the news that both Major League Baseball and Tyler Skaggs' family would be conducting separate investigations into his untimely death, the immediate reaction was to question where everything was heading. After all, the 27-year-old pitcher for the Angels died in his hotel room hours prior to a game, and the toxicology report showed alcohol in his system, along with Fentanyl and oxycodone.
Considering that both of these substances are powerful painkillers that can create both psychological and physical dependence, Skaggs' family has since decided to hire an attorney named Rusty Hardin to determine if a team employee did indeed procure these drugs. But what is next?
Sports Illustrated employs a legal analyst named Michael McCann, and he set out to explain how the investigations will proceed and what important factors will be in play. In a piece for SI, McCann explained how the investigators would examine surveillance camera footage, meet with various members of the team staff, and try to determine when and how the drugs came into Skaggs' possession.
Of course, news of the investigation, as well as McCann's explanation, sparked a chain of reactions around social media. The majority were on the negative side as the overwhelming response focused on whether or not Skaggs was making his own decisions.
While the majority of details surrounding Skaggs' death are unknown, that hasn't prevented many from making bold claims about the former Angels pitcher. Some call him an addict and say that he was simply spending his day like he normally would. Others criticized the family for hiring a lawyer to investigate.
he was a drug addict and his family were not there for him. i understand his family is upset, but trying to blame other people helps no one and is disgusting @TylerSkaggs37— Tim (@TimTimothy69) September 1, 2019
Whether or not Tyler Skaggs was given the drugs by an outside party is irrelevant to some fans of the Angels. One individual instead chose to focus on the other aspects of his death, namely addiction. If Skaggs was an addict, that was far more concerning than how he was able to obtain the oxycodone.
Addiction is an evil and insidious disease.— tom holmes (@tomholmes03) August 31, 2019
The news surrounding the next stage of the investigation may have provided an expanded timeline for when other details may be revealed, but it also sparked some interesting discussions in the comment section. For example, one person wanted to make a point about celebrity status and how it affects perception.
He was a drug addicted and died. He obviously hid it from his family. No ones fault but his own. People die everyday from drugs. When they are famous we celebrate them. When they are nobodies they are junkies. Sad both ways. Drugs kill!!!!— #VoteHimOut 🇺🇸💙✊🗽 (@Beluga19890804) August 31, 2019
The family of Tyler Skaggs is looking for answers surrounding his possession of the drugs, but many fans simply want to know why. The cause of death was revealed, the team commented on how it didn't change their opinion of the former pitcher, and they did a touching tribute. For some, this should mean that the story is over.
I was saddened by this,I thought the tribute the Angels gave him putting all there Jerseys on his mound was one of the best things I've ever seen,get chills thinking about it,not to mention they pitched a no-no that night.amazing stuff..Y are the parents looking into how and why?— Shawn Flynn (@FlynnReds) August 31, 2019
Time and time again, the possibility of Tyler Skaggs being an addict was mentioned by commenters in response to the Sports Illustrated story. Whether or not this is true remains undetermined, but it did spark a sad point from one individual. If Skaggs was truly an addict, he likely just went to his normal dealer to get the drugs that were found in his system.
Unfortunately, he probably just went to his usual dealer— Robert Morse (@TCRobertM) August 31, 2019
While the majority of comments in response to the Sports Illustrated story were very blunt and focused on how Tyler Skaggs could be considered responsible for what he put into his own body, there was one individual that supports the investigation. More to the point, did the team not check on Skaggs at any point during the day?
How does a major league team allow this to go on during a team trip?— 🔪🎃🏈⚜️BigRob8409⚜️⚾️🏒💀 (@BGR316) August 30, 2019
Given that this is social media, it was inevitable that there would be an argument in the comments section about who is to blame for this tragic death. One person said that Tyler Skaggs is at fault due to him being the one that took the drugs. It was his choice. Well, this statement was met with surprise and irritation.
To die? You are legitamatly saying he deserved to die because he “made a choice”, & don’t even try to talk your way around that— Tina Aguilar (@TinaTigerl18) September 1, 2019
There were many that saw the news about this latest investigation and felt that it was time to provide a very blunt response. In the eyes of the commenters, this was only a way to try and push the blame away from Tyler Skaggs. In fact, one specific individual took the moment to say that the family of the former Angels pitcher did not know his true character.
What are you going to do? Blame the person that gave him the drugs? The dude took them. He wasn’t forced to take them. Family saying it wasn’t his character. Well im sorry to tell you that it was his character. Only way to heal is face reality.— Justin Hook (@jayhook) August 31, 2019