Tyler Skaggs' teammates are honoring him as their season goes on, crying out his catchphrase "we're nasty!" at every opportunity. The beloved Los Angeles Angels pitcher passed away earlier this month, but his team has gone on to two incredible wins. It may be that they are rallying around his absence, with his voice looming large in their heads.
Skaggs was known for calling out "we're nasty!" as a form of celebration or encouragement to his team. They have galvanized those words as a part of their first season without him, taking up the cry and ascribing new meaning to it.
According to a report by NBC News Los Angeles, Taylor Cole wore a t-shirt reading "We're Nasty" around the press in the team clubhouse before a game last weekend. Other team members have been heard shouting it to one another, calling it out at public events and proudly displaying the words wherever they go. The Associated Press reports that "WE'RE NASTY" was printed in huge letters on the wall of the clubhouse, with two pictures of Skaggs surrounding it.
"He's the life of the team, honestly," said infielder Zack Cozart. "We're family in here. We're around each other all day, every day. You just hurt so much for Tyler's family. ... It's so sudden and so tragic. Forty-five will always be in my mind. That's how it's always going to be for all of us."
The Angels won an incredible 13-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday, the day before what would have been Skaggs' 28th birthday. On Saturday, they won again with a final score of 9-2, and then again on Sunday at 6-3. On Monday, they followed it up with a 9-6 win over the Houston Astros, and then just yesterday they did it again with a final score of 7-2.
This streak is all the more triumphant in the wake of Skaggs' passing, and the team understands that very plainly. According to a report by Fan Sided, outfielder Justin Upton gave credit to Skaggs in a press conference after their first victory following Skaggs' passing.
"Right now, he'd be saying, 'We're nasty," he mused. "We're Nasty!"
Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on July 1 in Texas, just before a scheduled game against the Texas Rangers. He was taken to a local medical examiner, and a full autopsy was ordered. However, his official cause of death has been withheld "per the family's request." Suicide and foul play have been officially ruled out, police say, and team officially have denied speculation that it was a drug overdose.
The Angels have games scheduled every night through Sunday.