The Angels, and all of Major League Baseball, have got to be wondering what is going on after the report that Tyler Skaggs had fentanyl, oxycodone and alcohol in his system when he suddenly died earlier in the season.
It’s shocking not so much that another young man in America lost his life because of drugs, but because of who it was. This wasn’t someone who was down and out, struggling just to get by in a town where manufacturing jobs up and left, and left his family behind. That’s the picture we normally get when we see mentions of fentanyl in the news.
No, this was a major league pitcher. A professional athlete, getting paid millions to play in the major leagues. Yet, here we are, asking ourselves if there might be another drug problem in major league baseball.
1. It goes to show that the drug epidemic is much deeper than we think it is. It affects all of society, not just down on their luck white guys.
2. If it turns out that an Angel’s employee was complicit in providing the drugs, MLB is going to have to start looking a bit deeper at what is going on with their players and team employees. We spent a lot of time talking about team employees locating and providing steroids, have they simply moved on to more recreational drugs? Are opioids available in MLB lockerooms?
We may not want to believe that professional athletes would put themselves at risk by doing opioids, but we should have learned from the steroids era, and the cocaine/amphetamine problems that MLB has had before that these kinds of problems don’t just stop outside of the sports world. Nothing really does.