Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died from a toxic mix of the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol in an accidental overdose, a medical examiner in Texas said in a report released Friday. Skaggs’ family issued a statement suggesting a team employee was part of the investigation into the death. “That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League Baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much,” the family said less than two hours after the coroner’s report was made public. “We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them.” The 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a technical report that said Skaggs died as a result of “mixed ethanol, fentanyl, oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.” It said simply: “Manner of death: Accident.” Skaggs’ death laid bare the emotions of manager Brad Ausmus, star outfielder Mike Trout and fellow left-hander Andrew Heaney, his best friend on the team, along with the rest of his teammates and LA staff members. The first game after Skaggs died was played without music or the usual in-game promotions for the Rangers, who painted his number “45” on the back of the mound at Globe Life Park. In their first home game after Skaggs died, the Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 on a combined no-hitter from Taylor Cole and Felix Pena. All the LA players were wearing Skaggs’ number and covered the mound with their jerseys after the victory. It was a day before what would have been Skaggs’ 28th birthday. The day before he died, Skaggs posted a picture on Instagram of him and the Angels in cowboy hats and other western clothing outside their plane. Skaggs organized the effort because the club was stopping in both major league cities in Texas. The Southern California native was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2009 and made his big-league debut with Arizona three years later after being traded. Skaggs returned to the Angels in 2014 and missed all of the next season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. He also spent more than three months on the disabled list in 2017 with a right oblique muscle strain. Skaggs was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 96 career appearances, all starts.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs died from a toxic mix of the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol in an accidental overdose, a medical examiner in Texas said in a report released Friday.
Skaggs’ family issued a statement suggesting a team employee was part of the investigation into the death.
“That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League Baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much,” the family said less than two hours after the coroner’s report was made public. “We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them.”
The 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1 before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office issued a technical report that said Skaggs died as a result of “mixed ethanol, fentanyl, oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents.”
It said simply: “Manner of death: Accident.”
Skaggs’ death laid bare the emotions of manager Brad Ausmus, star outfielder Mike Trout and fellow left-hander Andrew Heaney, his best friend on the team, along with the rest of his teammates and LA staff members.
The first game after Skaggs died was played without music or the usual in-game promotions for the Rangers, who painted his number “45” on the back of the mound at Globe Life Park.
In their first home game after Skaggs died, the Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 13-0 on a combined no-hitter from Taylor Cole and Felix Pena. All the LA players were wearing Skaggs’ number and covered the mound with their jerseys after the victory. It was a day before what would have been Skaggs’ 28th birthday.
The day before he died, Skaggs posted a picture on Instagram of him and the Angels in cowboy hats and other western clothing outside their plane. Skaggs organized the effort because the club was stopping in both major league cities in Texas.
The Southern California native was drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2009 and made his big-league debut with Arizona three years later after being traded.
Skaggs returned to the Angels in 2014 and missed all of the next season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. He also spent more than three months on the disabled list in 2017 with a right oblique muscle strain. Skaggs was 28-38 with a 4.41 ERA in 96 career appearances, all starts.
The late Roy Halladay has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I knew I was going to cry at some point. It’s overwhelming the amount of people here today,” she said. “I’m so grateful you’re here. I can’t tell you how many hugs I’ve gotten. They have extended so much love and friendship. I’m so grateful.
“The thank yous should and could go on for days. There are not enough words to thank you. I say it a lot, but it takes a village.”
WATCH | Brandy Halladay fights back tears to deliver emotional induction speech:
He spent his last four seasons with the Phils and 12 seasons with the Blue Jays from 1998-2009 and became just the second pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in the post-season, opening the 2010 National League Division Series with one against the Cincinnati Reds in the first playoff start of his career. He also pitched a perfect game that season.
No logo on plaque
“He was a true competitor ready to do whatever it took to give his team the best chance to win,” Brandy said. “I think Roy would rather be remembered who he was, not how he performed on the field. I am so humbled to say thank you to all of you on Roy’s behalf.”
The class of 2019 also includes closer Mariano Rivera, starting pitcher Mike Mussina, designated hitter Edgar Martinez, closer Lee Smith and DH/outfielder Harold Baines.
Rivera, taking the podium last as he predicted, had to wait for the chants of his name to stop before he began a speech that included a brief thank you to his native Panama and the fans there.
“You’re special for me,” said Rivera, the all-time saves leader with 652. “Thank you for your help. Latin American fans, thank you. Thank you for loving me. I’m so humbled and blessed to receive this incredible honour. God bless you all.”
Part of a core with shortstop Derek Jeter, left-hander Andy Pettitte and catcher Jorge Posada, all of whom were in the audience, Rivera helped lead the New York Yankees to five World Series titles from 1996-2009. He posted 42 saves and a 0.70 ERA over 16 post-seasons, including 11 saves in the World Series.
Mussina, a right-hander who starred in college for Stanford, pitched for 18 major league seasons and spent his entire career in the high-scoring American League East with the Baltimore Orioles and Yankees.
A five-time all-star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he posted a record of 270-153, pitching 3,362 2/3 innings with 2,813 strikeouts, 785 walks and an ERA of 3.68. He also had 57 complete games in 536 starts and was the first AL pitcher to win at least 10 games 17 times.
Martinez, a seven-time all-star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner for Seattle, where he spent his entire 18-year career, Martinez delivered the first part of his speech in Spanish before congratulating the other five inductees.
“It is hard to believe that a dream that started when I was 10 years old [ended here],” said Martinez, who was born in New York and grew up in Puerto Rico. “The first time I saw Roberto Clemente all I wanted to do was play the game. What an honour to have my plaque in the Hall alongside his.”
Martinez won two AL batting titles and led the league in on-base percentage three times and was named the outstanding designated hitter five times, an award that now bears his name. When he retired, Martinez was one of only six players in history with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 500 doubles and 300 home runs.
Smiling from beginning to end, Smith congratulated his new classmates before crediting his family and hometown of Castor, La., for much of his success.
Smith pitched 18 seasons for the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Boston, St. Louis, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Montreal and retired as MLB’s all-time saves leader with 478, a title he held for 13 seasons. That total ranks third all-time, as do his 802 games finished.
A seven-time all-star, Smith led his league in saves four times and reached the 30-save mark in 10 seasons. And he was a workhorse — of Smith’s 478 saves, 169 required at least four outs and 94 required two or more innings.
The soft -spoken Baines never displayed much emotion in his 22-year career, but his voice cracked throughout his speech.
“Somehow I acquired a reputation for not saying much. I’m not sure why,” he deadpanned at the start. “From teachers to coaches who showed me kindness and discipline, I thank you all for what you’ve done for me. If I can leave you with one message, it’s to give back to your community. I stand here very humbled. It has taken time to sink in.”
Baines, the first overall pick in the 1977 draft by the White Sox, played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Texas, Oakland, Baltimore and Cleveland. He was a six-time all-star, and twice won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.
An eight-time .300 hitter who reached the 20-homer mark in 11 seasons, Baines drove in at least 90 runs eight times and ranks 34th on the all-time list with 1,628 RBIs. He retired with 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI, one of only 17 players in MLB history to have reached both 2,800 hits and 1,600 RBI.
Tyler Skaggs had persevered through injuries to be a valuable pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.
The left-hander had posted a photo of himself and teammates in cowboy hats for their weeklong trip to Texas where he was set to start on the Fourth of July holiday.
The 27-year-old pitcher died Monday, when he was found unresponsive in his hotel room in Texas, stunning Major League Baseball and leading to the postponement of Los Angeles’ series opener against the Rangers.
Skaggs was “an important part of the Angels Family,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Carli, and his entire family during this devastating time.”
Police said they were investigating but that no foul play was suspected. Skaggs was pronounced dead at the scene.
Skaggs, who would have turned 28 on July 13 and was married just seven months ago, had been a regular in the Angels’ starting rotation since late 2016, when the left-hander returned from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with injuries repeatedly in that time but was 7-7 in 15 starts this season to help an injury-plagued rotation.
In his cowboy-themed Instagram post Sunday, Skaggs wrote “Howdy y’all” and made reference to the Texas trip for games against the Rangers and the Houston Astros this weekend.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said he was “deeply saddened” by Skaggs’ death.
“We will support the Angels’ organization through this most difficult period, and we will make a variety of resources available to Tyler’s teammates and other members of the baseball family,” Manfred said in a statement.
At the team’s hotel about 20 miles from the ballpark, All-Star centre fielder Mike Trout was among players in the lobby and a nearby patio before they all left together to go to another part of the hotel. None of the players spoke to reporters, but Trout shared his thoughts on Twitter .
“Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts… we love you, 45,” Trout said in the post.
A fan with an Angels jersey sat on a rock wall near the hotel entrance with a bouquet of flowers attached to a balloon that read “thank you.”
Skaggs is the first Angels player to die during a season since Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunken driver 10 years ago. The 22-year-old rookie right-hander was coming off his first start of the 2009 season, his fourth career game in the big leagues.
Jose Fernandez, a two-time All-Star pitcher for the Miami Marlins, was killed in a boating crash near Miami Beach, Florida, in September 2016. He was 24.
Pitcher Darryl Kile, who played in the majors for 12 seasons (1992-2002) was on the road with the St. Louis Cardinals when he died in June 2002 in his Chicago hotel room at age 33. Albert Pujols, now a member of the Angels, was Kile’s teammate then.
The Angels clubhouse was never opened to the media before players and coaches who had already arrived for Monday night’s game left together to return to the hotel.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels and manager Chris Woodward told their players what had happened and dismissed them.
Woodward described it as “one of those moments where you’re just kind of numb” and said the Rangers were thinking about Skaggs’ family and the Angels organization.
“There were a lot of pretty emotional guys in there,” Woodward said. “Some guys that didn’t even know him were visibly shaken.”
Rangers officials said there had been no discussions on the status of Tuesday’s game or the rest of what was supposed to be a four-game series. They said only that Monday’s game would not be made up this week.
“Real life takes precedence here,” Daniels said. “Some things are a lot bigger than baseball.”
Angels statement on the passing of Tyler Skaggs. <a href=”https://t.co/6XA2Vu1uWV”>pic.twitter.com/6XA2Vu1uWV</a>
The Angels’ Triple-A team, the Salt Lake Bees, also postponed their scheduled game at Tacoma on Monday night.
Skaggs was born in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Woodland Hills, in the far western part of the sprawling San Fernando Valley. He graduated from Santa Monica High School in 2009, when the Angels drafted him in the first round.
The Angels traded Skaggs to Arizona in 2010, and he started his big league career with 13 appearances over two seasons for the Diamondbacks. The Angels reacquired him in December 2013, and he won 25 games over five seasons with the club.
Skaggs started a career-high 24 games last season, going 8-10 with a 4.02 ERA. He missed playing time in April this season with a sprained ankle but came back strong.
Skaggs was part of the same Angels’ draft class as Trout, and they were roommates in the low minor leagues before Skaggs was traded to Arizona. They played on the same team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2010.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, who played with Skaggs in the Diamondbacks organization, tweeted: “We came up together. We won together. We laughed and celebrated together. Today, we all lose and mourn together.”
Skaggs’ mother, Debbie, was the longtime softball coach at Santa Monica High School. She famously provided postgame tips on his pitching mechanics, even deep into his big-league career.
Skaggs grew up in Santa Monica, on the west side of the sprawling Los Angeles metroplex, but rooted for the Angels instead of the closer Dodgers.
Canadian pitcher James Paxton threw a no-hitter for the Seattle Mariners against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in a 5-0 win at the Rogers Centre.
The 29-year-old lefty from Ladner, B.C., became the first Canadian to achieve the feat since Dick Fowler of Toronto pitched a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Athletics on Sept. 9, 1945. The six foot four Paxton is also the first Canadian to throw a no-hitter in his home country and the first pitcher to throw one against the Blue Jays since Justin Verlander's no-hit performance with the Detroit Tigers on May 7, 2011.
Paxton pointed to a tattoo on his right forearm of a maple leaf as he celebrated to a standing ovation at Rogers Centre.
"Of all places, to do it in Toronto, it's pretty amazing," said Paxton, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2009 but did not sign with the team. "The fans were great. They were giving me some trouble in the seventh inning, but once I got past that, they started kind of cheering me on. It was cool."
It was the third no-hitter of the 2018 MLB season; Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea no-hit the Boston Red Sox on April 21, while four Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers — Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore — combined to no-hit the San Diego Padres on May 4 in Mexico City.
Efficient effort from 'Big Maple'
Coming off a career-high 16 strikeouts in his last start, Paxton — who was selected by the Mariners in the 2010 draft — was electric once again, hitting 100 mph with his fastball while retiring Josh Donaldson on a grounder with his 99th pitch to end it.
Paxton (2-1) struck out seven, walked three and benefited from an outstanding play by third baseman Kyle Seager. With two outs in the seventh, Seager made a full-length diving stop on speedy Kevin Pillar's grounder down the line, then slung an off-balance throw that first baseman Ryon Healy snagged on one hop.
Kyle Seager’s going to get a nice steak dinner from <a href="https://twitter.com/James_Paxton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@James_Paxton</a>. <a href="https://t.co/sZK2O0NaQC">pic.twitter.com/sZK2O0NaQC</a>
Russell Martin led off the Toronto eighth with a long drive that left fielder Ben Gamel caught near the wall.
"What a defence tonight. That was amazing. Those guys were making every play," Paxton said.
Anthony Alford fouled out on the first pitch to begin the ninth and Teoscar Hernandez struck out swinging. Donaldson ended it with a hard one-hopper to Seager.
Healy pumped his fist after catching Seager's throw, and the Mariners streamed out of the dugout, dousing their pitcher with a cooler as the crowd of 20,513 cheered.
After his teammates had left the field, Paxton came back out and waved to the fans as they clapped in appreciation of his feat.
Paxton's season has taken off since a bald eagle mistakenly landed on his shoulder before a start last month. The pitcher affectionately known as "Big Maple" is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA over seven starts since the bird stuck its talons into his back before the Minnesota Twins' home opener.
BREAKING: <a href="https://twitter.com/James_Paxton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@James_Paxton</a> becomes the 1st pitcher in <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/Mariners?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Mariners</a> history to throw a no-hitter after being attacked by a bald eagle (probably). <a href="https://t.co/Plt83IViYK">pic.twitter.com/Plt83IViYK</a>
This was the sixth no-hitter for the Mariners franchise, and the first since Hisashi Iwakuma did it against Baltimore in 2015. Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game in 2012, and Randy Johnson tossed Seattle's first no-hitter in 1990. Toronto has been no-hit five times.
Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer as the Mariners improved to 12-6 on the road.
Marcus Stroman (0-5) remained winless in seven starts. The right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings, and has a 7.71 ERA.
Phillippe Aumont will never forget carrying his luggage into the Philadelphia Phillies clubhouse on Aug. 21, 2012, two days before pitching a scoreless inning of relief against the Cincinnati Reds in his major-league debut. And he’ll never forget the first player he saw — ace right-hander Roy Halladay.
“We played at 7 p.m. and no players usually showed up until 2 or 2:30,” Aumont recalled. “He was in shorts, a T-shirt and was sweating. He’d already been working out. I said, ‘Hey Roy, how are you doing?’ and he said, ‘Hey Phillippe, welcome to the big leagues. Have fun.’
”He had remembered my name. I was like, ‘This is great.’ I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life.”
Halladay died Tuesday at age 40 in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. Aumont heard the news that afternoon as he was shopping in Gatineau, Que. In mid-October, he lost another former teammate when Chicago White Sox pitcher Daniel Webb, 28, was killed in an ATV accident in Tennessee.
“Another tragic accident. They’re gone forever,” Aumont said. “You have to absorb everything and enjoy life and everything you do.”
Aumont, who spent parts of four seasons in the Phillies organization, remembers Halladay as a confident man, intense in the gym and on the mound, and intimidating in a way.
“Roy was more of a silent leader for me,” said Aumont, who played this year with the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League. “I looked up to him from afar. I always envied the way he worked, the way he took care of business.”
They first met at the Phillies’ spring training camp in 2010 after Halladay had been acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-player deal on Dec. 16, 2009.
Shy by nature, Aumont always took the initiative to introduce himself to new players who were older and had more service time in the majors than he did.
“I got to say hi to him. Everything with him was very, very quick,” Aumont said. “I was 21 years old and this was The Man. I’m about to wear the same uniform as this guy.”
The six-foot-six, 225-pound Halladay went on to win a Cy Young Award in 2010 as the top pitcher in the National League to go with his 2003 American League honour. He pitched a perfect game on May 29, 2010 against Florida before no-hitting Cincinnati in the playoffs later that season.
At one Phillies spring workout, Aumont took a foul ball off the left forearm from one of Halladay’s buddies, professional sport fisherman Skeet Reese. After his bullpen session, Halladay checked in on a bruised Aumont while Reese returned to give him a fishing reel.
“I still have that reel, so I think I’m going to keep it for life,” said Aumont, who was taken 11th overall by the Seattle Mariners in 2007, the first player from Quebec to be chosen in the first round of the MLB amateur draft.
Though he was never able to win a full-time job with the Phillies, during his brief stints with the team Aumont would analyze Halladay’s mechanics in the bullpen.
“Every fifth day when Roy was on the mound and I was in Philly, it was unreal to watch. The greatest thing ever,” Aumont, now 28, said. “He was prepared and his mechanics were flawless. I mean, flawless.”
Aumont says each of Halladay’s steps on the mound were the same, as was his step behind the rubber when he went into his windup. When the man nicknamed ‘Doc’ toed the rubber, Aumont points out, it was one spot. And when Halladay landed with his left leg, it was a perfect print.
‘Roy will be a part of me for the rest of my life in so many ways.’— Canadian pitcher Phillippe Aumont on former Phillies teammate, the late Roy Halladay
“It was unbelievable,” said Aumont, who represented Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and later won a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. “The way he comes back and into his motion, where he’s crunched and pushes off the leg, and his arms are separating, those are the things I picture in my mind when I throw the ball.”
On days with Ottawa when Aumont’s pitches were “all over the place,” he would take a step back and attempt to mimic Halladay.
“I would do the same windup as him for five or six pitches and then go back to my mechanics, but picturing Roy doing his mechanics — how he separated his hands and crunched [his body]. When I’m at my best, it’s because I’m picturing Roy throwing the ball,” Aumont said.
Intent on attempting a major league comeback in 2018, Aumont will be in Arizona later this week trying to find a team. Should he run into trouble on the mound, he’ll be thinking of Halladay.
“Roy will be a part of me for the rest of my life in so many ways,” Aumont said, before delivering a final farewell to his ex-teammate. “Thank you for being you and everything you did in the game. It’s a blessing we crossed paths in our careers and I got a chance to look up to you from a closer distance, but far away.”