A report by Bill Shaikin in the LA Times discusses a deepening probe into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Long after the ceremonial mourning and the coroner’s report the notion of who might have been complicit in the man’s death is being investigated.
The job of the grand jury in this case is to ascertain if there is enough evidence to indict someone on criminal charges in the death of Skaggs. While the report only alluded to two unnamed sources, it had no problem naming a few names of club personnel who might be up the proverbial Sheist Creek if any complicity on their part can be proven.
The first is Eric Kay, on the surface a company man in the team’s PR department, but underneath that a pitiful addict struggling to maintain that work/habit balance providing oxycodone to Skaggs and apparently feeding his own addiction along the way. ESPN reported that Kay cooperated with Texas investigators, admitting he had scored six Oxy pills and had given three to Skaggs. The Angels pitcher mixed pills and booze and aspirated on his own vomit on July 1. The Four Letter network also reported that Kay was in a substance abuse program as of October.
Shaikin reports that the Angels are cooperating via Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey. He cites a former prosecutor saying that while the probe could be limited to this specific incident, a grand jury could expand to a much wider probe of opioids in professional sports.
All the evidence that comes to light could incriminate two Angels front office legends: Tim Mead and traveling secretary Tom Taylor, who Kay has alleged knew Skaggs was using and that Kay was supplying. Mead left the team after over thirty years with an early season victory lap to become the president of baseball’s Hall of Fame. This allegation has pretty much been the only spot on Mead’s record, but it could be a costly one – a revelation that a team executive knowing that an active “fixer” was “taking care” of a player (or players) could be worth tens of millions of dollars in a potential wrongful-death lawsuit that the Skaggs family could pursue.
Knowing the clubby, closed-door corporate culture of Angels management, nothing in Kay’s tale sounds far-fetched. Stay tuned; the lost wages Tyler Skaggs never earned may one day come back from that Arlington road trip… and Arte Moreno’s wallet will never be the same…
Photo by Rex Fregosi
At first glance it appears like the grand jury is going after the people Kay or Skaggs were getting drugs from. Shaikin references the Mac Miller death as one that had drug dealers rounded up in the aftermath.
The bombshell obviously would be a team doctor being involved outside an approved/ethical scope. That would likely leave the Angels organization vulnerable to a massive lawsuit and major punishment from MLB.
I agree. If there is even a hint that Angels management knew something was going on it could be a law suit against the Angels organization. Hasn’t the family mentioned it?
Yes. They are in no immediate danger of blowing the statute of limitations, at least in California. I am sure they eagerly await the decision of this grand jury to point the way for them.
Has there been any evidence that we know of that management knew that he was getting the pills from Eric Kay?
Management has denied knowledge (Mead) or remained silent on the issue. We don’t know what Kay has been telling the cops. That is why this Grand Jury thing is intense. If they granted him some form of immunity he could be ratting out people all over the place. We don’t get to know what the Grand Jury hears until the indictment comes out.
Ok, then it sounds like 100% conjecture then at this point. Careful about assuming any veracity from the statements of a man flailing away for his life to try and stay out of prison. Mead and the organization would be wise to remain silent on this until everything is cleared up with law enforcement, that’s what every organization would do. You let the attorneys sort out the information behind closed doors.
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Not surprised that a drug related death is being reviewed. Whether they pursue charges against anyone or not will be huge for the Angels future.
Kay already is willing to roll over on anyone to save himself, which really makes this a soap opera.
Criminal charges are a pretty big deal. What Eric Kay was doing, he could easily be charged with drug dealing.
It’ll be interesting to see if the screws get put to him on this and if he rolls over on others to get out of it. Or, if he just takes his punishment. Or, if he just gets off with a slap on the hand and major charges aren’t pursued.
It’ll be interesting to see this unfold and if they go after low level folks, sr mgmt, Arte or just chalk this up to Skaggs being his own man making his own choices.
He might even be charged with a negligent homicide (manslaughter) if the fatal pill gets traced back to him. Kay is in a lot of trouble.
Will be interesting to see what the case has to reveal, and what the verdict will be. The jury is still out…
Nothingburger. A couple grown men made bad decisions after work hours. This faded from the public’s attention and will fade from the grand jury’s attention soon enough.
I think MLB will be really cautious not to sweep this one under the rug the way they were caught doing with the Astros scandal. It could be ugly, particularly if more experienced investigative guys like TJ Quinn get more info than our local beat reporters who are in way over their head with this type of story.
I was wondering what was going to happen with this. It seems to not have been given any attention with all the focus on the trash can banging. Makes me think of that line in National Treasure when the FBI guy and Nicholas Cage are sitting on the steps inside of a church and the FBI guys says “Well somebody has to go to jail…” (I think that was the movie).
Northern Texas. Juries love Plaintiffs there.