On July 1st of this year, tragedy struck baseball and the Angels organization with the death of starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. His toxicology report, released August 31st, revealed some startling information. His death was due to choking on his own vomit, after overdosing and passing out on a concoction that included alcohol, oxycodone and fentanyl (an illegal, synthetic street drug).
While the opioid epidemic is a well-documented issue in America, the bigger issue here is that an Angels employee told the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) that he sold Skaggs the drugs, that Skaggs had extensive drug abuse, told other team officials about it and named other players on the Angels that use opiates.
Eric Kay works PR for the Angels. He is their Director of Communications. He told the DEA the names of 5 players who use opiates (identities unknown). Michael Molfetta, who’s Kay’s attorney, corroborated his story in a separate interview. Kay reportedly sold six different oxycodone pills to players the day before Skaggs death, including 3 to Skaggs. Reporters knew to ask about the drug deals when they found texts that linked Kay to Skaggs death. Kay provided Venmo screenshots of the transactions, which ranged from $150 to $600.
Kay revealed to investigators that he himself witnessed Skaggs snorting 3 lines of crushes opiates right in front of him. Two of them were oxycodone that he provided; the other was an unrecognized substance that he believed to be fentanyl. He did not know how Skaggs would get his fentanyl. Kay did confirm he did not take any drugs offered by Skaggs and that his (Kay) medications would negate the trip.
Kay is currently an outpatient for substance abuse, in which his mom told Outside the Lines that he started abusing drugs in 1998. Kay is on paid leave by the Los Angeles Angels.
Kay, who’s on his second trip of rehab in 2019 alone, was in the hospital from overdose in April. While in the hospital, he received a text from Skaggs asking for drugs. Angels VP and Kay’s wife reportedly were in the room and responded to Skaggs, telling him to “get off his back.” Mead resigned from the organization in June and is currently the president of Cooperstown. Mead has denied the allegations.
A spokesperson of Major League Baseball said that “MLB was unaware of any of this allegations. MLB will fully cooperate with the government investigation and conduct its own investigation when the government investigation is complete.”
Under MLB protocol, any team official who knows about a player using and/or abusing drugs is mandated to report it to Rob Manfred’s office as soon as they’re made aware. The Angels never notified the Commissioner’s Office.
Kay, who’s best friends with Mead, has been in the Angels organization for 24 years.
Pro Sports Extra will keep you updated on the situation.
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