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Friday, August 30, 2019

Tyler Skaggs: Fentanyl, oxycodone, alcohol led to death| LA Times

Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs had the opioids fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol in his system when he was found dead in his Texas hotel room July 1, according to a toxicology report released Friday by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

The cause of death is listed as a mixture of “alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents,” meaning Skaggs, 27, essentially choked on his vomit while under the influence. The death, according to the report, was ruled an accident. He was found on his bed, fully clothed, and there were no signs of trauma.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:13 PM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, r.i.p., tyler skaggs

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   1. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:22 PM (#5875722)
Well ####.
   2. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5875726)
Well ####.


My thought exactly.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5875727)
The illegal Fentanyl on the drug market is bad ####. Yet another lovely gift from our friends in the P.R.C.
   4. Greg Pope Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5875729)
I'm not really up to date on drug use. Honest question. Are those drugs more of a "get high" kind or thing, or an "addicted to painkillers" kind of thing? Is this part of the opiod crisis?
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:41 PM (#5875731)
I'm not really up to date on drug use. Honest question. Are those drugs more of a "get high" kind or thing, or an "addicted to painkillers" kind of thing? Is this part of the opiod crisis?

Both. But, I think the deaths are mostly due to the "get high" kind. IV use is driving the deaths. Fentanyl is cheap and makes Heroin stronger.

People with chronic pain popping illegal pills is definitely part of the opioid epidemic, but that's more of the "wasted lives" damage than the OD death damage.

Edit: and BTW, the reaction to the opioid epidemic is absolutely terrible for people with actual acute or chronic pain. I get sent home from the hospital on a Friday before a long weekend with instructions to take 2 pills every 4 hours, and a prescription for 12 pills.

When I pointed out the math to them, and asked how I was supposed to get more over the w/e, they couldn't care less. "Luckily" I had had several previous surgeries, and had leftover pain meds from those.
   6. Sunday silence Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5875740)
Hope you feel better snapper
   7. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5875746)
This is going to get ugly.
Tyler Skaggs Family: Angels Employee May Have Been Involved in Death

One of the things I thought after hearing about the autopsy was whether other players were using oxy or similar things.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5875748)
Sigh. I wish I were more surprised.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5875757)
note that Texas attorney Rusty Hardin - on unofficial retainer here at BBTF - has been hired by the family.

(sh)it just got real.
   10. . Posted: August 30, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5875766)
I had sports hernia surgery like four years ago, they gave me oxy to help with the post-op pain, I took it twice, it totally felt like I was taking drugs drugs, so I stopped and went with ibuprofen. Which definitely caused me some extra pain. I completely, totally, entirely understand why it's so addicting.
   11. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 06:21 PM (#5875768)
My wife is an anesthesiologist, so I always have a reference to talk to when I need to know about fentanyl. The amounts she uses for surgery are so small, and obviously the stuff being used by addicts/users is sometimes synthetic, sometimes way too much, and simply generally abused by people who have no idea what they are dealing with. Its hazardous. I know some courts who will not let the prosecutors parade the stuff into the courtroom, the way they always do bricks of cocaine.
   12. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: August 30, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5875778)
Edit: and BTW, the reaction to the opioid epidemic is absolutely terrible for people with actual acute or chronic pain. I get sent home from the hospital on a Friday before a long weekend with instructions to take 2 pills every 4 hours, and a prescription for 12 pills.


Well, there's something to be said for the notion that these pills were never intended for that use when developed. They were designed for survival anaesthetic and palliative care, specifically because the known risk of abuse is so high.

They're the best thing going for chronic pain, but there's probably an argument that if their use hadn't spread outside that initial framework we might have safer alternatives by now.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5875782)
Hope you feel better snapper

Thanks! It's been 6 years since the last of my chronic surgeries, so I'm pretty good.

I had sports hernia surgery like four years ago, they gave me oxy to help with the post-op pain, I took it twice, it totally felt like I was taking drugs drugs, so I stopped and went with ibuprofen. Which definitely caused me some extra pain. I completely, totally, entirely understand why it's so addicting.

I've had 9-10 (?) surgeries (I've actually kind of lost count) took opiates for 1-2 weeks after each, and never had any trouble quitting. They do nothing for me except take away the pain, and make my nose itch.

I think it's purely a brain chemistry thing. If you're subject to their influence on your brain, it's easy to get addicted, if you're not, it's very hard.
   14. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:40 PM (#5875789)
I'm not really up to date on drug use. Honest question. Are those drugs more of a "get high" kind or thing, or an "addicted to painkillers" kind of thing? Is this part of the opiod crisis?


oxy had been the opiod of choice for (white) junkies over the last two decades. until recently, oxy was relatively easy to acquire via opiod "pill mills", however, because of the government's recent crackdown on legal prescription medication, it is now much harder to obtain (legally or otherwise). in response, dealers and their suppliers are experimenting with various cocktails of dangerous chemicals to try to fill the void left in that wake.

fentanyl is popular for a number of reasons, among them:
-- it's cheap.
-- it's extremely powerful.
-- it's easy to transport.

however...fentanyl is not a "street" drug. you don't buy it for a fix like heroin or oxy; hell, your dealer's dealer probably doesn't even touch the stuff himself. so how does it wind up killing so many people? well, wholesalers use fentanyl to spike batches of other street level drugs because it's cheap and powerful, which means they can cut it into rat poison and powdered milk to stretch their supply and boost their profits. of course, people are greedy, so that process can happen two or three (or more) times before it gets to the end user, who even if they weren't junkies, they'd have no way to know they're about to use it.


   15. cardsfanboy Posted: August 30, 2019 at 08:50 PM (#5875790)
not to be too ignorant... but when he died, and they said it was going to be until October or so before we knew the results of the autopsy... it had to be pretty obvious to everyone that it was going to end up drug related some way or another.... it was very unlikely it was going to end up being "undiagnosed brain embolism" at that point in time.
   16. calming him down with his 57i66135 Posted: August 30, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5875797)
a few other thoughts:

-- my use of the word "junkie" is more of a descriptor than a pejorative. a lot of people got hooked on this stuff because it was proscribed to them by their doctors for a legitimate purpose. through no (or little) fault of their own, they became addicts.

-- oxy is very expensive compared to, say, heroin, and so a lot of users who start with oxy transition to the cheaper alternative when they run out of money #gatewaydrug.

-- it's worth discussing the difference between "addiction" and "dependence". i'm not going to do that here, but it's kind of important.

-- from 2009:
In the face of a growing number of deaths and cases of HIV linked to drug abuse, the Portuguese government in 2001 tried a new tack to get a handle on the problem—it decriminalized the use and possession of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other illicit street drugs. The theory: focusing on treatment and prevention instead of jailing users would decrease the number of deaths and infections.
...
"Drug decriminalization did reach its primary goal in Portugal," of reducing the health consequences of drug use, he says, "and did not lead to Lisbon becoming a drug tourist destination."
-- from 2015:
Among Portuguese adults, there are 3 drug overdose deaths for every 1,000,000 citizens. Comparable numbers in other countries range from 10.2 per million in the Netherlands to 44.6 per million in the U.K., all the way up to 126.8 per million in Estonia. The E.U. average is 17.3 per million.
...
the use of "legal highs" -- like so-called "synthetic" marijuana, "bath salts" and the like -- is lower in Portugal than in any of the other countries for which reliable data exists.
...
"The reality is that Portugal’s drug situation has improved significantly in several key areas. Most notably, HIV infections and drug-related deaths have decreased, while the dramatic rise in use feared by some has failed to materialise."

-- from 2019:
[The number of people in Portugal] arrested and sent to criminal courts annually decreased by 60 percent. The percentage of newly diagnosed HIV infections associated with drug use dropped from 52 percent in 2000 to a low of approximately 5 percent in 2015. And drug overdose fatalities also dropped by 85 percent between 1999 and 2015.
...
drug use in Portugal remained relatively flat, including among adolescents, at rates lower than other European nations and the United States.

   17. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: August 30, 2019 at 09:26 PM (#5875802)
Back in 2010 I had some surgery on my neck, and they sent me home with dilaudid. I didn't take them, because I'd rather poop than not poop.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2019 at 09:30 PM (#5875807)
I'd rather poop than not poop.
Come on. This is entirely context-dependent.
   19. base ball chick Posted: August 30, 2019 at 09:35 PM (#5875809)
why is this so depressing?

because when just about anyone under 40 is found dead it is because of junk?

did his teammates have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO idea he was doing drugs? especially his close friends? why do we not try to stop people we care about from doing drugs?

i feel for the ones who really had no idea he was using - it is harder to accept a life wasted on stupid drugs. easier if he had some weird heart thing or died form a seizure or something, not drugs. something that couldn't have been prevented or stopped was, i guess, fate. this was just another in the long story of dying from stupid junk.
   20. The Duke Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:08 PM (#5875817)
I think people hide their bad habits pretty well. I’m not surprised most people didn’t know. Most of these guys are probably always dealing with injuries that require painkillers. It wouldn’t even register imo.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5875828)
It’s tough to talk to people about bad habits. I’m overweight but my friends and family never say anything about it to me and if they did I’m sure I’d get annoyed. Not the same thing of course but same concept.

I mean how do you have that conversation? Hey Tyler, stop doing Oxy. When he says no what is the next step?No one wants to turn a friend into the police. I agree with bbc that we SHOULD say/do more with those closest to us but that’s easier said than done unfortunately.
   22. base ball chick Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5875838)
Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: August 30, 2019 at 10:54 PM (#5875828)

It’s tough to talk to people about bad habits.


- oh god don't i know it. i feel much worse in the end about having kept my mouth shut than i think i would have had i said something and been yelled at or cut off


I’m overweight but my friends and family never say anything about it to me and if they did I’m sure I’d get annoyed. Not the same thing of course but same concept.


- what about your long time baseball friends?

I mean how do you have that conversation? Hey Tyler, stop doing Oxy.


- they do have rehab in the ML if they player asks instead of being caught. do you say to your friend- turn yourself in or i will? CC didn't get punished. of course, he drank which is legal..

When he says no what is the next step?No one wants to turn a friend into the police.


- no not the cops of course
sigh
i can still hear amy winehouse singing about rehab

I agree with bbc that we SHOULD say/do more with those closest to us but that’s easier said than done unfortunately


- too many people won't get help - i mean, refuse it even if you DO interfere
   23. Walt Davis Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:30 PM (#5875840)
No one wants to turn a friend into the police

A player could report a fellow player to the Union which could then put it to the Treatment Board that could decide that whatever evidence there is meets the standard of reasonable cause. They can then test the player and, upon a positive, assign treatment, etc. But I doubt there are many cases where a player would have sufficiently strong evidence to meet that standard but maybe "he told me" or "I saw him" would be sufficient. Anyway, there are steps that can be taken other than personal confrontation and going to the police.

More realistically, go to the Union rep. Maybe the Union rep will approach him, get somebody in the Union office to contact him (rather than a teammate) or decide this would be a good time to hold a team union meeting in which he reminds everybody that the Union/MLB offer help and maybe the player will take the hint.
   24. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: August 30, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5875841)
Walt I agree with everything you say but I don’t think that’s an easy thing to do emotionally.
   25. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 31, 2019 at 12:17 AM (#5875844)
I don't have any idea of how someone high on fentanyl would behave. The behavioral pattern if someone is drunk on alcohol or stoned on weed is pretty distinctive and recognizable. What would be the tip offs to suspect if someone is using the type of drugs that Skaggs had in his body?
   26. Howie Menckel Posted: August 31, 2019 at 12:29 AM (#5875845)
if anyone on BBTF has ever known of someone with a compulsive or substance abuse problem and couldn't solve it - wait, that's everyone.

we do have a "late check-in" for anyone over 40 who believes they have been immune so far. look again.

and this from a poster who led the actual charmed life for 40 years. but eventually, nobody can honestly say they are exempt.

it hits all of us.
   27. Dr. Pooks Posted: August 31, 2019 at 01:41 AM (#5875848)
What would be the tip offs to suspect if someone is using the type of drugs that Skaggs had in his body?

Other than obvious signs like being obtunded, some subtle physical signs might include tiny, constricted pupils.

Of course, pupils can also appear tiny in a very bright environment.
   28. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 31, 2019 at 07:03 AM (#5875855)
Another issue -- because opioids have a knockout effect, it's easy to imagine Skaggs using them not long before bed. So it's possible that no one ever saw him on them, or if they did any effects could easily be written off as fatigue (and maybe booze) at the end of long day.
   29. Sunday silence Posted: August 31, 2019 at 08:51 AM (#5875870)

not to be too ignorant... but when he died, and they said it was going to be until October or so before we knew the results of the autopsy... it had to be pretty obvious to everyone that it was going to end up drug related some way or another.


It wasnt so obvious to me, but this brings up another question: why are the results being released now? I thought we were going to have to wait 6 mos. or whatever.
   30. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: August 31, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5875877)
Come on. This is entirely context-dependent.


Explain?

I'll clarify (maybe): Opioids constipate me.
   31. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: August 31, 2019 at 09:42 AM (#5875879)
You missed the joke. Contexts:

- sitting in your bathroom after a fine bowl of meusli: would rather poop
- on the dance floor at the local discotheque: would rather not poop
   32. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 31, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5875944)
A rather speculative article about possible wrongful death litigation.
   33. Sunday silence Posted: August 31, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5875952)
Glad a couple of primates are doing better.
   34. cardsfanboy Posted: August 31, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5875958)
It wasnt so obvious to me, but this brings up another question: why are the results being released now? I thought we were going to have to wait 6 mos. or whatever.


it was supposed to come out some time in October, but sometimes test results come back sooner than expected.


To me it was obvious, simply because they(the police or whoever) never stated "no drugs or other substances were found." This indicates to me that something was found, and that they were just being cautious waiting as long as possible to mention it.. so even if the drugs weren't the cause, it felt like it was pretty obvious that some type of drugs were found with him. (when Kile died, it was leaked that drugs(pot) were found in his possession, even though the cause of death wasn't directly related... I think that might have helped shape how they try to release information to the public going forward)
   35. jingoist Posted: August 31, 2019 at 06:40 PM (#5876001)
“alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone”
Talk about a trifecta...
Get stoned, get tired, pass out, them puke in your sleep and aspirate your vomit.

My condolences to the Skagg family over this tragedy.

After L3 through L5 fusion and two knee replacement surgeries I was prescribed OxyContin.
Really helped with the pain but seized up my bowels so bad it was an unbelievable process to “get regular”
Don’t know how people get hooked on oxy if they can’t poop, unless they stop eating so they don’t need to poop.

Interesting that we find capitalism and the public health at the crossroads over this prescription drug epidemic.
Whoever came up with the quote about “creative destruction “ and capitalism was right on, at levels they probably never imagined .
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5889815)
Angels not looking good here:
A public relations employee for the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years, and that two team officials were told about Skaggs' drug use long before his death, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.

Eric Kay, the Angels' director of communications, also gave U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the names of five other players who he believed were using opiates while they were Angels, the sources said.
   37. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 12, 2019 at 05:14 PM (#5889831)
A public relations employee for the Los Angeles Angels told federal investigators that he provided oxycodone to Tyler Skaggs and abused it with him for years, and that two team officials were told about Skaggs' drug use long before his death, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.


That's going to be a hell of a lawsuit by the Skaggs family against the Angels.
   38. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: October 12, 2019 at 05:33 PM (#5889838)
This sounds like pretty much the worst case scenario possible: multiple team employees aware, at least one acquiring and distributing drugs illegally, and a number of current/former players and employees abusing opioids. Unless this report is way off Angels employees are going to prison and Arte is going to be paying a massive settlement or judgment (there is no way insurance covers any of this right?).
   39. ajnrules Posted: October 12, 2019 at 05:42 PM (#5889844)
Other damning reports from other coverage:
Kay also reportedly told investigators about two team officials that he informed of Skaggs’ drug use, one of whom was former longtime vice president of communications Tim Mead, who left this year to become president of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Mead, though denied to ESPN that he was aware that Skaggs used opioids before his death.

The Angels released a statement Saturday afternoon denying any knowledge of a team employee providing drugs to any players.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2019 at 06:57 PM (#5889891)
Unless this report is way off Angels employees are going to prison and Arte is going to be paying a massive settlement or judgment (there is no way insurance covers any of this right?).
I’m not so sure about that, based on the limited information available. It’s not all that clear that Skaggs estate will be able to show that the drugs supplied by Kay caused his death. The article indicates Skaggs was looking for more drugs after after his encounter with Kay. It’s also not that clear who was leading who astray. Skaggs seems pretty hard-core, supposedly contacting Kay while Kay was hospitalized after his own overdose, looking to get drugs. It seems that Skaggs may have been a long-time user who used his position to out-source the risk to a fellow user in a less prominent position. Not sure what the state law is, or even which state law will be applicable (Skaggs died in Texas, but some key events were in California), but I don’t think an employer is vicariously liable for harm that comes to its employees using illegal drugs, so much might depend on more info. Of course, the whole thing is a PR nightmare, and mounting a defense that attempts to paint Skaggs as the bad guy could risk a lot of unfavorable publicity.
   41. Tin Angel Posted: October 12, 2019 at 09:02 PM (#5889944)
I’m not so sure about that, based on the limited information available. It’s not all that clear that Skaggs estate will be able to show that the drugs supplied by Kay caused his death.


I'm not trying to be cold, but it is just incredible that the guy snorting lines of Oxycodone (repeatedly), along with other stuff, is not at fault. It's the guy let him purchase it that should be held accountable...time to sue to get a few more millions. Welcome to America.
   42. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: October 12, 2019 at 09:34 PM (#5889954)
I'm not trying to be cold, but it is just incredible that the guy snorting lines of Oxycodone (repeatedly), along with other stuff, is not at fault. It's the guy let him purchase it that should be held accountable...time to sue to get a few more millions. Welcome to America.

An Angels employee was dealing drugs and allegedly it was reported to his supervisor.
   43. pikepredator Posted: October 13, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5890066)
I'm not trying to be cold, but it is just incredible that the guy snorting lines of Oxycodone (repeatedly), along with other stuff, is not at fault. It's the guy let him purchase it that should be held accountable


the guy snorting lines has already paid the price. Providing illegal drugs is also a crime, and needs to be punished. Ignoring it (as it appears the Angels did) is some level of negligence (IANAL), I don't know how Criminal it is, but I find it far more likely the Angels' denials are procedural/at the advice of counsel. The story where Kay's mom and wife are in the hospital with Tim Mead and they're saying "hey, these guys need help" . . . I'd be surprised if that is made up. Whereas the whole "no one mentioned Skaggs' name/told me he was an opioid user" . . . what did they, "Ty has a drug problem and Kay is involved?" Doesn't mention Skaggs or opioids . . . OTOH I don't know why the Angels would ignore it, but maybe it IS commonplace, or as discussed above, is simply a hard topic to broach.

Pretty sure my boss has a drinking problem, but she works hard and is very appreciative and is a great boss so . . . I'm not gonna go there. And one of my best friends is really overweight, and I worry for him and his family . . . but when I've tried to talk to him, he pretty much tells me "yeah, I know, I don't want to be this way, but I've tried and I just keep failing".

Sigh. Mostly it seems like gentle encouragement, waiting for people to be ready to change, and then supporting them in any way they need is the most reliable way to help other people get past their demons. Another art of it is making sure people know you won't judge them if/when they ask for help, create an environment where they can go "hey, I have this weakness and I need help" - which is hard for most of us to do, even with trusted friends and partners.
   44. eric Posted: October 13, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5890078)

I'm not trying to be cold, but it is just incredible that the guy snorting lines of Oxycodone (repeatedly), along with other stuff, is not at fault. It's the guy let him purchase it that should be held accountable...time to sue to get a few more millions. Welcome to America.


I agree with this. Unless in some bizarre way the team was somehow forcing him to use the drugs, he's responsible for his own actions and the results of those actions. That said, Kay is also responsible for his actions (procuring/dealing drugs) and the team is responsible for "allowing" dealing to occur. Wrongful death is, IM(NAL)HO too far, but there's plenty of responsibility to go around in this situation.

That said, there will be a wrongful death (or equivalent) lawsuit, and I'm sure it will drag on for a long time.
   45. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5890118)
I don't blame a grieving family, at all, for trying to pin the blame on someone other than their loved one.

it's what we humans do.

but beyond them, I don't see why a court would not hold Skaggs as the main person accountable for his own actions.
   46. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 08:26 AM (#5890294)
I remember everyone had such great things to about Tim Mead when he took the HOF job. I wonder whether this has any effect on him in that role.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 09:01 AM (#5890300)
I don't blame a grieving family, at all, for trying to pin the blame on someone other than their loved one.

it's what we humans do.

but beyond them, I don't see why a court would not hold Skaggs as the main person accountable for his own actions.


Skaggs is certainly the main person accountable, and he's gotten the ultimate punishment. Even if he is 90% responsible that doesn't mean that the folks with the other 10% shouldn't be held accountable too.

If his employer was involved in supplying him illegal drugs, through their agents, the team has responsibility too, as do each of the individual employees.
   48. eric Posted: October 14, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5890315)
If his employer was involved in supplying him illegal drugs, through their agents, the team has responsibility too, as do each of the individual employees.


The team has responsibility for drug-dealing actions, and higher-ups implicitly allowing drug dealing. They do not have wrongful death responsibility. That's a personal view, obviously, and very unlikely the view of the law.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 09:34 AM (#5890317)
The team has responsibility for drug-dealing actions, and higher-ups implicitly allowing drug dealing. They do not have wrongful death responsibility. That's a personal view, obviously, and very unlikely the view of the law.

How does that follow? If they're responsible for the actions, how are they not responsible for the damage caused by the actions?
   50. eric Posted: October 14, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5890323)
How does that follow? If they're responsible for the actions, how are they not responsible for the damage caused by the actions?


If I am, say, Wal-mart, and I sell a set of kitchen knives to someone who then slits their wrists...or accidentally drops it, severing their femoral artery, is Wal-mart responsible? Are car dealers responsible for every accidental death from a car accident? Heck, if someone drinks themselves to death the local liquor store isn't responsible.

The "damage" of the team's actions was making the drugs available. That is the crime and should have its own penalties (it's another argument how much those are, of course). What the recipient does to himself is his own responsibility.

I can of course see an argument for the public policy concerns that have resulted in the laws we have (like the bartender who served the last drink being partially "responsible" for a drunk-driving death). And when it comes to drugs, especially since the government wants to shut down the entire supply chain they want everyone as financially culpable as possible, but it doesn't mean I agree with it. Call me a libertarian I guess. :)
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5890325)
If I am, say, Wal-mart, and I sell a set of kitchen knives to someone who then slits their wrists...or accidentally drops it, severing their femoral artery, is Wal-mart responsible? Are car dealers responsible for every accidental death from a car accident? Heck, if someone drinks themselves to death the local liquor store isn't responsible.

No, but those are legal transactions. If a store sells liquor to a 14 y.o. who goes out and kills himself, they might well be liable.

Once you get involved in criminal conduct, I think your liability should be greater.

   52. manchestermets Posted: October 14, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5890339)
Why is it that this seems to be a major problem only in the US? Is it just that the US is the country that gets the publicity for it, and it's a problem in many other places too, or is it a function of more liberal laws about what may be prescribed in the US? I have an American friend in the UK who, whenever she visits home, returns with a pile of over-the-counter painkillers that aren't over-the-counter in the UK, which is what makes me think it may be the latter.
   53. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 14, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5890341)
I would imagine it has a lot to do with the incentive structures of for-profit medicine and for-MEGA-profit pharmaceuticals here.
   54. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 14, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5890351)
in general, pharma is a cheaper up-front way of dealing with a lot of medical concerns. our system is better at treating symptoms than causes.
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5890352)

I don't think it's just a US problem, but it's worse here than elsewhere. Scandinavia and the UK/Ireland have it the worst in Europe according to this site, but those death rates are still only about 1/4-1/3 that of the US.
   56. eric Posted: October 14, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5890355)
No, but those are legal transactions. If a store sells liquor to a 14 y.o. who goes out and kills himself, they might well be liable.


Skaggs was not 14. We do not normally hold kids legally responsible for their actions.

The people who sold Skaggs the drugs are responsible for that action. Skaggs is responsible for buying the drugs, and for killing himself.

Once you get involved in criminal conduct, I think your liability should be greater.


I agree, it's just where the line of liability is drawn that seems in question.
   57. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 14, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5890371)
The "damage" of the team's actions was making the drugs available. That is the crime and should have its own penalties (it's another argument how much those are, of course).
We don’t know whether the team was in the dark, turned a blind eye, or actively abetted Skaggs’ illegal drug use, although the latter seems unlikely since it would be expected to degrade his pitching performance. Employers, family members, friends, and neighbors are generally not criminally liable for a person’s illegal drug use even if they have knowledge of it. That some of the drugs came from another employee doesn’t change that, unless the drugs were provided at the employer’s direction. Negligence could be another matter, although civil, not criminal, but I’d be cautious about uncritically accepting the early reports based solely on Kay’s account. He’s got a lot of issues of his own.
   58. QLE Posted: October 14, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5890387)
The item where I suspect there may be issues (and one I'm surprised hasn't been discussed yet):

If it turns out that, indeed, Tim Mead knew about these opioid issues and either did nothing or worked to actively cover them up, what problems does it caused the BBHOF? We've noted in the last few years that a good hunk of their actions with regards to the ballot seem designed to try to block the induction of players associated with PEDs. What does it do to their credibility if it turns out that the person (at least nominally) running the place did nothing on this issue?

It especially is of relevance for the BBHOF that time isn't on their side- the BBWAA ballot is only a month or so away from being released.
   59. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: October 14, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5890391)
I have an American friend in the UK who, whenever she visits home, returns with a pile of over-the-counter painkillers that aren't over-the-counter in the UK, which is what makes me think it may be the latter.


Now I'm curious, like what kind? Because I'm somewhat at a loss to think of anything OTC I could buy down at the local CVS that would seem to warrant a prescription.
   60. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: October 14, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5890396)
I can answer the reverse case - in the UK you can buy co-codamol OTC, whereas in at least a couple of other countries I've been in this isn't the case.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5890400)
I can answer the reverse case - in the UK you can buy co-codamol OTC, whereas in at least a couple of other countries I've been in this isn't the case.

The inability to get cough medicine with codeine in the US is a major PITA. Codeine is by far the best cough suppressant out there, in my experience.
   62. QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 01:08 AM (#5891006)
   63. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 16, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5891032)
The inability to get cough medicine with codeine in the US is a major PITA. Codeine is by far the best cough suppressant out there, in my experience.


Can it not be had by prescription? (I have no idea.)

In which vein, my co-worker (there's only 2 of us right now; we had 8 when I started in 7/06, though supposedly we're very close to hiring a supervisor, & we continue searching for a social media coordinator) was coughing like a fiend last month & went to his doctor; he also had sort of a knot near his larynx that interfered with eating & was occasionally painful. They assured him for awhile that nothing particular was wrong, then finally did a CT (I believe) scan when no improvement occurred.

Right now he's en route to Birmingham to consult with a surgeon about a treatment plan for a malignant throat tumor -- radiation most likely, possibly chemo. Actual excision could involve the larynx & particuarly the tongue, so they're trying to avoid that. Turns out the mass was causing the coughing.

*sigh*
   64. bunyon Posted: October 16, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5891036)
Yikes.

Yes, codeine is available by prescription.
   65. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: October 16, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5891040)
From what the surgeon says, the tumor was caught pretty quickly; here's hoping. I can only assume he'd have gone in before he did if not for his wife (of whom I'm not a huge fan, not that it's any of my business), who pretty much calls the family's shots & clings to Prevention magazine claptrap. She probably maintains that he could cure himself via the rigorous application of avocade pits, pine cones & cobwebs under the light of the full moon while reciting Take Me Out to the Ballgame backward in pig Latin.
   66. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 16, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5891042)
I have an American friend in the UK who, whenever she visits home, returns with a pile of over-the-counter painkillers that aren't over-the-counter in the UK, which is what makes me think it may be the latter.


I like to ask people what they find weird about visiting the U.S., and get two common answers:

1. the sheer amount of in-your-face advertising for prescription meds
2. price tags do not include sales tax.
   67. DanG Posted: October 16, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5891092)
If it turns out that, indeed, Tim Mead knew about these opioid issues and either did nothing or worked to actively cover them up, what problems does it caused the BBHOF? We've noted in the last few years that a good hunk of their actions with regards to the ballot seem designed to try to block the induction of players associated with PEDs. What does it do to their credibility if it turns out that the person (at least nominally) running the place did nothing on this issue?
Tim Mead wasn't hired to run the Hall of Fame; they were looking for a professional Spin Doctor after Jeff Idelson failed to control the narrative surrounding the HOF elections.

Mead was the Angels' Vice-President of Communications and Eric Kay's boss. With their long-standing father-son relationship, Mead obviously knew of Kay's opioid addiction. Both him and Kay hid this from MLB, in violation of their duty, as I understand it. Perhaps Mead sensed that the sh!t could hit the fan any time, and it was time to slip out of town before that happened. Why else would he uproot his comfortable life at age 61?

Then Skaggs died. I think the HOF is now looking to cut bait on Mead, in a timely yet face-saving manner for all involved. The HOF and their masters at the Clark Foundation abhor any sniff of scandal.
   68. QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5891136)
#67- Quite, involving both the first part (there's a reason I had the line in parenthesis) and the last line of the second part.

The item that makes me ponder- in the event that they have to cut ties before the BBHOF voting process is completed (as, even if he quits this very minute, I doubt they'd have a full-time replacement that quickly), who would they have conduct that procedure? I'd love to see it in John Thorn's hands, but I suspect that that would never happen even as a stop-gap measure.
   69. DanG Posted: October 16, 2019 at 05:11 PM (#5891154)
Oh, right, you're thinking of who's going to lead the discussion this December for the Eras Committee voting. Yes, letting Baines be elected, and the resulting outrage, was the straw that broke the camel's back for Idelson's tenure.

This year the Modern Baseball committee votes. Two years ago they gave us Trammell and Morris. Simmons and Tiant are probably the favorites this year. But, as you say, it depends who's leading the discussion. Get some clown up there and we can say hello to hall of famers Steve Garvey and Don Mattingly.
   70. QLE Posted: October 16, 2019 at 07:22 PM (#5891178)
#69- That's part of it- the other part is that, while the BBWAA voting is going on, the President is much more visible than usual (note that it has been Idelson who has been announcing who has gotten in lately), and there are various items that could come up (think of a repeat of Joe Morgan's letter to the BBWAA in 2017) where someone is needed to clearly represent the BBHOF's leadership. In contrast, I can imaging things going haywire rather quickly if there is absolutely no one who could speak for the BBHOF on these matters, and I get the impression that neither the Clark Foundation nor anyone on the Board of Directors would want to be in that position.
   71. DanG Posted: October 16, 2019 at 07:44 PM (#5891181)
Eh. I think Jane Forbes Clark would be perfectly comfortable handling those kinds of duties.

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