There is a growing cosmological theory that existence consists of an infinite number of parallel universes. By definition, this means that there are an infinite number of universes where the Angels win the World Series every year. There are an infinite number where every player in a Halo uniform has all the talent of Mike Trout. And an infinite number of those where I can afford lux boxes tickets for everybody. Those are all happy places filled with good times. But there are also an infinite number of universes where things go very wrong.
A whole lot of fantastical stories tell tales of people moving abruptly from one universe to another. Confusion and shock are involved. We read those stories or watch those movies and set them aside and go on with our lives, pretending that we understand and pretending how cool it would be to experience that.
And then a moment like yesterday happens. It was early afternoon, just after lunch, and I had settled in to survey some stories and begin my linkage roundup. I do this a few times during the day as a way to manage the time involved in the service of my duties. A main starting point is a feed of twitter postings that I have filtered for Angels news. I am floating through my normal universe seeing normal story points. Everything is on cruise control. Suddenly a tweet pops up that is confusing and shocking. At that moment something un-explainable happened. I had gotten bounced over into this universe, the one where you all are dealing with this tragedy. I don’t want to be here. I want to find my way back to my universe or any of the infinite other universes where Tyler Skaggs will be starting on the mound again in a few days, ready to dare his manager to try and stop him. But I don’t know how I got here and I don’t know how to get back. I will never return to where I was, the one where Tyler is alive and married and happy and bringing joy to his teammates.
Yesterday afternoon Tyler Skaggs was found deceased in his hotel room, in advance of the Angels’ series opener against the Rangers.
The game last night was canceled out of respect for everyone. Tyler’s wife and family deserve our respect and support. Tyler’s friends, and his teammates, deserve our respect and support. The Angels franchise deserves our respect and support. And we fans deserve respect and support. This is neither the time, nor the place, for my normal brand of news gathering and sharing. Those other stories are not important today. My snark is not appropriate for today. And, by today, I mean the day you consider yesterday as you are reading this, since that is when I do my work. I cannot. Gawdammitall, I cannot.
Tyler Skaggs is dead. He now shares a place in that heavenly dugout with Luis Valbuena, Nick Adenhart, Lyman Bostock, Mike Miley, Chico Ruiz, Dick Wantz...all of whom once being a Halo and who passed away with their uniform on.
Rest In Peace, Tyler. And farewell. You earned your wings.