MLB’s Drug Problem Is Bigger Than The Lockout

MLB’s dirty laundry is coming out in court.

Major League Baseball owners and members of the Major League Baseball Players Association, there is a much more pressing issue at hand than arguing about financial matters during your collective bargaining talks. The recent trial of Eric Kay, a former public relations employee of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, has exposed widespread drug usage among the team’s roster. Kay has been accused of supplying opioid painkillers to pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who tragically died in 2019 after choking on his vomit. The Tarrant County, Texas medical examiner’s report revealed that Skaggs had numerous drugs in his system at the time of his death. This incident highlights the urgent need for an outpatient rehab program to address substance abuse issues among players and staff, to ensure their safety and well-being.

The Kay trial suggests there is far more drug usage in MLB than the industry thought. Three players, Cam Bedrosian, C.J. Cron and Michael Morin told a federal jury in Fort Worth that Kay was their sole source of oxycodone pills. A fourth player, Matt Harvey, testified he bought pills from Kay and received pills from an outside source in Rhode Island twice. He said one of those times from the outside source was in April 2019 when Skaggs requested the pills. Harvey admitted to using cocaine, as well as oxycodone and Percocet. MLB went through the Pittsburgh drug trial in 1985. Keith Hernandez, Dave Parker, Jeffrey Leonard, John Milner, Dale Berra, Lonnie Smith, Enos Cabell were among the players testifying about the ease of getting cocaine in the Pittsburgh stadium clubhouse. On February 28th, 1986, MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth handed down suspensions to 11 players. All the suspensions were commuted in exchange for fines and community service. MLB survived in 1986 but has a massive problem today far bigger than a dispute over money.

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