They postponed last night’s game between the Angels and the Rangers in the wake of Tyler Skaggs‘ death. That makes all kinds of sense. But they’ll play tonight because while the baseball season will pause on occasion, it doesn’t stop for much. Concentrating on a task as difficult as playing major league baseball is hard enough in the best of times but I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for players in the Angels’ position to concentrate on the game tonight.
There are, unfortunately, players who can imagine it because they’ve lived through it. Yankees teammates of Thurman Munson in 1979. Angels teammates of Nick Adenhart in 2009. Marlins teammates of José Fernandez in 2016. Just for example.
Giancarlo Stanton was one of Fernandez’s teammates. Last night he took to Instagram to speak to Tyler Skaggs’ teammates on the Angels about what they have ahead of them and how, in his view, they can at least attempt to get through it:
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RIP Bro, My heart goes out to your family🙏🏽 My message to the @angels while having no time for yourself to grieve is to hug each other, laugh, cry, lift the ones taking it extra hard up. You’re going to wonder why all of this is happening , is it real, why are u suiting up to play a game that seems irrelevant. Some Anger will ensue while u have to grieve in a fish bowl.. A lot will go through your mind. So stay together through that. The first days back to schedule are the weirdest feeling, from the energy to the questions to having to walk by his locker. Try to Focus & understand how important your strength is for his family, all of your supporters & anyone looking for the power to overcome something. They’re looking @ you for guidance. So you all really need each other right now. Stay strong fellas I’m thinking about you!
There are no magic words that can short-circuit the grieving process, but these are some pretty good words about how to get through things in the meantime, when there isn’t necessarily a lot of time and space to properly grieve.