Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Friday, highlighted by the cause of death being made public for former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who passed away suddenly nearly two months ago.
We’ll also take a look at some interesting moves around the NFL ahead of cut down day, including star Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney making it very clear he doesn’t want to be traded to Miami and the Houston Rockets inking guard Eric Gordon to a massive contract extension.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
REPORT: Mixture of Opioids, Alcohol Led to Sudden Death of Angels Pitcher Tyler Skaggs
An autopsy report released by the Tarrant County (Texas) medical examiner’s office listed former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs’ cause of death as “mixed ethanol, fentanyl and oxycodone intoxication with terminal aspiration of gastric contents” on Friday
The revelation comes nearly two months after his sudden passing on July 1 in a Texas hotel room that left his team and the MLB in shock.
What added yet another wrinkle to the tough situation was that the legal counsel for the Skaggs’ family issued a statement revealing that an unnamed Angels employee was tied to an ongoing investigation by the Southlake Police Department.
Here is the full statement from the family:
“We are heartbroken to learn that the passing of our beloved Tyler was the result of a combination of dangerous drugs and alcohol. That is completely out of character for someone who worked so hard to become a Major League baseball player and had a very promising future in the game he loved so much.
“We are grateful for the work of the detectives in the Southlake Police Department and their ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Tyler’s death. We were shocked to learn that it may involve an employee of the Los Angeles Angels. We will not rest until we learn the truth about how Tyler came into possession of these narcotics, including who supplied them. To that end, we have hired attorney Rusty Hardin to assist us.”
The Angels were playing the Boston Red Sox on Friday but the locker room was kept closed to media. The team’s general manager Billy Eppler issued a statement following the announcement.
“I can just say that we were saddened by that report and completely heartbroken,” Eppler said in the statement. “Everyone’s searching for facts, and everyone within the organization wants facts, which is why we are actively cooperating with an investigation.”
The Angels staged a touching tribute to Skaggs in their first home game after his passing in July. His mother, Debbie Skaggs, threw out the first pitch and each player wore Skaggs’ No. 45 jersey.
The team played inspired that night, delivering seven first-inning runs and running away with a 13-0 win to start the second half of the season off strong. Mike Trout drove in six runs to spark the offense while Felix Pena and Taylor Cole combined for a no-hitter.
“Tonight was in honor of him,” star outfielder MikeTrout said following the game. “He was definitely looking over us tonight. He’s probably up there saying we’re nasty. What an unbelievable game to be a part of. I’m speechless. This is the best way possible to honor him tonight. It was pretty crazy.”
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Texans Send Massive Offer to Dolphins in Effort to Deal Disgruntled DE Jadeveon Clowney
It appears the Houston Texans really want to rid themselves of former No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans reportedly offered the Miami Dolphins not only Clowney — a three-time Pro Bowler — but also a first-round pick for offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins reportedly rebuked the offer and wanted more!
What makes the Clowney ordeal almost comical is that the Texans don’t have a GM in place and the star defensive end currently doesn’t have an agent, having fired fired Bus Cook earlier this week. On top of that, Clowney has yet to sign his one-year tender, giving him complete control of the situation.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that Clowney, “remains adamant he doesn’t want to play for the Miami Dolphins regardless of the trade discussions between Texans and Dolphins.” His reported preferred destinations are Seattle or of Philadelphia.
Houston head coach Bill O’Brien was reportedly doing the negotiating when it came to the Duke Johnson Jr. deal with the Cleveland Browns earlier this month and voiced his take on the situation on Friday.
“All I can tell you without getting into the specifics is [it’s] always about what’s best for your team,” O’Brien said, via ESPN. “What’s best for your team from a value standpoint, monetarily, skill set-wise, production-wise – all those different things. It’s always going to be well thought-out and it’s always going to be in the name of what is best for the team – is this the best decision for the team?
“Any time he wants to come in and sign the tender, we can sit down and talk. … Again, it’s all about what’s best for the team. So, right now, having these conversations, they can’t even take place because he has to come in and sign the tender.”
In other moves around the league
- New England pulled off a pair of trades: one to acquire center Russell Bodine from the Bills and another shipping corner Duke Dawson to the Broncos for a draft pick.
- Seattle waived QB Paxton Lynch, signaling they have settled on Geno Smith as the backup to Russell Wilson.
- The Raiders made center Rodeny Hudson the highest paid player at his position with a new long-term deal.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL: Veteran Guard Eric Gordon Inks Big Extension With Houston
Eric Gordon is staying in Houston for the long haul it appears.
The Rockets reach a four-year, $75.6 million extension with the veteran guard on Friday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added further detail, reporting that the final year of his deal is non-guaranteed unless he makes an All-Star team or the Rockets win an NBA title.
Gordon collected 16.2 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting last season, including a solid 36.0 percent from beyond the arc. Gordon — the 2017 sixth man of the year — started 53 games last season and was entering the final year of his previous deal. Gordon was the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and has played for the Rockets since 2016.
The Rockets made a big splash this offseason by trading for triple-double monster and former MVP Russell Westbrook, sending veteran Chris Paul and a package of first round picks to OKC. The core going forward for the Rockets will be James Harden, Westbrook, and now, Gordon.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Headlines
- Royals sold to Kansas City businessman John Sherman
- Federer, Djokovic and Serena roll at U.S. Open; Nishikori Upset
- Dodgers place Max Muncy on IL with wrist fracture
- Nevada freshman drills 56-yard FG for walk-off win over Purdue; gets scholarship postgame.
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Oregon vs. Auburn
It’s only Week 1 of the college football season, but there are plenty of postseason implications on the line as Oregon and Auburn face off at AT&T Stadium on Saturday in what should be one of the most exciting matchups of the weekend.
When: Today, 7:30 p.m. ET
TENNIS: U.S. Open, Third Round
In what is probably the most anticipated matchup of the tournament thus far, teen sensation Coco Gauff will take on top-seeded Naomi Osaka, the defending champ at the event.
When: Today, with coverage starting at 11 a.m.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Houston vs. Oklahoma
The first full week of college football will close with a bang as the high-powered Sooners meet up with Houston. Expect points, as Oklahoma led the nation in points scored last year and the Cougars were No. 7.
When: Sunday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.