Tyler Skaggs tribute hashtag overtaken by Trump haters

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Baseball fans on Tuesday used #RIP45 on Twitter to pay tribute to Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who was found dead in his hotel room prior to his game against the Texas Rangers.

However, some on the social media network who saw the trend thought President Trump, the 45th president of the United States, had died while others took delight in that notion.

Many others objected to those who had hijacked the tribute thread to joke about the death of the president and used their own platform to strike back.

Skaggs, 27, was found unresponsive in his Texas hotel room, stunning the Major League Baseball community and leading to the postponement of Monday’s game between the Angels and Rangers.

The cause of death wasn’t immediately made known. Police said no foul play was suspected.


Born in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills, Skaggs was a first-round draft pick of the Angels out of Santa Monica High School in 2009. The Angels traded Skaggs to Arizona in 2010, and he started his big-league career with 13 appearances over two seasons for the Diamondbacks. The Angels reacquired him in December 2013, and he had won 25 games over five seasons with the club.

Skaggs had been a regular in the Angels' starting rotation since late 2016 when he returned from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with injuries repeatedly over the past three seasons but persevered to become a valuable starter in Los Angeles' injury-plagued rotation. Skaggs started a career-high 24 games last season, going 8-10 with a 4.02 ERA. He missed playing time in April this season with a sprained ankle but came back strong.

Skaggs was part of the same Angels draft class as Trout, and they were roommates in the low minor leagues before Skaggs was traded to Arizona. They played on the same team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2010.


Skaggs' mother, Debbie, was the longtime softball coach at Santa Monica High School. She famously provided postgame tips on his pitching mechanics, even deep into his big-league career.

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