"Do I think the public should know about the death of that pitcher? You bet."
The public deserves to know what happened to Tyler Skaggs.
That's the opinion of legendary broadcaster Dan Rather, who is calling for the cause of death of the 27-year-old baseball star to be released.
"Do I think the public should know about the death of that pitcher? You bet. I do think the public should know," he said. "I am aware that the family is entitled to some privacy, and if the family made a request for privacy, I did think seriously about that, but you know he was 27-years-old.... to be found under those circumstances. You bet, I think the public should know."
The Los Angeles Angels player was found dead in his hotel room last week, just before his team were set to take on the Texas Rangers. The cause of death had yet to be revealed, but police have ruled out foul play or suicide.
"A family is right to keep some things private," Rather said. "But in this case, he was a public person. So, I come down on the side; yes, I think the public should know."
The 87-year-old journalist admitted he was surprised MLB cancelled the game, but added it was clearly the right decision.
"Life is unpredictable. You never know, you're 27, you're having a great year, you're living your dream, boom it goes," he added. "This is a reminder of how fragile life is."
This week a California newspaper pulled a story after facing serious blowback over a story suggesting Skaggs died of an opioid overdose.
The Santa Monica Observer speculated the athlete may have been using prescription drugs from multiple doctors who were unaware of each other, but spiked the article after criticism from the team, the family and police, with the publisher David Ganezer claiming staff had even been threatened.
Ganezer explained the decision in an op-ed entitled "Why did we take down our original story about the death of a ballplayer?"
"Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails. No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources," he wrote.
"We'll never know if they were actually acquainted with the deceased, fans or whatever. But I do know that a young female intern from our organization got a creepy text message on her phone, just after midnight."
"There are certain things worth risking your life and safety for, and others that just are not."