Baseball can be a wonderful tonic for what ails you.
The game is so all-consuming, it doesn’t leave much room for mourning, sorrow or anguish.
So it was good for the Los Angeles Angels to get back on the field after the shocking death of their teammate, Tyler Skaggs.
This All-Star Break was exactly what the Angels needed.
For Mike Trout, drafted by the Angels along with Skaggs in the first round in 2009, there was particular poignance in his tribute to the fallen Angel during Tuesday night’s 90th Major League All-Star Game in Cleveland.
Today, Trout comes home after 10 arduous days on the road.
All the Archangel will have today are his thoughts and memories.
He’ll see the makeshift memorial to Skaggs that fans have made in front of Angel Stadium with flowers, cards, baseball caps and signs.
The one that reminds us so much of the tribute to Nick Adenhart.
Adenhart and two friends were victims of a drunk driver, a few hours after the best start of his young major league career.
For years, there were stories that the Angels were cursed.
Anaheim Stadium was apparently built over an ancient native American burial grounds, not just dusty Orange groves.
The murder of Lyman Rostock, the events of Black Sunday in 1986 vs. the Boston Red Sox, Donnie Moore’s murder/suicide three years later and the collapse of a 12-game lead in August that cost the Halos the 1995 AL West title were just some of the symptoms.
The miraculous season of 2002 excorized those demons.
Or so we thought.
Now Luis Valbuena’s death in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last winter, and Skaggs’ stunning death, have brought all those prophecies of doom back to life.
Baseball offers a timelessness that is so reassuring.
There is no clock in the game.
Whenever we attend a game, we’re like kids again. It’s the first time we walked awestruck into the ballpark, all over again.
Baseball players, and fans, are forever young, protected from all those negative influences beyond the outfield fence.
Until they’re not.
Tyler Skaggs endured seven stints on the Injured List. He lost a full season to Tommy John surgery.
But this season it was coming together for him.
Notwithstanding the analytics that cost him at least two wins already, he was headed for career highs in everything.
In the second half of the season that opens Friday night at The Big A, every Angels teammate will wear Skaggs’ No. 45 over his heart.
They’re playing for him as much as for themselves.
If not more.
A lot more.