In the wake of tragedy, the grind of a baseball season seems so trivial, so unimportant. But also very real.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Angels were to play the Texas Rangers a day after pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room. It's an impossibly difficult ask for the players, coaches and all others involved to so quickly turn their attention back to baseball.
Which the Royals know all too well.
Pitcher Yordano Ventura died two weeks before the Royals gathered for spring training in 2017. The memories of Ventura's sudden death resurfaced as the Skaggs news made waves within the clubhouse.
"It's really, really hard to get over," Royals manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday's game, when the team held a moment of silence for Skaggs. "You just can't. And you can't expect to. You just have to day-by-day endure it and try to move on, just like I think anybody tries to do when something like this happens."
Seventy-seven games remain on the Angels' schedule, 77 first pitches without a 27-year-old left-hander who was universally cast in a positive light by current and former teammates. Angels manager Brad Ausmus told reporters he's heard from several people across baseball in the wake of Skaggs' death, the source of which has not been determined. The results of an autopsy are scheduled to be completed in the fall, according to the L.A. Times.
On the list of those who have reached out: Royals catcher Martin Maldonado. In 2017 and part of 2018, Maldonado played for the Angels, the primary catcher for Skaggs.
"I've been talking to pretty much all of them," Maldonado said. "They're all pretty much the same way -- they're all in shock. They said he was having fun on the bus; everything seemed normal. When they heard the news, they were devastated."
The Royals were on their bus in Toronto when a team employee delivered the news. Several Royals took to social media to express condolences, representative of the brotherhood across the sport.
It hit more personally for Maldonado.
"He was a great guy," Maldonado said. "He (was a player who) goes out there and fights and competes. One of those guys who always seemed like he's always having fun, even when he didn't pitch."
He added, "He's always a guy that wanted to get better. Even if he goes seven innings, that's a guy that wanted to go eight innings in his next start."
The Angels planned to carry only 24 players on their roster Tuesday, leaving one open in honor of Skaggs. On Wednesday, they plan to make a move.
Baseball will carry on.
For players and coaches and certainly family and friends, it will require significantly more time.
"I know that it's an extremely difficult time for not only the Angels but everybody who knew him," Yost said. "It's a very sobering time where you don't think of that when you're 27 years old. You don't think that you're going to go to bed and not wake up the next day. Nobody does. And it just hits you square between the eyes when it happens. All of us; doesn't matter if you knew him or not. It's definitely a hard time for everybody."