Why isn't Damien Cox getting the Jerod Morris treatment for his Jose Bautista comments?

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Last year a blogger named Jerod Morris made headlines for writing an article suggesting that Raul Ibanez’s career-best production at age 37 “raised questions” about whether he was using steroids.
Not only did Ibanez respond very angrily and publicly to the article, ESPN had Morris as a guest on Outside the Lines, where he was confronted by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer. And his comments became fodder for columnists, radio hosts, and talking heads around the country.
I’m not here to argue about whether or not Morris deserved that treatment, but rather to ask why Damien Cox of the Toronto Star hasn’t been similarly ripped to shreds for his column yesterday suggesting that Jose Bautista’s out of nowhere, 40-homer (and counting) breakout season means “you’ve got to at least ask the question” of whether he’s using steroids.
I’d encourage everyone to read Morris’ article from last year and Cox’s article from yesterday, and then judge for themselves just how similar they are. I tend to think they’re pretty damn close, which is why it seems so strange to me that Cox isn’t receiving anywhere close to the same treatment that Morris did.
Is it because mainstream media members aren’t nearly as eager to pick on one of their own? Is it because Morris was mostly just a way for people to launch a larger-scale attack on bloggers and blogging as a whole? Is it because the Phillies and Philadelphia simply get more coverage in the baseball world than the Blue Jays and Toronto? Or is there something else at play?

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.