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Blue Jays, Kevin Pillar issue public statements regarding use of homophobic slur

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Last night, Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar shouted a homophobic slur at Braves reliever Jason Motte. Pillar was upset that Motte had quick-pitched him. To Pillar’s credit, he owned up to his mistake immediately, saying, “It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for. It’s part of the game, it’s just, I’m a competitive guy and heat of the moment. Obviously I’m going to do whatever I’ve got to do to reach out and apologize and let him know he didn’t do anything wrong, it was all me.”

The Blue Jays issued a statement on Thursday. They said, “The Toronto Blue Jays are extremely disappointed by the comments made by Kevin Pillar following his at-bat during the 7th inning of last night’s game. In no way is this kind of behaviour accepted or tolerated, nor is it a reflection of the type of inclusive organization we strive to be. We would like to extend our own apologies to all fans, Major League Baseball, and especially the LGBTQ community. We know Kevin to be a respectful, high-character individual who we hope will learn from his situation and continue to positively contribute and live up to our values on and off the field.”

Pillar made a statement of his own, which he posted on Twitter.

Last night, following my at-bat in the 7th inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte. By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today. I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates, and the Blue Jays organization in this position. I have apologized personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself.

This is how you apologize. There was no, “I’m sorry I was misinterpreted” or, “I’m sorry you got offended.” Pillar took complete ownership of his mistake, showed us that he understands the consequences of using hate speech, and told us how he aims to improve himself as a human being. Major League Baseball should use Pillar’s statement as a shining example on how to handle oneself after one screws up.

Report: Freddie Freeman expected to miss at least eight weeks with fractured left wrist

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Update: The Braves are expecting Freeman to miss 10 weeks. And the Braves did indeed call up Ruiz from Triple-A.

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is expected to miss at least eight weeks with a fractured left wrist, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Freeman does not need to undergo surgery, which is a silver lining for the Braves.

Freeman suffered the injury on Wednesday when he was hit by an Aaron Loup pitch.

Freeman has put up MVP-esque numbers to this point, hitting .341/.461/.748 with an MLB-high 14 home runs and 25 RBI in 165 plate appearances while playing solid defense.

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests the Braves could call up prospect Rio Ruiz to handle first base. Ruiz worked out at first base during spring training. He’s the organization’s No. 22 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Jameson Taillon’s pathology report came back positive for testicular cancer

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Last week, Pirates starter Jameson Taillon underwent surgery for suspected testicular cancer. Those suspicions were correct, as Taillon’s pathology report came back positive for cancer, MLB.com’s Adam Berry reports.

Taillon will be reevaluated next week, but he has already been cleared for light baseball activities. There is still no timetable for Taillon’s return to game action.

Taillon, 25, put up a 3.31 ERA with a 30/13 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over six starts before getting sidelined.