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?

Report: MLB could fine the Angels $2 million for failure to report Tyler Skaggs’ drug use

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T.J. Quinn of ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball could fine the Los Angeles Angels up to $2 million “if Major League Baseball determines that team employees were told of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office.”

The fine would be pursuant to the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement which affirmatively requires any team employee who isn’t a player to inform the Commissioner’s Office of “any evidence or reason to believe that a Player … has used, possessed or distributed any substance prohibited” by MLB.

As was reported last weekend, Eric Kay, the Angels Director of Communications, told DEA agents that he and at least one other high-ranking Angels official knew of Skaggs’ opioid use. The Angels have denied any knowledge of Skaggs’ use, and the other then-Angels employee Kay named, current Hall of Fame President Tim Mead deny that he know as well, but Kay’s admission that he knew — he in fact claims he purchased drugs for and did drugs with Skaggs — would, if true, constitute team knowledge. Major League Baseball would, of course, want to make its own determination of whether or not Kay was being truthful when he told DEA agents what his lawyer says he told them.

Which raises the question of why, apart from a strong desire to get in criminal jeopardy for lying to DEA agents, Kay would admit through his lawyer that he lied to DEA agents. Still, the process is the process, so giving MLB a little time here is probably not harming anyone.

As for a $2 million fine? Well, it cuts a number of ways. On the one hand, that’s a lot of money. On the other hand, (a) a man is dead; and (b) $2 million is what the Angels’ DH or center fielder makes in about 11 minutes so how much would such a fine really sting?

On the third hand, my God, what else can be done here? No matter what happened in the case of Skaggs’ death, this is not a situation anyone in either the Commissioner’s Office nor the MLBPA truly contemplated when the JDA was drafted. We live in a world of horrors at times, and by their very nature, horrors involve that which it is not expected and for which there can be no adequate, pre-negotiated remedy. It’s a bad story all around, no matter what happens.

Still, it would be notable for Major League Baseball to fine any team under the “teams must report players they suspect used banned substances” rule. Because, based on what I have heard, knowledge of players who use banned substances — which includes marijuana, cocaine, opioids and other non-PED illegal drugs — and which have not been reported to MLB is both commonplace and considerable.

But that’s a topic for another day. Perhaps tomorrow.