It wasn’t all too long ago, May 17 to be exact, when the Blue Jays were playing the Braves, and Kevin Pillar shouted that most unfortunate of derogatory names at Braves reliever Jason Motte. It all happened in an instant, and yet the impact and effects of what Pillar said will probably remain, in some way or another, with him for the rest of his life.
We all make mistakes, but with Pillar being such a visible celebrity, when someone in his shoes slips up, it’s magnified that much more so. What Pillar did was wrong, we all know that, but everything he and the Blue Jays have done since has been handled with the utmost care and sincerity.
It’s been over a month since that forgettable game. At the time, Pillar was hitting for an impressive .305 AVG, and was looking more confident at the plate than we’ve ever seen him. Since then, he’s hit for a paltry .167 AVG, and has seen his AVG drop 48 points in the space of just 25 games. That all too confident player from the beginning of the season has been replaced by someone who at times looks lost and is missing pitches he was all over earlier in the year.
Is it a coincidence that Pillar’s poor play pretty much began right around the same time of that fateful night in Atlanta?
The fact that Pillar’s performance has dropped as much as it has shows that he truly cares and that he has a conscience. No one more so than Pillar understands that what he did was wrong. What we’re seeing now with his poor play is likely a direct result of the guilt and disappointment he’s been feeling. It’s unfortunate Pillar’s play has slipped like it has. But at the same time, if he’d continued playing as well as he had been, perhaps that would indicate he didn’t have the appropriate amount of remorse for what he did.
Everyone screws up from time to time, even our heroes. And even though many have forgiven him for that unfortunate act, it may be sometime yet before Pillar forgives himself and is back to being the player we all know he can be.