First of all, let me start off by saying that I in no way, shape, or form condone the alleged off-field actions of Mr. Russell. That said, I definitely, 100% encourage his on-field actions, and hope he continues to build on his improving bat.
For those who don’t know, or simply forgot, Addison Russell is out for the first 40 games of the year, serving a suspension for supposedly beating his ex-wife.
Yeah, it’s pretty terrible. Here’s a 24 year old guy probably coming off of a bad slump. He gets home from a long day at the ball park. He sits down, and next thing he knows his old lady is up in his face (these are jokes people, I have no idea what happened).
The point is, MLB said that Russell has to sit out a quarter of the season.
Could the Cubs have let Addy go, and washed their hands clean? Yes, and nobody would have blamed them for doing so. Plus, for the second half of the season Javy Baez looked like he would be the team’s shortstop of the future. All signs pointed to Russell being shown the door. Then, they brought him back.
As a person who wants justice for victims of domestic violence, I was confused… as a Cubs fan I was elated because boy were we in trouble when it comes to the middle of the infield. I mean, what would have happened if Addison were let go? Would they make Zobrist our every day second baseman? So then, does that mean Happ would be the utility outfielder?
Basically, the Cubs would have lost their outstanding pairing in the middle of the infield, and that wasn’t something that the higher ups were willing to let happen.
I could try to say things like “The Cubs want Addison to get better as a person,” to make it sound better, but let’s face it, if the guy had been hitting .220 he wouldn’t be back. Yes, it would be great if Russell becomes a kinder, gentler partner and lover, but from a fan standpoint, I just want him hitting close to 20 nukes, while keeping his average around .270.
Slap pitches, not…. well, you know…