Addison Russell’s Potential Return To Cubs Strikes Debate Across MLB

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Addison Russell’s Potential Return To Cubs Strikes Debate Across MLB

Chris Urban, Editor

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Baseball America listed Addison Russell as the third best prospect in professional baseball in 2015. He made his MLB debut at shortstop for the Chicago Cubs in April of 2015, earning All-Star honors in 2016. He batted .238, hit 21 home runs, and drove in 95 RBIs in 2016.

There is no question about Russell’s talent and potential, although, his actions off the diamond have tarnished his promising career in the MLB.

Many people debate whether or not Addison Russell deserves a second chance in the MLB after his past actions including domestic abuse. Russell is eligible to return to Wrigley Field on Friday March 3rd after serving a 40-game suspension for violating the MLB’s joint policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. He is serving a 40 game suspension, although, first time performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) users are suspended 80 games in the MLB. Many people believe that domestic and child abuse is a much more serious and impactful issue than PED usage, yet the MLB is disproportional on the issue.

“They’re very different policies,” MLB’s deputy commissioner and chief legal officer Dan Halem said in a phone conversation on Friday. “They have very different histories and somewhat different purposes, I would say. Domestic violence is a societal crime, a crime against women, and the primary entity to address it is law enforcement and agencies and resources out there to assist survivors. PED use is a baseball crime. It’s cheating on the game.”

One of the main talking points of the dilemma is the Chicago Cubs willingness to threaten media members that don’t ‘lay off’ Addison. People are upset with the fact that the Chicago Cubs are trying to shape the narrative of Russell story and protect him despite his many issues in the past. The MLB world is questioning whether the Chicago Cubs are properly handling Russell’s situation. In the right or not, the Chicago Cubs should not be controlling a situation that Russell put himself into.

 

“Well, first thing’s first, I just have to serve out the rest of my suspension and then once I’m eligible to play, we’ll see where we can go from there. I think everyone knows that I’m willing to play another role out there on the field,” Russell said. “I’m totally OK with that. I can only control things that I can control. If I get the call, then it’s going to feel like I got the call-up again for the second time.”