Moser: MLB’s response to Addison Russell continues pattern of failure

From SABR member Zack Moser at Baseball Prospectus on January 18, 2019:

At the November 30 non-tender deadline, the Cubs did what seemed inevitable as that month dragged on: they tendered Addison Russell a contract for 2019. The shortstop’s abuse of his ex-partner, Melisa Reidy, resulted in a 40-game suspension that covered the final week and a half of the 2018 season and will continue into the early part of 2019.

Upon receipt of the contract offer, he immediately released a statement, his third since MLB opened an investigation in the summer of 2017; Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein released a concurrent statement. The player and the team focused on Russell’s participation in therapy outside of the league’s mandated treatment, the team’s expectations for Russell, and what Russell needs to do to “earn” the trust of the organization, his teammates, and Cubs fans.

All three of Russell’s statements have elided actual responsibility and accountability, however, and while the latest appears at first blush to be an improvement, it’s simply a more sophisticated evasion of responsibility.

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Originally published: January 18, 2019. Last Updated: January 18, 2019.