Both David Ortiz and Prince Fielder called on teammates to help them out in next Monday’s Home Run Derby. In Fielder’s case, though, it’ll be Rickie Weeks, not Ryan Braun, trying to aid the cause.
With Braun saying he wasn’t interested, it will be Fiedler, Weeks, Matt Kemp and Matt Holliday for the NL squad. The AL will be represented by Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano.
Mark Teixeira turned down the spot that went to Cano.
Holliday got the nod over Lance Berkman, a three-time participant who is currently tied for the NL lead in homers with Kemp. They have 22 apiece, one more than Fielder. Weeks has 15, while Holliday has a modest 10 in 61 games.
Besides Berkman, overlooked for the team was Jay Bruce, who ranks fourth in the league with 18 homers, and young slugger Mike Stanton. Stanton wasn’t scheduled to go to Phoenix, but Marlins teammate and All-Star Gaby Sanchez lobbied for him anyway.
The AL foursome has 74 homers to the NL’s 68 this season. Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers. However, none of the other five American Leaguers with at least 20 homers (Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Paul Konerko, Mark Reynolds and Nelson Cruz) made the cut. Ortiz has 17 homers, Gonzalez 16 and Cano 14.
Last year, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell‘s wife Melisa made an Instagram post in which she accused her husband of cheating on her. Melisa’s friend added a comment in which she alleged Addison had been physically abusive towards Melisa. Addison denied the allegations. Major League Baseball started an investigation, but Melisa chose not to cooperate. Addison was not punished and the issue mostly went away.
On Wednesday, Melisa posted on her WordPress blog, which is linked on her Instagram with over 44,000 followers. In the post, Melisa details years of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse from Addison. Addison’s behavior, as detailed by Melisa, checks many of the boxes listed by The National Domestic Violence Hotline. As the abuse went on, Melisa says she suffered from depression. Eventually, she filed for divorce and began to regain control of her life, ultimately gaining the courage to come forward with what she had been through.
Read Melisa’s post if you want to know the full details of what went on. The details may be triggering for those of you who have also suffered abuse or are sensitive to the idea.
The Cubs and Major League Baseball should attempt to speak with Melisa to develop a strategy moving forward. Melisa may not cooperate again, which is her right and would not in any way diminish her allegations. If Melssa agrees, the Cubs should suspend Russell immediately and indefinitely. Failing that, Major League Baseball should suspend Russell immediately and indefinitely.
Victims of abuse, usually cisgender women and transgender people, have nothing material to gain by coming forward with allegations, particularly against someone in the public spotlight with legions of fans who will defend their favorite player to an unhealthy degree. Those who do come forward with details of their abuse should be given the benefit of the doubt and applauded for their courage.