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Addison Russell: worse than you thought

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Last year Melisa Reidy-Russell, the ex-wife of Cubs shortstop Addison Russell and the mother of his son, came forward with a blog post detailing years of abuse from Russell. The Cubs placed Russell on administrative leave. Ultimately, Russell agreed to serve a 40-game suspension without pay. The suspension carries over into 2019 as he will miss the first 29 games of the 2019 season.

Today, at the website Expanded Roster, Kelly Wallace tells Melisa Reidy-Russell’s story in painful, painful detail, and it’s even worse than we knew before:

There were other violent acts, threats of violence and what sounds like pervasive emotional abuse and manipulation. That all was in addition to Russell’s serial philandering and lying and his habit of saying that his wife, somehow, made him act that way and was responsible for her own abuse. Taken together, Russell comes off as an utterly horrifying figure who put his wife through a terrible few years.

But that’s not all that has come out about Russell in the past 24 hours.

Mallory Engstrom also has a child with Russell. A daughter, born before Russell’s and Reidy-Russell’s relationship. According to an Instagram post Engstrom published yesterday, Russell is a largely absent father who has attempted to get out of his financial responsibilities to his daughter. Engstrom says, “I’ve never once been able to rely on my daughter’s father to care for her in a time of need or while I am working.” She adds that Russell once paid his child support with $600 worth of quarters and dollar bills despite the fact that he has made millions playing baseball.

Russell, upon the announcement of his suspension last month, issued a prepared statement detailing the steps he was taking to get therapy and own up for his past acts. He also said he was accepting Major League Baseball’s punishment. That statement did not offer up any details, or course.  And Russell had no choice in the punishment, so it’s not like he should be given kudos for “accepting” it.

Either way, the question is no longer “what should Major League Baseball do about Addison Russell.” The league has acted. Now the questions are (a) did Major League Baseball have all of the facts when they acted; (b) if so, was 40 games a big enough penalty; and (c) why are the Cubs sticking with such a terrible human being when they are under no obligation to do so?

Another question: why should any Cubs fan continue to support the team as long as person like that is employed by them? They’re under no obligation to do so either, you know.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.