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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.

Report: Angels to sign Cody Allen

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.

Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.

The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.