There’s a lot we still don’t know about the Addison Russell situation, and much of what we do know exists now only as a series of digital facsimiles. Screencaps of since-deleted posts and comments will continue to float through our social media consciousness like blackened ashes from the firestorm loosed Wednesday night.
The Cubs instructed Russell to stay home for Thursday’s game, not as punishment but to give him more time to sort out the shambles of his personal life. Not that a single day could ever be enough to accomplish such a feat, even if the worst of the allegations against him are not borne out. The hope was that it would be sufficient to allow him to take a few deep breaths, and, perhaps as important, to help his team do the same.
Russell was back at Wrigley Field on Friday, though he didn’t get into the game. He did, however, talk to members of the media prior to the loss.
“I didn’t show up yesterday, I was watching the game on TV. I felt sad,” Russell told reporters in the clubhouse. “This is what I do, this is what I love. I love being here in this clubhouse with the boys, having fun. This is my home.”
It’s not necessary for me to parse these words and suss out some deeper meaning behind them, to ask whether the socialization he’s describing is cause for or product of some of the alleged actions. There’s really no value in that at this point, at least not right here and now.
But the situation is unavoidable, as are the questions about whether what led to that now-infamous Instagram post is also to blame for Russell’s flatlining performance.
“No. There’s periods of times where if you’re struggling, you’re scuffling. And sometimes you’ll stink,” Russell explained. “I know that being young in the Major Leagues is going to come with a lot of adversity, but you know I’m here for a reason. It’s because I’m good.”
That last statement is debatable, at least in terms of recent performance, to the extent that it’s had people looking to blame possible shoulder woes or the apparent dissolution of his marriage for the depressed numbers. But that’s what we do, right, we look for explanations and try to solve for x.
Russell didn’t discuss any personal matters and probably won’t for a while, though he did offer a definitive statement on his status.
“I’m here to stay,” he said. “This is my job. This is what I love doing.”
Was it over when German bombed, hurled harder? That, my friends, is easily the worst Animal House-themed pun you will read all day.
The Cubs had plenty of opportunities against the Rockies’ starter, generally failing to accomplish anything against either Marquez or the litany of relievers that followed his abbreviated outing. They walked nine times (!) and could manage only three runs. How does that happen?
This team is weird as hell, it really is. I don’t even know what to expect from them at this point, nor am I surprised by anything they do. And that’s not good when what they do is wet the bed on the regular.
More news and notes
- RHP Dillon Maples has been promoted from high-A Myrtle Beach to AA Tennessee
- RHP Dylan Cease will come off the DL start for low-A South Bend on Sunday
- The Cardinals DFA’d Jhonny Peralta; I wonder if John Mozeliak called Peralta into his office and told him to get the h out.
- The Cards also rearranged several coaching positions
- Former Cub Bill Mueller was replaced as asst. hitting coach
- Mueller is the only player in MLB history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in the same game
- The Padres optioned Ryan Schimpf and his 14 home runs to AAA; he was batting .158 with 70 strikeouts