So, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and it’s been damn near a week since Melisa Reidy’s blog post, but I feel more and more like I need to say something in long-form about the Addison Russell-domestic violence situation. For my immediate thoughts, check my twitter and scroll back.
The Cubs are handling this very poorly, and it’s giving me conflicting feelings. I, personally, think Addison Russell is a scumbag and the Cubs front office needs to cut ties with him immediately, but here we are, six days after the post, and still awaiting an MLB ruling. Now, news broke last night via Ken Rosenthal and the Athletic that the MLB investigation has turned up more evidence than just the blog post and that a suspension seems likely, but is that enough?
The Cubs have shown multiple times over the last few years that they don’t really care about fan opinions and all that matters to them is winning baseball games. That’s why they traded for post-suspension Aroldis Chapman in 2018, traded for noted homophobe Daniel Murphy this year, and stuck alongside Addison Russell after the initial accusations last year and even to some degree in the last week. I’ve felt disgusted and disengaged from this team. I usually watch/listen to every game, but I’ve skipped out on most of the last week, which is crazy considering the Cubs currently hold a half game lead with only 5 left to play. But I don’t really care. This is bigger than baseball, and frankly, it has me questioning my fandom.
Being a Cubs fan has never been easy, but it’s never made me feel dirty like it has in the last week. And I’ve always been a Joe Maddon defender, but there is no defending his comments from yesterday where he said he still hasn’t read the blog post, he’s going to wait for the full investigation report, and that people lie all the time on social media and you can say whatever you want on the internet, implying that he doesn’t believe the accusation. Come the fuck on, Joe. Everyone has thought you were the cool, hipster guy for the past several years, but I guess you’ve finally shown your true colors– just another rich, white guy who only cares about what is in your best interest, which is Addison Russell helping you win games. It makes me sick. If you don’t want to imply guilt on your player, I get it from a clubhouse perspective. But just say “no comment”. Is it that hard? You don’t have to imply that the victim is lying. That was simply uncalled for.
I’m at the point with this situation that I don’t really even care what happens to the Cubs the rest of the season. I’m kinda just rooting for Javy. I feel no joy watching them right now, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the on-field product. I’ve always been a big proponent of listening to the victim. I took a strong stance against the Aroldis Chapman trade. And it blows my mind that the Cubs put in a statement that they “take allegations of domestic violence very seriously” when they’ve REPEATEDLY shown that they don’t. I get it, their job is to win baseball games. But should that come at the cost of employing terrible people? I’d rather lose 100 games every year than have abusers on my team who torture, beat, and torment their “loved ones”.
I’ve been a Cubs fan my entire life. I’ve lived and died with this team. I grew up watching them play every day in the summers in my Granny’s room. But this situation, and how the Cubs handle these situations, has me truly question whether or not I want to continue to be a Cubs fan. I just had a daughter, and I’m not sure I want to raise her in this fandom because it really does send a message of “it’s okay that these guys abuse their wives because they’re really good at playing a game.” I just don’t know if I can live with my team thinking and behaving that way.