Exiled Russell Rehabs Strained Image

Opening Day, 2018. Ian Happ swatted the first pitch of the MLB season into the seats in Miami. Addison Russell was all over the box score of that game. 2/3 at the plate, stole a base, turned a couple of DPs, got picked off, hit by a pitch and made an error.

Opening Day, 2019. Ian Happ was back in Des Moines and Triple A. Addison Russell was in two states at once; Arizona and Limbo, staying loose at Extended Spring Training while his suspension for conduct unbecoming of an MLB spouse/domestic partner ran its course. Now that its days are numbered, Russell has joined Happ (not to mention Carl Edwards Jr.) on the roster of the Iowa Cubs. Who knows when Happ and Edwards will be back in Chicago, but Russell can reasonably expect to be there when the Cardinals come calling on May 3.

Russell’s been here before, for 11 games in 2015 and a single one in 2017, but under very different circumstances. The first time he was an ascending wunder-prospect. The last time he was coming off an injury. This time, he’s coming out of the penalty box, working on some behavioral rehab.

You gotta think right about now he’d rather face someone like Max Scherzer than another “I’m a changed man,” presser, but I think he’s scheduled for one later today.

Wednesday night he was greeted with what I would describe as polite, big-leaguer-in-town applause when his name was announced in the starting lineup. He didn’t inflate the crowd as rehabbers sometimes do, but he did oblige some autograph-seekers. In the dugout with his temporary teammates, he appeared to be one of the guys. When the kid who was chosen for the nightly “pick-to-click” promo chose Russell (if the “pick-to-click” gets a hit, everybody in the picker’s row wins some sort of token), Happ and the rest of the boys were giving it to him good-naturedly.

So, so far; so good. Good luck, I guess, to young Mr. Russell who, whatever else he may be guilty of, will never be accused of sterility. His third child with a third woman was born last fall. Hopefully, his counseling on the ways and means of adulthood includes the basics of birth control.

Footnotes: The other two Chicago Musketeers, Happ and Edwards, had good nights. Two hits, a stolen base and zero Ks for #8 @ position #8; a scoreless frame with a pair of whiffs for the former Slim Reaper as the I-Cubs improved to 12-7 and stayed two games in front of the Memphis Redbirds.

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Thanks for the update Mike.

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  • crunch 31 min 26 sec ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.

    he chose the cubs.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.

     

  • Cubster 6 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.

     

  • Cubster 6 hours 10 min ago (view)

    The billionaires vs the millionaires. The beauty of the game is not the business of the game. 

     

  • Cubster 6 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Bat-signal seen in the Mesa skyline...AZ Phil, time to don the mask and cape.

     

  • Cubster 6 hours 52 min ago (view)

    per mlbtr, supposedly the Cubs have released 30 minor leaguers although Stewart and Asuaje are the only two names so far.

     

  • crunch 17 hours 48 min ago (view)

    cubs release brock stewart (AAA Rule 5 pick) and carlos asuaje (middle IF'r)...both older AAA/MLB-replacement-part types.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 2 min ago (view)

    after dragging their feet, the cubs commit to paying their minor leaguers through june.

    i'm a bit dissapointed they're not going to pay the last 2 months.  yeah, they're not the worst owners (in fact, the "through june" thing is common), but they can do better for their baseball household.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "in normal times..."

    It was the burst of times, it was the worst of times.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    "Setting aside how stupid it is for fans to blame players when owners are all so much more..."

    I blame Pete Ricketts

     

  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    i can't believe this kind of stuff is what we're talking about 2 months into the 2020 season...i can't believe a lot of stuff about 2020 outside of the game, too.

     

  • crunch 2 days 45 min ago (view)

    contract rights are retained by the team.

    in normal times this keeps labor relations between employer and player not too volitile with only a handful of player/owner issues.  in times like this you see a system that was not designed for an event like this.

    some owners are being responsible over the players who's contracts they control while other owners make us realize why the guillotine was occsasionally popular during revoltutions/revolts.

     

  • Jackstraw 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    So they are all free agents?  Or still under contract and not getting paid?  I'm sure AZ Phil or someone else has covered this but I haven't been keeping up with all the fine points of baseball's problems recently.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Manfred is such a dreadful commissioner. It's his job to walk a fine line and maintain peace in labor relations. Instead he lets the owners do whatever they want.

    Cannot wait for a long, bitter strike after 2021. And for the owners to ultimately turn plenty of fan sentiment against players.

     

  • crunch 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    "The A's told their minor leaguers Tuesday that they will not continue to pay them their current salary of $400 per week beyond May 31."

    classy.  absolute class act stuff right there.

     

  • crunch 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Evan Drellich @EvanDrellich
    The MLBPA is very disappointed with MLB’s economic proposal today, source tells me and @Ken_Rosenthal, calling additional cuts proposed “massive." League offered to share more playoff revenue, but on balance, those dollars are small compared to what players give up, PA believes.