Theo Epstein, Tom Ricketts, and Joe Maddon all addressed the media after MLB placed Addison Russell on administrative leave Friday after his ex-wife Melisa Reidy published detailed domestic violence allegations on her blog on Sept. 19.
In a split press conference that had Epstein and Ricketts address the press separately from Maddon, media asked Cubs leadership questions about MLB’s domestic violence investigation process, their conversations with Russell to date, and Russell’s future with the team.
At the end of the press conference, Epstein stressed the utmost importance of the safety of the fans, players, and their families. He and Ricketts repeatedly emphasized trusting the process I outlined in an earlier post, and clarified that while the MLB investigation is ongoing there is no action that the Cubs can take per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Epstein said that he became aware of Reidy’s post last night and reached out to MLB immediately. The Cubs were informed this morning that Russell would be placed on administrative leave. Both Epstein and Ricketts were explicit that they agreed with that decision. They also mentioned that they met with Addison Russell this morning to explain the league’s decision. Epstein said it would be appropriate for the remainder of his conversation with Russell to remain confidential pending MLB’s investigation.
When asked to provide a character reference for Russell, Theo answered, “I know him in a baseball context” and expanded:
One thing we’ve learned as a society as we wrestle with how to appropriately handle accusations like this is that it’s important to step back and realize knowing someone in one context doesn’t mean you know them fully.
You can watch most of the press conference on the feed from Cat Garcia below:
Maddon’s remarks were similarly even-keeled and focused on how the team would react to this situation. Like Epstein and Ricketts, he stressed the importance of trusting the process. Maddon indicated he had not discussed this situation with Russell.
It was notable that while Maddon explicitly said he couldn’t pass judgment on the situation without acquiring all of the possible information, he also said he had not read Reidy’s post. He replied “should I?” when asked whether he had read it.
You can see the majority of Maddon’s remarks, also from Garcia, below: