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Russell reaction, flat bats, and other bullets

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Cubs lose. They’ll have to go for meatloaf starting today. Addison Russell is on administrative leave pending further investigation. It doesn’t look good for for him, especially as he’s been convicted by the court of public opinion already. I’m not gonna rush to judgment and I’m definitely not going to serve up meatballs. I look forward to the end of the investigation. We’ll have a Russell report below, with as much elucidation as I could dig up. There are only so many facts, and BCB’s intrepid reporter, Sara Sanchez, has already presented most of them. There’s not much other news, understandably.

Many kudos to Sara for her excellent and even-handed reporting on this sensitive subject. I have rarely met a woman who hadn’t previously suffered from physical or sexual abuse — that’s how pervasive this stuff is, how firmly male toxicity has a hold on our society. Sara made it plain that she is one of those that have endured, and still was able to deliver the goods. I am proud to be associated with her. She was the right person for the job, at the right time, as I said on the Twitters.

Here’s her work, if you haven’t read it yet:

The presumably playoff-bound Cubs looked flat against an awful White Sox squad. I wasn’t surprised — the news had to blindside them. I’d have been overwhelmed, too. Their day was full of meetings, not of getting ready to play a game, and it showed.

It looks like David Bote has the inside track to the second-base job next year. Perhaps Ian Happ will battle him for the position, though his play there hasn’t been prepossessing. Maybe the Cubs re-sign Daniel Murphy. Maybe they sign a shortstop and Javy stays at second... that’s just some of the fallout for next year that hasn’t been commented on much. I don’t see Russell returning.

Today’s another day. Let’s make it a better one. I’m skipping the Food for Thought section today. We’ll have one for Sunday brunch.

As always * means autoplay on, or annoying ads, or both (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

Cubs News and Notes:

“These allegations are completely false. I made that clear to Major League Baseball last year and reiterated it to the Cubs today. I’m confident any full and fair investigation will fully exonerate me. The protection of my children is foremost in my mind so I will have no further comment.” — Addison Russell

Theo Epstein said of Russell’s status with the Cubs: “We concur that (administrative leave) was appropriate in that situation.”

  • Lauren Comitor (The Athletic {$}): We know the Cubs take care of their own, but who was there for Melisa Reidy? “It shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone why Reidy declined to participate in the investigation last year, and why she is only telling her side of the story, in her own words, now.”
  • Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times* {$}): Russell has played his last game for the Cubs. “Russell can’t be in a Cubs uniform anymore. He just can’t be. The blog post is out there, full of ugliness, and it will never go away.”
  • Patrick Mooney (The Athletic {$}): Is this the end for Russell in a Cubs uniform? “It’s not appropriate to speculate while this step is going on,” Epstein said.
  • Carrie Muskat, Daniel Kramer (MLB.com*): Russell placed on administrative leave. “Administrative leave is initially up to seven days and there is a process by which MLB can request an extension of another seven days.”
  • ESPN*: Kyle Schwarber discusses the situation [VIDEO]. So does Anthony Rizzo [VIDEO].
  • Sam Fels (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Cubs hope it blows over, it doesn’t. “I’ll give the Cubs...half-kudos, if that.”
  • Bruce Levine (670 The Score): Cubs aim to keep focus amid Russell distraction. “We are a good team,” Rizzo said of players being able to move on from bad moments.
  • Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune* {$}): The evolution of the domestic abuse investigation of Addison Russell. “MLB’s investigation, which began in June of 2017, was open-ended and never closed.” Ask Matt Garza about it.
  • Exavier Pope (The Athletic {$}): Can Russell challenge MLB’s decision to put him on leave? “...if Russell were disciplined, it would set a new precedent for a player not charged with a crime.”
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald {$}): How Cubs weathered odyssey of 30 games in 30-day stretch. “The fatigue factor in baseball is so much more about the mental side than the physical,” said Len Kasper.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): Cubs unable to back Jose Quintana in opener vs. Sox. “Quintana should’ve felt right at home -- the Cubs didn’t give him much run support, which was a recurring theme whenever the lefty pitched for the White Sox.”
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com*): ‘Baseball intellect’ sets Javier Baez apart. ‘He got a 1600 on his baseball SATs,’ says manager Joe Maddon.
  • Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Cubs’ 2018 Draft Class shows promise in initial campaign. “On the surface, I’m excited to see a lot of these players at South Bend next year.”

Thanks for reading.