Cubs ace Russell on leave after domestic violence allegations

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell could be facing suspension over domestic violence allegations by his ex-wife. (AFP pic)

CHICAGO: Chicago Cubs player Addison Russell was placed on administrative leave on Friday after the re-emergence of domestic violence allegations by his ex-wife in a blog posting.

The 24-year-old shortstop was left out of his team’s city derby against the Chicago White Sox after the detailed allegations by former wife Melisa Reidy-Russell.

“Mr Russell has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy,” Major League Baseball said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that this new information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible.”

The Cubs meanwhile promised full cooperation with the investigation.

“We take allegations of domestic violence seriously and support the League’s decision to place Addison Russell on administrative leave given new details revealed today,” the team said.

“We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”

The MLB move came after Reidy-Russell alleged she had suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her husband throughout their two-year marriage.

“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” Reidy-Russell wrote. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me?”

She said she was also subjected to emotional and verbal abuse “everyday”.

“Being blamed for just about anything that went wrong, name calling, intimidating me with personal force, manipulating me to think I was the problem, destroying my personal things, threatening me to ‘send’ me & our son home to my parents as if I was privileged to be living in our home,” she wrote.

The allegations come just over a year after Russell was the subject of a Major League Baseball investigation into domestic abuse.

Russell denied the allegation and the case was left hanging after Reidy-Russell declined to cooperate with baseball investigators.

Reidy-Russell’s blog posting raises the prospect of a lengthy suspension for Russell, one of the stars of Chicago’s 2016 World Series victory.

It also potentially deprives the Cubs of one of their key players as they head into the postseason. The Cubs are leading the National League’s Central Division by 2.5 games from the Milwaukee Brewers with 10 regular season games remaining.

Since MLB enacted a new crackdown on domestic violence in 2015, several players have been hit with long suspensions, most notably San Diego Padres pitcher José Torres (100 games) and Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna (75 games).