Kyle Hendricks on Addison Russell: ‘He’s Our Teammate, and We’re Backing Him’
Kyle Hendricks recently joined 670 The score to discuss the upcoming season and various matters surrounding the Cubs. He also vocalized his support for both Addison Russell and Melisa Reidy, Russell’s ex-wife and victim of his pattern of domestic violence. Reidy has been admirably vocal about her experiences after finding her voice, which is what led to MLB reopening a dormant investigation. Russell will serve out the remaining 28 games of his 40-game domestic violence suspension when the 2019 season starts.
“We’re all on the same page with [bringing Russell back],” Hendricks told 670 The Score. “We’re all on board. We love Addison. We love Melisa too.”
Hendricks emphasized that he wants the team to be part of the solution and help Russell mature as a human being, not just as an MLB player.
“Everything that happened is unfortunate,” Hendricks said. “We’re just behind him. He’s our teammate, and we’re backing him. We want him to be the best person he can be, whatever that process is going to take. We’re focused on the field and what we have to take care of business-wise, but obviously just who he is as a person and the developments that he’s going to make, we’re here for him. Anything he needs, anything really anyone needs in this situation, we’re just trying to be as supportive as we can.”
Hendricks’ words essentially echo Theo Epstein’s comments throughout the offseason. Epstein insists the Cubs need to do a better job ($) of educating players and preventing domestic violence. One of those steps includes meetings on the topic during spring training, which hasn’t happened in previous years, as Hendricks told The Score.
“That’s where Theo steps in,” Hendricks said. “He’s always looking for something, anything that can help. There are a lot of meetings that we have in spring training that are new, that didn’t happen years ago, like domestic violence meetings. We bring people into the complex to talk to the group, just education in general.
“From Theo and the front office’s side, they’re doing everything they can, and I know Addison is on board and he wants to become the best person he can be. It’s just both sides balancing it out and seeing what the best outcome is going to be.”
With Cubs Convention on the horizon and spring training not far behind, you can imagine Cubs players and staff are going to be asked about Russell again and again. That’s something the front office invited when they tendered Russell a contract. Then they asked it to join them for dinner when they settled on a salary for 2019. This isn’t going away unless the Cubs make it go away, which is an option that still exists.