Addison Russell returned to Wrigley Field on Friday morning, one day after domestic abuse allegations caused the Chicago Cubs to tell their starting shortstop to stay at home.
But anyone looking for Russell to offer his side of the story involving his wife Melisa Russell’s Instagram post was left wanting.
“I’ve already made my statement for a reason,” Russell said to reporters in front of his locker. “I’d like not to answer any personal questions. But if you have any baseball questions I’d be more than happy to answer those.”
Melissa Russell alleged in a since-deleted Instagram post that her husband had ben unfaithful to her. A friend of Melisa’s later posted several comments alleging that Addison had both physically and mentally abused Melisa, including hitting her in front of Addison’s two children.
Addison Russell said in a statement that the allegations were “false and hurtful” before offering no further comment. It was reported on Thursday that Major League Baseball was looking into the comments, but that a full-blown investigation had not begun.
Russell will be in uniform for Friday’s game against the Rockies, but is not in the starting lineup. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he will not hesitate to put Russell in the game if the Cubs need him.
Cubs president Theo Epstein said on Thursday that he had spoken to both Addison and Melisa Russell but did not divulge the details of the conversations. Several of Russell’s teammates spoke in support of him on Thursday. Russell said he “felt sad” watching the game, a 4-1 Cubs loss to the Rockies, at home.
“This is what I do, this is what I love,” Russell said.
After saying he’d take only baseball questions, Russell was asked if the situation was affecting his play. The 23-year-old has performed poorly in 2017, hitting just .209 with three homers and 19 RBI.
“No, no,” Russell said. “There’s periods of times when you’re struggling and scuffling. And sometimes you stink, you know. I know that being young in the major leagues is going to come with a lot of adversity but I’m here for a reason. It’s because I’m good.”