NEW YORK – The Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced Friday, Sept. 21 that Filipino-American Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is on administrative leave after his former wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, wrote about alleged abused by Addison.
The couple was married for two years before they divorced Aug. 30. The ballplayer’s ex-wife, who is also Filipino-American, wrote that she suffered physical and emotional abuse throughout their marriage and prompted MLB to act in accordance with the Joint-MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy.
“We are hopeful that the information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible,” the MLB said in a statement Friday.
Last year, the MLB opened an investigation on Russell after allegations of abuse was reported to them by a friend of Reidy. During that time, Reidy wrote that “the first time she was physically mistreated by his spouse,” she was in shock. She also wrote that emotional and verbal abuse became an “everyday thing” in their relationship.
“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 Cubs said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to cooperate with the League’s investigation so the appropriate action can be taken.”
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he again asked Russell on Friday if the allegations were true.
“We questioned him on it,” Epstein said. “He reaffirmed his stance that he did not do what he is accused of having done.”
In August 2015, MLB adopted its domestic violence policy. Any accused player can be put on paid administrative leave for up to one week while the allegations are investigated, and the player can challenge that decision through an arbitration panel.
The MLB commissioner has imposed disciplinary measures on four players who have been suspended. Former Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman was the first player to be penalized when he played with the Yankees. He was suspended for 30 days at the start of 2016 for allegedly choking his girlfriend but was not charged with a crime.
The other players were Braves outfielder Hector Olivera, Mets infielder Jose Reyes, and Mets reliever Jeurys Familia. They were all charged with crimes.
Russell, 24, is the son of Philippine-born Milany DeOcampo-Russell of Ma-Ayon, Capiz, in Western Visayas. He hit a grand slam in Game 6 of the World Series, forcing Game 7 in Cleveland, Ohio, which the Cubs won, ending the Cubs’ World Series drought after 108 years.
He met Melisa Reidy, 23, also a Filipino-American, in Pensacola, Florida, where he resides. Her mother, Ely Margallo Reidy, 45, is from Subic, Zambales. Addison and Melisa were married on January 9, 2016, in Milton, Florida. She gave birth to their son Aiden Kai Margallo Russell on August 25, 2015.
Russell was traded to the Chicago Cubs on July 4, 2014, but did not make his debut yet until April 2015 when the Cubs played against the Pittsburg Pirates. – Ricky Rillera