Following Abuse Allegations, Should Addison Russell Still Be Playing In The Bigs?

Following Abuse Allegations, Should Addison Russell Still Be Playing In The Bigs?

Only time will truly tell how changed of a man Addison really is.

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Around 2015, I started keeping up with the Chicago Cubs. This was because I was really interested in the starting of the Bryzzo bromance, consisting of third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Bryant made his debut April 17, 2015, with Addison Russell making his four days later on April 21. I stayed loyal to my Atlanta Braves but I have other teams I like to watch and keep up with an alright go ahead and call me a bandwagon because the Cubs would win a World Series the next year.

I try to keep up with most of the baseball and the bigger names and at the time Addison Russell was one of those bigger names in 2016 when I met my wife. I don't typically know Every player's hometown or high school especially. Of course, I know both Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper are from Las Vegas, but who doesn't know that. When I and my wife were first starting to know each other, she found out how much I love and keep up with baseball. A reference she used to what high school she went to which is Pace High School in Pensacola, FL, was that's where Addison Russell was drafted straight out of in 2012 as the 11th overall pick.

For me, I was like, lit, because the Cubs were in the postseason about to play for the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

In 2017 I moved to Pensacola with my wife and began working at Academy Sports and Outdoors. This plays a vital part in how my opinion of Addison goes. During my time at the Academy, I assisted Addison on two occasions. The first was in the team sports department and I and a coworker helped him find a thumb guard so that when he was in the off-season and hitting he wouldn't get raw spots and blisters because those still happen in the bigs. He was a little shyer seeming but was a nice guy and kept a smile the whole time. He even talked with me and my coworker for a few minutes about baseball, neither of us was unprofessional to the Academy Policy and didn't go fanboy over him.

A few months later I happened to see him in the footwear department and assisted in getting him a pair of training shoes for the weight room and running shoes for running. Again he was a little reserved but was an upbeat guy. And again I talked to him about baseball but never treated him as if he was the hot shit but just like another guy who likes baseball. This is how I believe players should be treated, in knowing other players from my area I grew up in. However this in no way is me saying he is innocent, I'm just saying he's not a completely terrible person like some people are saying.

As previously stated Russell was drafted 11th overall in 2012 by the Oakland A's before being traded to the Chicago Cubs. 2015 was a good year with Russell having an average of .242 with even more amazing defensive plays. In my opinion in watching games and highlights Addison is a better defensive player than an offensive player. However, he had a great offensive turnout in game six of the 2016 World Series with a Grand Slam and a total of 6 RBIs for the game. Altogether on the field, Russell is a decent player who gets the job done and does a fair share.

In 2017, a post online by a friend of Russell's then-wife at the time Melisa Reidy accused Russell of domestic abuse against his wife. This accusation did begin a divorce between Reidy and Russell but didn't end up with any disciplinary action at the time by the MLB. At the time multiple teammates talked about great memories and how great of a guy he is but don't know much about his life off the field. However; in September 2018 Reidy did come forward in a blog posting about all the abuse Russell had allegedly done against her.

Reidy claims he laid his hands on her multiple times including times in front of their infant. She also claims there were infidelity and verbal abuse. She believed, in the beginning, Russell had just let his emotions get the best of him and that he was deeply sorry and loved her even though it continued to happen. Reidy alleged that the abuse would get worse when he was more stressed and under extreme pressure at work during losing streaks or slumps.

On one occurrence leading up to the 2016 World Series Russell was in a slump and Reidy says she remembers crying in relief when he hit a home run — she said she knew at the time he wasn't going to be as stressed.

That's just an overview of the allegations and if you want to truly know the whole situation, all of Reidy's blog post are online still and so are multiple updates on the investigation. After the accusations from Reidy MLB put Russell on a 40-day suspension as are stated in the rules against domestic violence.

My following statements again are in no way me saying Addison Russell is innocent. From all I've personally read and watched on the investigations, I do believe Addison is in the wrong. However as a hot head ex-baseball player, and intramural softball player I understand the frustration of a slump or a bad game. I've been ejected multiple times.

But I've never taken the stress of a game home with me. That, in my opinion, is truly where Addison went wrong.

I have brought home the stress from work and I feel terrible about some of the shit I've put my wife and friends through. As I am reading through the different details of Russell's abuse towards his wife I believe it should open the eyes to other men out there and we should learn how to not get so hot-headed and how to leave work on the doorstep.

I've heard stories about a guy who hung up all his work problems in a tree in the front yard and then would go inside to his wife and kids. In the morning he would go back to the tree pick up what he left and state it feels lighter than the day before.

Now, I'm not saying I or anyone else has abused their wife, but we have all fallen short of respecting them for how they deserve to be treated.

Therefore, I believe Addison is guilty as are many other men out there of not giving our wives the respect they deserve or getting to heated in an argument or bringing work problems home.

Addison still hasn't officially stated that he's guilty but he is no longer stating he is innocent in saying he has learned more about what domestic abuse and violence is. He has also sought out counseling and treatment on his own far past his mandated treatment the MLB requested from him. It has been less than a year and those close to Russell say he has made great progress.

Only time will truly tell how changed of a man Addison really is.

As for the true question: Does Addison Russell belong in the MLB? I believe yes. He isn't a superstar but he does bring a lot to the table and is a great player. He has taken responsibility for his actions and he's seeking treatment to make sure it doesn't happen again. We've all made mistakes and for someone of his stardom to accept responsibility and seek treatment to try to move on and become a better person is what I truly want to see. So yes I believe Addison Russell should get a second chance and can't wait to see how he does this season with the Cubs.

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The 19th Amendment Did Not Affect All Women

The fight for Voting Rights across the country is still a struggle.
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It’s a fact we’ve learned to regurgitate; in the year 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified. It prohibited any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on account of their gender. It's been hailed as the one of the greatest, if the not the greatest achievement for our country's women's rights movement.

What we don’t hear, is that two years after this amendment was passed, the Supreme Court ruled people of Japanese heritage were ineligible to become naturalized citizens -- a court found the same with Asian Indians in the following year. Not being able to become naturalized citizens, of course, affected what demographic of women could actually vote. In 1924, Native Americans were granted citizenship through the Indian Citizenship Act, but many states still passed laws preventing Native Americans from voting, for as late as the year 1957.

It wasn’t until 1943 that Chinese Americans were first permitted to become citizens, after the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed. For Filipinos, it wasn’t until 1946; for Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans, this did not come until 1952. In 1964, women of lower socio-economic status were faced with one less barrier to voting; there was now no tax to pay anywhere in the country in order to vote.

In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed abolishing legal barriers that prevented black Americans from voting. In 1990, polling centers were required to have accommodations for Americans with disabilities with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the year 2000, a federal court decided US Territories could not vote in presidential elections. The fight for Voting Rights across the country is still a struggle; in this month, alone, a federal appeals court struck down a voter ID law in North Carolina that was described as targeting African American voters "with almost surgical precision."

Why is it, then, that we accept the 19th Amendment as being the point when women were allowed the right to vote? It's presented in our history classes, our media, etc., as if the struggle to get women to vote ended with the passing of this amendment to the Constitution, which is simply not true. To state so would be to exclude essentially all women of color, among white women who couldn't afford to pay a poll tax.

Some could argue there’s exceptions to every fact and law in our history, but it’s not as if one specific group of women were an exception to this. Asian women, Native American women, black women, poor women and more were unable to exercise their right to vote, and their struggles have been arguably erased in the acceptation of the 19th Amendment being the point in which all women could vote.

When we use the word women, we assume it applies to women of every race and ethnicity; instead, it’s been reduced to mean only white women. When we say women earned the right to vote in 1920, we're whitewashing history. To be fair, we have no reason to not pause and think if this is a whitewashing of history, because of the pure lack of information on voting rights of marginalized and minority groups in our country.

Often, high school American history classes have been dubbed as being a history of "great white men." It's not hard to picture the only real segment of women's history taught in most history classes really only applies to that of "great white women." It shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve been conditioned to accept the notion that saying women got the right to vote in 1920 as appropriate, because of how our history is often taught to us.

Recently, with the recognition of white feminism becoming slowly more prevalent in our country's society, it’s important for us as a people to not portray women’s struggles as merely white women’s struggles. It's more than frustrating to see our politicians, socially-conscious celebrities, and other prominent figures speak as if the 19th Amendment was the end of women's struggle for voting rights. It's easy to accept the erasing of the history. After all, most people were taught a history that erased struggles of marginalized groups. It’s harder to try to write history back into a place it deserves to be. Women worked hard for the 19th Amendment to be ratified. It's time to recognize women that also worked hard for their own voting struggles, long after the 19th Amendment was ratified.

Cover Image Credit: Bio.

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A Two-Day Journey Into The Life Of A Mets Fan

See, I might sound like a crazy obsessed dramatic fan, but when you are a Mets fan, the team will give you so much agita, so much heartbreak and disappointment that even a walk-off win is painful, stressful but fun all at the same time.

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It is May and somehow, I feel as if I have lost at least 10 years of my life... why is that? Well, it might sound crazy and a little over the top for some people, but it is because of two nights of New York Mets baseball. Let me tell you something really quick, this team gives me, and I am sure other Mets nothing but agita.

Listen if back on March 25th right before the season started someone came up to me and said the Mets would be 15-14 on May 1st if you just sign here, I would have signed in half a second just because it was a winning record. But if I knew how they would have gotten to this 15-14 record, I think I would have run away in half a second if that same proposal was offered to me. I cannot specifically tell you what has made this start so frustrating for me, or what has made this team so frustrating other than its just the Mets. I also think the timing of me writing this article is not necessarily ideal in regard to my emotions towards the team but let me paint the picture for you.

April 29th I am driving back home from school and I am listening to the game on the radio, the Mets fall behind the Reds 4-0 and somehow find a way to tie the game 4-4. Sounds nice right, no. The team left 13 MEN ON BASE. Now I am sure if you are a baseball fan you have had a time where you have listened to a game on the radio and the suspense of every pitch is so frustrating. Just multiply that frustration by 100 when you have to sit and wait to hear what happens on a pitch when your team is in a 4-4 game there are runners on second and third and it's a 3-2 count. (You know just writing about what I went through Monday is giving me anxiety, like some type of sickening New York Mets PTSD.)

But WAIT, it gets better. As I finally get home it is the top of the 9th inning and the Mets send out arguably the best closer in baseball, Edwin Diaz. Diaz gets the first two outs with ease, then, well Keith Hernandez happened. See I do not believe in the announcer jinx, but when Keith Hernandez, Mets announcer says "Gary, lefties are hitting triple zeros(.000 batting average/no hits) off Diaz this year," then a lefty steps into the box, I feared what was going to happen in that still 4-4 game. I almost wanted to turn off the tv and just go to bed but I did not, and I should have because the first pitch Diaz threw ... gone forever. Reds go up 5-4 the Mets go down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning and that's all she wrote for that game. See I try not to let a Mets loss in April get me pissed off, but a game like that, yeah, I woke up the next morning almost wanting to fast forward to 7:10 p.m. just to get the next game going and forget about the loss.

Alright so its April 30th now and it's game two of a four-game series with the Reds, the Mets are sending arguably their worst pitcher to the mound, Jason Vargas, and are going up against arguably the best pitcher in baseball so far this season, Reds ace, Luis Castillo (and that name does not sit well with Mets fans, if you know, you know). As I am watching the game, thank god, because it avoids some of the frustration of having to listen on the radio, I just fully expect a blow-out loss hoping the Mets can somehow win the next two with deGrom and Syndergaard pitching and keep their same record.

But then the Mets do what the Mets do best.

When you expect them to lose, they make you believe they are going to win, and when you expect them to win, they lose. They somehow find a way to get a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning, they get some help in the eighth inning from a Joey Votto baserunning error and even though our favorite reliever Jeryus Familia is pitching they have pretty good control on the game. THEN, when Familia strikes out the first two batters of the 9th inning I am REALLY confident, I literally said to myself "alright now, there is no way they lose this game." UNTIL THEY ALMOST DID.

With two outs Familia, walked a man on 4 pitches, hit a man, gave up FOUR STRAIGHT HITS and before I knew it I was staring at a TV screen that said 3-3 top 9 bases loaded two outs, with Drew Gagnon coming in, a pitcher who I frankly knew very little to nothing about. The Mets did it to me again, I'm now laying on the floor with my head in my hands, tweeting "I hate being a Mets fan" literally only the Mets can do this to a fan back to back nights. Once the Reds tied the game, I then told myself "no way they win this game." Isn't that sickening, within 10 minutes I went from believing they had no chance to lose, to no chance to win?

Baseball for you, people.

To make it worse, instead of just losing the game in 9 innings, they make you believe that they might still win this game by somehow getting it to extra innings. Then, with two outs in the top of the 10th Gagnon walks a guy, then an error on the infield and suddenly the Mets are faced with first and third with two outs, I am literally ready to break the tv. But guys, once again the anxiety is not over... Gagnon gets in and out of the Jam and the first batter of the 10th inning is JD Davis. JD then decides to have a 10 pitch at bat where he fouls off 6 pitches, only to end up lacing a double in the gap. THEN Jeff McNeil comes up and first pitch swings at a ball in the dirt(something he rarely does) and I'm now thinking "we are going to get a leadoff double and leave him there" clearly the Mets are capable of doing that since they left 13 men on base the night before! McNeil on the second pitch then ropes a single and I'm thinking finally the game is over, but of course, it was hit too hard for Davis to score from second so now our rookie Pete Alonso who is 0-4 in the game is up with 1st and 3rd nobody out. Now I am thinking "okay NO SHOT THEY DON'T SCORE HERE THEY HAVE TO WIN THIS GAME" ... Alonso looks at two straight strikes and I am suddenly back thinking the worst.

Luckily for me, still laying on the floor with my head in my hands I did not have to live through that, as Alonso hit a deep fly ball to right and the Mets won the game.

See, I might sound like a crazy obsessed dramatic fan, but when you are a Mets fan, the team will give you so much agita, so much heartbreak and disappointment that even a walk-off win is painful, stressful but fun all at the same time. I guess that is the problem with the team so far this year, every win has seemed difficult, and I know winning in professional sports, in general, is difficult but the Mets, well as you can tell based on my very in-depth description of two consecutive nights take it to a whole other level.

P.S. they did it to me again the next night giving up a two-out solo home run in the ninth and losing the game 1-0 oh and then three days later when they went 18 innings took the lead 3-2 in the top half of the innings then lost 4-3 in the bottom half. HAHA.

The pain... but no matter what I'll still forever bleed Orange and Blue.

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