By Kevin Powell
MESA, Ariz. — With Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein looking on from the back of the media room, Addison Russell spoke with reporters for the first time since receiving a 40-game suspension for violating MLB’s Domestic Violence Policy.
“I want to own my actions,” Russell said at the Cubs spring training complex. “I want to be accountable for the hurt that I put (ex-wife Melisa Reidy) through, and the pain that she went through. That’s what I want to own.”
The Cubs have made it clear that Russell still has a long way to go to solidify his place in the organization and that they’re in the early innings of the process.
“These past few months have been a productive few months,” Russell said. “I’ve been doing the league-mandated treatment and have also been participating in voluntary counseling as well. Through that counseling, I have learned to better identify my feelings and emotions.”
Russell added that his relationship with Melisa Reidy, who went public with domestic abuse allegations against Russell in September, is “moving in the right direction.”
He also said that he is a new “loving” relationship.
Russell’s message to Cubs fans: “I understand that there are Cubs fans that don’t understand this process that I’m going through. I’m sorry for letting the Cubs fans down as well as the organization. What I want to say to them is that I am committed in my work to become a better person. And be a better person at the end of this.”
OTHER NOTES FROM CUBS CAMP
-Mike Montgomery is expecting a baby boy in a couple months
-Joe Maddon says it will likely be a closer-by-committee situation to start the season while Brandon Morrow recovers from minor elbow surgery: “It’s fluid. It’s something I’ve done before. I’m very comfortable with it. We get plenty of information. The big thing is to be conversing with the guys so they have an understanding of what’s going on.” Maddon says Pedro Strop, Steve Cisheck and Carl Edwards are all options.
Kevin Powell covers Chicago baseball for WGN Radio and anchors sports on The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes, M-F/3-7pm. Follow on twitter @kpowell720