CHICAGO (CBS) — Spring has sprung in Arizona, with Chicago Cubs’ pitchers and catchers officially reporting today to camp.
A few dark clouds have followed the Cubs to the desert. CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke has the 2019 spring training reports in Mesa.
“A big part of our success this year is the fact that we own each moment. So, I thought ‘own it now,'” said Joe Maddon.
That’s the Cubs’ skipper’s new slogan this year. One player who has to “own it now” is shortstop Addison Russell, who showed up early to camp. Russell has 29 games left on his Major League Baseball suspension for violating its domestic abuse policy.
Russell is currently going through a treatment protocol by the league and seeing a therapist. Cubs president Theo Epstein has a strong message for fans.
“We took our pledge to try to become a small part of the solution very seriously. Knowing this happened on our watch. We’re trying to support Addison, if he continues to put the work in, to support (ex-wife) Melisa. I understand people who are upset, who think we should’ve just moved on, but I can just pledge to those people that we’re taking this on earnestly and that it’s importantly to us,” said Epstein. “And, we’ll continue to hold Addison to an incredibly high standard or he won’t play another regular season game as a Chicago Cub ever again.”
Epstein said every member of the organization from top to bottom will go through a rigorous domestic violence program. Russell is expected to talk later in the week.
To watch the full press conference and the lengthy responses from Epstein on Russell, go to CBS Chicago’s Facebook page.