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Addison Russell suspended 40 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy

Major League Baseball has suspended Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell 40 games. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)
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Major League Baseball suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell for 40 games without pay Wednesday, after the league’s two-and-a-half week investigation of allegations of spousal abuse.

The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 21, according to an agreement reached between Russell and the league. That’s the date Russell went on administrative leave after the allegations came to light. Russell agreed not to appeal the suspension, per the agreement.

Melisa Reidy, Russell’s ex-wife, published a lengthy blog post in September claiming she suffered physical and emotional abuse during their two-year marriage. MLB opened an investigation last year into a similar allegation, which was never closed.

“Last year, when MLB contacted me, I wasn’t ready,” Reidy said in an interview last month with ESPN. “I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I didn’t even believe in myself enough to think I should do that [cooperate]. I just left my husband and all this blew up.”

In the blog post, titled, “You no longer have a secret, you have a story,” Reidy described abuse that began soon after the couple’s June 2016 wedding and occurred periodically in front of their then-1-year-old son.

“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” she wrote. “ . . . Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me? . . . I couldn’t understand how this man I was so in love with, the FATHER of my child, the man I married just a few months ago could show such aggression towards me.”

The allegations were first made in June 2017, following an Instagram post on Reidy’s account in which she accused Russell of cheating on her. A friend of Reidy’s added in a comment that Russell had physically abused her.

Russell missed the final 10 games of Chicago’s season and Tuesday night’s National League wild-card game while on administrative leave. He was hitting .250 with five home runs and 38 RBI when he left the team.

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