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Middle Infield, Addison Russell and the Redemption Song

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14 minutes ago, Frobby said:

There’s no question that the more talented a player is, the more rope he’ll get with off-the-field stuff.    That’s cold reality.    There’s a limit to what anyone can be excused for, but the limit varies according to talent.    That’s not necessarily how it should be, but that’s how it is.   

Definitely a case of is it worth the headache of dealing with the backlash.  Even if Addison was better it would not be worth it to the Orioles as we aren't in the playoff hunt. 

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The O's are are a family sport.  They went as far as to let kids in free to attractive families.  So when your young son or daughter  are at the game and the boos rain down on Russell, what do you tell your kid when he asks you why?  Do you say they are booing him because he was a wife beater?  It just does seem like the environment that the O's are trying to promote.

I think reasonable adults can understand second chances.   But telling your kid to cheer for a  wife beater is a tough one. 

I think this kind of distraction from the family orientation that O's promote transcend  what Russell's baseball skills are.

I am with Luke on this one.  I would rather cheer for someone else especially after how he was received with the Cubs.

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I agree with the clear downsides as described (I can't bring myself to root for him... it's just too soon), and also I just don't see the upside here. He'll be past his prime before the team is competitive. If it's to flip him, he'll be hard to trade because other teams will be reluctant to deal with it.

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2 hours ago, theocean said:

OK, no one is saying or thinking this. I think pretty much everyone here believes in people having second, third, or fourth chances. Everyone hopes he can turn his life around.

But, Russell's ex-wife has went on record. Plenty of details about him drunkenly ripping their baby out of her arms, slamming her into concrete, and other abuse. If the O's were to sign him, I think I'd personally pass on supporting the team. It wouldn't sit right with me. I don't really look to Brandon Hyde's thoughts on the matter to be my moral compass. But, you're certainly entitled to do what sits right with you too.

This is exactly my problem with Russell. It wasn't an isolated incident. it wasn't a single fit of rage. it was a long history of physical and emotional abuse. Asking me to hit the reset button on everything he did and give him a clean slate is a tough bill to swallow. And if I'm being honest I think he's probably lucky to  just be dealing with the fact that he's unemployed (temporarily) and not in jail. 

Also, to @theocean's point this isn't Brandon Hyde's call to make. He can provide input, but the decision to sign a player, especially someone as polarizing as Russell, should be Elias' decision to make. That's why they pay him the big bucks. 

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1 minute ago, wildbillhiccup said:

This is exactly my problem with Russell. It wasn't an isolated incident. it wasn't a single fit of rage. it was a long history of physical and emotional abuse. Asking me to hit the reset button on everything he did and give him a clean slate is a tough bill to swallow. And if I'm being honest I think he's probably lucky to  just be dealing with the fact that he's unemployed (temporarily) and not in jail. 

Also, to @theocean's point this isn't Brandon Hyde's call to make. He can provide input, but the decision to sign a player, especially someone as polarizing as Russell, should be Elias' decision to make. That's why they pay him the big bucks. 

Exactly, and it's why the argument that "he made a mistake" doesn't hold water. In what world does months of constant abuse constitute one mistake?

Not all "mistakes" are created equal.

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

There’s no question that the more talented a player is, the more rope he’ll get with off-the-field stuff.    That’s cold reality.    There’s a limit to what anyone can be excused for, but the limit varies according to talent.    That’s not necessarily how it should be, but that’s how it is.   

Agreed.  And really, it's like that in any business - not just sports.  

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9 minutes ago, PaulFolk said:

Exactly, and it's why the argument that "he made a mistake" doesn't hold water. In what world does months of constant abuse constitute one mistake?

Not all "mistakes" are created equal.

Honestly, I don’t even like the word “mistake” in that context.    What he did was intentional.     That doesn’t mean he can’t move on and behave better in the future, but the term “mistake” doesn’t really apply here IMO.

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Like others have said, I just don’t see the upside. He’s an average starting SS when focused. He seems to have behavioral issues beyond being a wife beater (doesn’t know the signs). Everyone doesn’t have to be a saint, but if they’re a real POS like this guy’s actions indicate they better be Mike Trout level good before I consider them. 
 

Big time pass

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He is not the right fit to be an ambassador for this game. Plenty of players that go about their business the correct way without making terrible mistakes, that hurt other people. Not hitting your spouse and children is one step below the bare minimum for being a normal person. The game would be better if the MLB took a harder stance on this sort of stuff. It should be a privilege to play baseball at the highest level. It's a pantheon of people that are looked up to as larger than life, as heroes to many-- there isn't room for this kind of chicanery among them. There are plenty of decent people knocking on that door.

His next best step is to address his behavior and stop being an abuser. He should be allowed to address those issues, make amends, take counseling, do volunteer work, and I think he should do it all in a setting that is no where near a professional baseball diamond. There are plenty of careers that are not public facing where you can earn a decent living. He should go do one of those jobs and try to live his best life. I would respect that more than a press conference attempting to save a multi-million dollar paycheck, sincere or not.

 

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Two words: Luke Hemlich.

Both him and Russell did horrible things in the past. Hemlich did his stuff many, many years ago, as a juvenile, and from all reports, has been a model citizen since then. 

He doesn't get drafted and almost couldn't even play in Mexico, due to fan backlash.

Why should Russell get a pass for a horrible set of instances, the most recent being barely a year ago? I'm all for "maybe people can be given second chances," but just because he could help a broken team in the middle infield, why look at his past and say "oh well?" If anything, give him a minor league contract and tell him he has to earn his spot by outplaying everyone else and be a leader in the community.

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5 minutes ago, Legend_Of_Joey said:

Two words: Luke Hemlich.

Both him and Russell did horrible things in the past. Hemlich did his stuff many, many years ago, as a juvenile, and from all reports, has been a model citizen since then. 

He doesn't get drafted and almost couldn't even play in Mexico, due to fan backlash.

Why should Russell get a pass for a horrible set of instances, the most recent being barely a year ago? I'm all for "maybe people can be given second chances," but just because he could help a broken team in the middle infield, why look at his past and say "oh well?" If anything, give him a minor league contract and tell him he has to earn his spot by outplaying everyone else and be a leader in the community.

Sad to say, but I think SOME folks don't see violence against women as THAT big a deal.   They can remember times when they were so made at their wife or girlfriend that they WANTED to hurt them, even if they didn't, so they can empathize with that.   And the hear a few stories where a woman makes a false accusation -- which does happen on occasion but is by far the minority of cases -- and assume it actually  happens a lot.   So they have a tendency to have some level of sympathy or even empathy for a man accused of hitting his wife or girlfriend.

But what Heimlich was accused of doing -- no one has any sympathy or empathy for that.  

 

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I can’t see them bringing him in. For starters Elias is linked with the Houston approach which isn’t exactly a good thing public relations wise right now. I would want to distance myself from that. 

Personally if this was a one time isolated incident type of a situation I would be much more inclined to give him a chance. 

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30 minutes ago, Legend_Of_Joey said:

Two words: Luke Hemlich.

Both him and Russell did horrible things in the past. Hemlich did his stuff many, many years ago, as a juvenile, and from all reports, has been a model citizen since then. 

He doesn't get drafted and almost couldn't even play in Mexico, due to fan backlash.

Why should Russell get a pass for a horrible set of instances, the most recent being barely a year ago? I'm all for "maybe people can be given second chances," but just because he could help a broken team in the middle infield, why look at his past and say "oh well?" If anything, give him a minor league contract and tell him he has to earn his spot by outplaying everyone else and be a leader in the community.

I would rather they bring in Heimlich.

And I really don't want them to bring in Heimlich.

At least with Heimlich his story was consistent, it wasn't what they said it was but he pleaded guilty to put it behind him believing that his record would be sealed and to save the family the anguish of a trial. I don't know whether I believe that or not, but it is at least plausible. And as you said, he has been a model citizen since.

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No effing way.  This guy is untouchable on a team that already clearly doesn’t give a #@$% right now.  How many middle fingers can you give fans?  They’re already pretty apathetic.  Do you want to alienate them and make sure it takes longer to make them ever care again?

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It would also be a bad indication that Elias didn’t learn anything from what happened to his old colleague in the LCS celebration.

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