Chicago Cubs: The elephant in the room, probably for the entire 2019 season
Every media outlet known to man has been down this road multiple times. How Addison Russell and the entire Cubs’ organization react to Russell’s ongoing issues and media scrutiny is going to be a colossal part of Spring Training.
Do I need to say anything else about this? Probably not. But, Russell will have to withstand a barrage of reporters, protesters, fans, and maybe even his teammates/other teams’ players throughout Spring Training. After all, everyone has a mom, and many have sisters and girlfriends/wives. There is going to be a lot of backlash, and how Russell and his teammates deal with that will be a crucial piece to Spring Training.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of Russell’s suspension and the fact that he might be coming back to Wrigley to play at some point, the barrage will not end when the team departs Mesa for the Friendly Confines. Russell and the Cubs will have to face this issue head-on and, quite honestly, owe the fans that much. Theo Epstein has gone on the record several times saying he wants to be part of the solution to this issue; we shall see how the organization and Russell himself act given that statement.