Chicago Cubs: An undefendable baseball decision
But that’s not the worst of it. The worst of it? Addison Russell continuing to take reps on a daily basis.
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My feelings regarding Russell have been made abundantly clear. But the worst part of it all? Regardless of his off-the-field issues, his play has, simply put, been absolutely unacceptable this season.
On Saturday, he made countless miscues – on the bases, at the dish and in the field – the hat trick, if you will – and one that, as a ballplayer, you pray you never accomplish. Maddon weighed in on his young infielder’s shoddy performance in his postgame presser – specifically, his baserunning.
"“We’ve talked about his baserunning in the past,” Maddon said. “We’re making too many outs on the bases, and we’re missing things on the bases that we can’t to be an elite team.”"
It’s not like the Cubs lack other options at second base, either. David Bote is more than capable of holding down the fort there. You’ve got Ian Happ torching the ball at Triple-A Iowa and rookie Robel Garcia has done everything you could have asked for – and then some – in his brief time with the big league club.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Russell sticking with the team past the trade deadline. But, then again, he’s got Maddon in his corner at every turn – and it has to stop. Loyalty is undervalued in today’s world, sure. But the window for the Cubs to contend won’t last forever – and Maddon needs to start managing that way.
The time has come to move on from Russell and Almora – and give the guys who deserve starts a real chance to succeed and help this team run away with the division. The Cubs have overcome Maddon’s dilapidated lineup construction so far in the second half, but the mistakes are piling up and it’s time to do what needs to be done.